Starting today, T-Mobile is more than just a carrier, it’s also a bank. Sort of. The company unveiled its latest program, called Mobile Money, which combines a prepaid Visa card, a no-fee checking account and a new app for iOS and Android in a bid to end pesky banking fees once and for all.
Mobile Money offers free ATM withdrawals at 42,000 in-network ATMs. You can also deposit checks into your T-Mobile account without paying a fee using the new app, and add money to your card via direct deposit or with straight cash at your local T-Mobile store. The new service also promises freedom from many of the rules that come standard with most checking accounts, including maintenance fees, minimum balances and activation fees as long as you’re already a T-Mobile customer.
For anyone with a traditional bank account most of this already comes standard, but T-Mobile Money is really appealing to anyone who doesn’t qualify for a checking account and could potentially save as much as $1,500 each year in added fees. The carrier also suggests the new Mobile Money card as a way to let high school and college students manage their own money.
Mobile Money is available today and you can sign up online or in-store to activate your account and receive a card. For now, the service is restricted to T-Mobile’s own stores, though the company plans to expand to Safeway grocery stores starting next month.