Banking with T-Mobile is in the cards

Posted Jan 23, 2014 by Kimberly Reynolds
T-Mobile is hoping you will bank on their latest offering. The fourth largest provider of mobile services in the U.S. is now offering a Visa debit card with banking features.
T-Mobile retail store.
T-Mobile retail store.
The card also comes with a smartphone money management app and will offer reduced or no charge services for T-Mobile wireless customers.
With the new service T-Mobile plans to leverage their over 77 million customers as a way to enter the lucrative debit card market. Like their phone plans the T-Mobile Visa card trumpets reduced or zero fees for banking.
As John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile, stated in a press release, "We've already transformed how Americans use and pay for phones, tablets and wireless service; why stop there?"
As the press release points out, T-Mobile isn't new to the personal finance arena. The company offers customers the option of financing their smartphone purchases without charging interest.
Bank Account Goes Mobile
The new T-Mobile Visa card will be issued by The Bancorp Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bancorp Inc. and licensed by agreement with Visa Inc. The debit card has features similar to a traditional bank account and can be used in any of the 24 million worldwide locations that accept Visa debit cards.
Deposits are a Snap
With the new T-Mobile Visa debit card customers will be able to direct deposit pay and other checks directly from their smartphone cameras. This will give customers the option of instant deposits with no additional fees and save a trip to make the deposit.
No Fee ATM
Within their network of 42,000 ATM’s, T-Mobile will offer customers the opportunity to make retail purchases, pay bills and withdraw cash with no additional fees. An article from CNN Money puts the average fee for in-bank service at $1.42 per transaction. When multiplied over the hundreds of transactions a year the average consumer makes, the savings can be vast.
The leap into financial service debit cards is not without risk. By offering a no fee experience, T-Mobile joins a long line of business “disruptors” some of whom are successful and others that were massive financial misses.
Financial experts are up in the air as to whether this venture will become profitable or is simply a marketing ploy aimed at reinforcing the existing T-Mobile image of affordability. What is sure is that, if successful, the T-Mobile visa debit card will change the way banks structure their fees. The winners of this battle might be consumers who will be saving money on fees. That is a call most would accept.