Updated: T-Mobile testing another banking service

T-Mobile is testing a return to the banking sector. (T-Mobile Money)

T-Mobile said it is headed back into the banking business, albeit on a test basis. After reports pointed to a website detailing what looks to be the company’s new “T-Mobile Money” service, T-Mobile confirmed that it is indeed testing such a service. However, the company said the tests are limited and don't necessarily portend a full-blown mobile banking offering.

This isn’t the first time T-Mobile has offered such services. It launched "Mobile Money" in 2014, but shuttered the offering two years later.

T-Mobile appears to be returning to the banking space via a partnership with BankMobile. Indeed, that partnership came to light last month when Customers Bank, BankMobile’s parent company, wrote in an SEC filing that it has been working with T-Mobile since 2016 on a new product and technology partnership. As noted by Digiday, the filing didn’t offer details on the service, but noted it would open “substantial subscription model benefits.”

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The website detailing T-Mobile’s new “T-Mobile Money” service carries BankMobile’s logo.

According to the T-Mobile Money website, the service promises to store customers’ money without charging the fees typically associated with banking. “Some banks rack up the fees. T-Mobile MONEY sets you free and puts money back in your pocket,” the site proclaims. “We have no overdraft fees, no account fees, no maintenance fees, no minimum balances, and no fees at Allpoint ATMs.”

Further, the site promises all customers will receive 1% “Annual Percentage Yield” on all balances, and customers who deposit at least $200 a month can earn 4% APY on checking account balances up to $3,000. The site notes that’s far above the 0.04% national average.

“From free Got Your Back overdraft protection and FDIC insurance to 24/7 customer support, T-Mobile MONEY has got you covered,” the site notes.

T-Mobile's banking tests represent yet another attempt by the operator to more closely tie its customers to its services. Over the past several years, under the helm of CEO John Legere, T-Mobile has given its customers free shares in the company, for example, as well as free Netflix services.

Article updated Nov. 29 with commentary from T-Mobile.

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