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T-Mobile Money, the wireless carrier’s mobile-first bank account offering, will launch to all US consumers after a pilot that began last November, according to Fortune. T-Mobile will offer both in-store and mobile sign-ups for the account, which is run in partnership with BankMobile, per USA Today.
It offers a Mastercard-branded debit card that can be used with any major mobile wallet and at 55,000 BankMobile ATMs. The service is broadly available, but T-Mobile customers will get better benefits: a 4.00% annual percentage rate (APY) on deposits up to $3,000 compared with 1.00% for others, and overdraft protection up to $50.
T-Mobile Money is poised to attract a strong user base because of its accessibility, affordability, and broad reach — but it might not become customers’ primary account. A quarter of US adults are un- or underbanked, which gives T-Mobile Money a large pool to draw from. But customers still value branches, which means the firm will have to incentivize users to make the account their main service.
Here are the account’s top features:
- On-the-go sign-ups. Mobile or in-store sign-up features could be popular among customers: 60% of customers worldwide want to open a bank account online, and 43% of US consumers said they’re drawn to digital-first providers because of easy account access.
- Low costs. On average, interest-bearing checking accounts charge $33 for overdraft fees and $14 monthly, which could be prohibitive for lower income customers. T-Mobile Money, which doesn’t charge monthly or overdraft fees, could capitalize on the shutdown of low- and no-fee accounts at major banks to grow its base.
- High interest rates. Typical checking yield has been on the decline, averaging at 0.07% last year. Even T-Mobile’s nonpreferred 1.00% APY dwarfs that figure, which could help the service garner a user base of customers who want to earn more on their deposits, even if these users are turning to the service as a secondary account.
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