Teleco, T-Mobile, has announced a new Mobile Money system that bucks the trend
T-Mobile today announced that it would be releasing a payments and personal finance service called Mobile Money.
Combining a smartphone app with a pre-paid Visa card, Mobile Money allows anyone – not just T-Mobile customers – to use the service without paying a single penny.
This move comes alongside the company’s attempt to change their image in the US, opting for an ‘UnCarrier’ style to differentiate themselves from the rest of the service providers in North America. The most interesting aspect of T-Mobile’s Mobile Money service is the ability for T-Mobile wireless customers to pay cheques into their Mobile Money account by taking a picture of it with their smartphone.
Users can also withdraw money from over 42,000 in-network ATMs and releoad cards with physical cash at T-Mobile stores. Although, those who aren’t T-Mobile customers will have to pay a fee on such a service. Still, there’s no maintenance or activation fees, and you don’t have to have a minimum balance either.
Ultimately, this is aiming at banking the unbanked in the US – which is still devastatingly large. It should keep these folks away from the likes of payday loan services or other high-interest cash lending schemes.
“We’ve already transformed how Americans use and pay for phones, tablets and wireless service; why stop there?” said John Legere, president and chief executive officer of T-Mobile. “Millions of Americans pay outrageous fees to cheque 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.”
T-Mobile CMO Mike Sievert added: “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. Mobile Money levels the playing field to put money back in consumers’ pockets for important things – like bills, groceries or vacations. The typical household using a check casher to cash their paychecks could save about $1,500 per year, and customers tired of getting hit with overdraft fees can switch and save an average of $225 a year”
The T-Mobile Mobile Money service is available to sign up for today, and can also be attained from T-Mobile stores.
Do you think this is a wise move by T-Mobile? Or are they a little foolish to enter so late in the game?