The scrappy underdog of the U.S. wireless market is taking a brief break from prodding rivals to revolutionize the way consumers handle their personal finance - and hopefully save them money in the process.
With Mobile Money, consumers will have a virtual bank account that allows them to deposit checks using their smartphone, direct deposit for paychecks, pay bills and make purchases everywhere Visa cards are accepted.
Mobile Money isn't exclusive to T-Mobile customers, but the company's wireless subscribers benefit most with fee-free card reloads at any of the carrier's more than 3,000 retail stores, plus no monthly maintenance fees or withdrawal fees from more than 42,000 in-network ATM machines.
Goodbye, wicked fees!
According to a recent survey conducted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (better known as the FDIC), upwards of 68 million adult Americans don't have a traditional bank account, instead relying upon often shady outfits like payday lenders or checking cashing services.
Such options typically take a bite out of the consumer's wallet, but the banking industry as a whole isn't much better, taking a record high amount in ATM, overdraft and monthly maintenance fees for themselves in 2013.
"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.
Interested consumers can now sign up for Mobile Money online or at their local T-Mobile retail store to get their very own Visa prepaid card, which will also be available in U.S. Safeway stores beginning in February.
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