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After Phones, T-Mobile Tries to Revolutionize Banking

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T-Mobile’s UN-carrier initiatives to bring a revolutionary change to how the wireless industry operates has given the nation’s fourth largest wireless carrier a lot of press, and now T-Mobile is expanding its efforts into banking. The latest news from T-Mobile isn’t just about mobile payments like its efforts with ISIS or traditional e-commerce, but with a full-fledged consumer prepaid debit card that offers more to customers with less fees.

The UN-carrier is calling its latest endeavors Mobile Money by T-Mobile.

visaimage_old“We’ve already transformed how Americans use and pay for phones, tablets and wireless service; why stop there?” the outspoken UN-carrier  CEO said in a press statement. “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.”

Essentially, registered T-Mobile subscribers can opt to get a T-Mobile Mobile Visa Prepaid Card with reduced fees or $0 cost and the card will work with an app for smartphones.

With Mobile Money, registered T-Mobile wireless customers pay $0 for things they do every day. No charge for activation, monthly maintenance, in-network ATM withdrawals, or for replacing lost or stolen cards. No minimum balances required. No more worrying about overdraft fees. And no unnecessary trips to the bank or a check casher.

Additionally, the Mobile Money card will also let T-Mobile customers use the account in a similar way to a traditional checking account, including depositing checks by scanning them in with the camera on their smartphones, direct depositing of paychecks, bill payments, and withdrawals at local ATMs.

As T-Mobile is a member of the ISIS NFC-based mobile payment consortium along with rivals and partners Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility, it’s unclear how T-Mobile’s latest financial venture will affect this relationship. ISIS is intended as a way for consumers to use their smartphones to pay for physical goods inside retail stores. With a built-in near field communications receiver in a smartphone and an NFC reader inside a payment terminal at a store, users can just tap their phones to the payment terminal to pay for goods rather than have to pay by swiping a credit card or use cash. ISIS is intended as a Google Wallet rival at this time.

The new T-Mobile Prepaid Visa Card will be available at T-Mobile locations and select Safeway grocery stores in the U.S. next month, though interested customers can register at https://t-mobilemoneyservices.com/ today to get their cards online according to the carrier.

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

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