US cellular operator T-Mobile is taking mobile payments to the next level by offering a new suite of banking alternatives.
The service is called Mobile Money, and will target the 68 million Americans who currently do not have a traditional bank account. The service will allow existing T-Mobile customers to deposit paychecks, pay for items and goods, deposit personal checks via the phone’s camera, and will offer a prepaid Visa card for in-store purchases and ATM withdrawals. All of these services are for a cost of “$0”.
“We’ve already transformed how Americans use and pay for phones, tablets and wireless service; why stop there? Millions of Americans pay outrageous fees to check cashers, payday lenders and other predatory businesses – just for the right to use their own money. Mobile Money shifts the balance of power for T-Mobile customers and keeps more money in their pockets,” said John Legere, president and chief executive officer of T-Mobile.
T-Mobile not only points out the benefits of the service for the lower end of financial spectrum, but showcases Mobile Money as a remittance service, allowing money transfers between family members.
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“It’s ridiculous that families, especially those who can least afford it, have to pay so much for basic check cashing services that many of us take for granted,” said Mike Sievert, chief marketing officer for T-Mobile.
Offering a full set of banking services without a partnership through an established bank is a first. With Mobile Money T-Mobile has transformed mobile devices from being an extension of a payment method or bank into a full-fledged financial tool.
T-Mobile’s Mobile Money service and prepaid card are available starting today to US T-Mobile subscribers.