T-Mobile is now a bank, apparently. The cell carrier is launching a new venture called T-Mobile Money, a checking account service for T-Mobile customers, rolling out on a limited basis.
To be clear: T-Mobile isn’t running its own bank. Rather, it’s a T-Mobile-operated face for a digital bank called BankMobile, which is a part of Customers Bank. It’s sort of like an MNVO, but instead of, say, a startup using existing cell service from a larger carrier to offer its own service, its’ T-Mobile using existing banking infrastructure.
T-Mobile Money is still a real checking account, complete with FDIC insurance for balances up to $250,000, a Mastercard-powered debit card, and the ability to send paper checks directly from a smartphone app. You can also add a T-Mobile Money card to Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Pay.
To sweeten the deal, T-Mobile is offering up to 4 percent APY (annual percentage yield) on balances up to $3,000 in a T-Mobile Money checking account that deposits at least $200 monthly. (If you go over that $3,000 number, you’ll get bounced back down to a 1 percent APY rate.)
There are also other perks, like a $50 “Got Your Back” overdraft protection feature that will cover your account for free when you go over (assuming you pay it back within 30 days). There are no account fees, no maintenance fees, no minimum balance, and no fees at 55,000 ATMs within the Allpoint network.
Update November 29th, 1:56pm: Added information that T-Mobile Money is currently only rolling out on a limited basis for now.