If you are feeling a little bit of déjà vu when reading this headline then perhaps you are remembering back into the distant past of January 2014 when T-Mobile last announced that it was going to help you manage your money. That time around the initiative was called “Mobile Money” and it hung around for about 30 months before shuttering in July of 2016.
There are some similarities between that service and the newly announced T-Mobile Money, such as no fees whatsover, including overdraft or ATM fees. But this time around the service is going to be a bit more like a traditional banking service with checking accounts that will net you at least 1 percent annual interest or 4 percent (on up to $3,000) if you also deposit at least $200 each month via direct deposit or the like. Anything beyond the $3,000 will earn interest at 1 percent, which as T-Mobile points out is still well above the current national average of 0.4 percent from the top 5 banks.
There is naturally an app to go with the service with the familiar T-Mobile magenta theme to it and at first glance it looks like a clean and intuitive interface. You’ll receive a traditional Debit card and the service is compatible with Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay at launch. Accounts are FDIC-instured up to $250,000 and along with the fee free overdraft protection, T-Mobile subscribers are even eligible for up to a $50 “Got Your Back” interest free loan in essence from T-Mobile that will cover the overdraft as long as you pay it back within 30 days.
In case you were worried that T-Mobile was just venturing into the banking business on its own, they are partnered up with BankMobile, which is the younger and presumably cooler digital division for Customers Bank.
It’s an interesting move from T-Mobile, probably wiser than going for yet another payment service, but would you consider using your carrier as your bank?