If you thought T-Mobile was just a wireless carrier that takes your money, now it’s giving you a place to store your money. And earn interest on it.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based company has quietly launched the online bank T-Mobile Money in partnership with BankMobile. Available through iOS and Android apps — and, if necessary, a web app for laptops and desktop computers — the online bank promotes fee-free digital banking with a 1 percent annual percentage yield (APY) on all balances. But that’s boosted to 4 percent APY on checking account balances up to $3,000 for T-Mobile wireless customers with qualifying service and who deposit at least $200 per month.
The T-Mobile Money website emphasizes the “free” part of the financial service, promising “no overdraft fees, no account fees, no maintenance fees, no minimum balances, and no fees at Allpoint ATMS.” The site says there are more than 55,000 of those fee-free ATMs worldwide.
T-Mobile Money also supports tap-to-pay with Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay, direct deposit, mobile check deposits and electronic bill payments, features typical with traditional banks and credit unions.
According to the site’s FAQ, T-Mobile Money’s partner BankMobile — which is where customers’ accounts are actually held — is a division of Customers Bank, an FDIC member. T-Mobile Money itself is currently a pilot, and is being rolled out on a limited basis.
This isn’t the self-described Uncarrier’s first foray into finance. Nearly five years ago, it introduced Mobile Money, a free way for its customers to keep money in an account, pay bills with their phone and avoid ATM fees with a Visa-backed debit card. Mobile Money, however, required customers to go into a T-Mobile store to open a new checking account, and was only available to those who had T-Mobile wireless service.
UPDATED 10:40 A.M. to add T-Mobile Money is a pilot being rolled out on a limited basis.