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After Phones, T-Mobile Tries to Revolutionize Banking



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 today to get their cards online according to the carrier.

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