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T-Mobile offering new banking service

Posted at 4:06 PM, Apr 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 02:38:49-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Seems like pretty much everything in your life has found its way to your mobile phone. Now your bank can be in there too.

13 Action News Anchor Dayna Roselli shows us how T-Mobile is offering up a new alternative to the traditional bank.

"It's really difficult to build credit and build wealth if you're not part of the financial system and that often starts with a checking or savings account," said Greg McBride with BankRate.com.

He says customers are getting fed up with free checking accounts that can quickly turn to not-so-free.

A study from the Center for Financial Services Innovation says in 2017 Americans spent $178 billion in interest and overdraft fees.

So, along comes T-Mobile, putting a new spin on banking.

"They are not a bank; they are not trying to be a bank," McBride said.

It's called T-Mobile Money, and it offers no overdraft fees, no account or maintenance fees, no minimum balance, and no fees to more than 55,000 ATMs. You don't even have to be a T-Mobile subscriber to sign up.

"This is a product that I think is geared towards younger consumers, particularly tech-savvy consumers. Those who may have had problems with overdrafts," McBride said.

The new service is also FDIC insured and allows you to make mobile check deposits, direct deposits, pay bills and pay with a mobile wallet like Apple or Google Pay. But there are some services it can't provide.

"If you are paid in cash, if you need a safety deposit box, if you need to get a cashiers check, you are going to have to go to someplace else for those types of things," McBride said.

He also said T-Mobile Money will try to position itself as innovative, but will ultimately have to borrow some techniques from smaller banks.

"They are very similar to rewards checking accounts that many smaller community banks and credit unions have offered for years," McBride said.