If John Legere decides to run for president in 2016, we wouldn't be surprised. In fact, the executive is so popular right now, we'd only be surprised if he lost (he probably won't get the AT&T vote). Taking T-Mobile into a completely unexpected direction, the carrier announced on Wednesday its new Mobile Money plan. According to Bankrate's 2013 survey, ATM, overdraft and monthly maintenance fees all hit record highs last year. So why wouldn't Legere try to solve that "pain point" for consumers? It's what he does best.
Starting today, T-Mobile is combining an app called Mobile Money
with a T-Mobile pre-paid Visa card. The card is available from https://tmobilemoneyservices.com, and from T-Mobile retail locations. With the card, which can be obtained by even non T-Mobile customers, there is $0 purchase fees, no monthly maintenance fee, no fee to reload the card in a T-Mobile store, and $0 withdrawal fee on ATMs coast to coast ($2 charge for out of network transactions). With direct deposit, you can get access to your tax refund faster as it will be sent straight to your T-Mobile pre-paid card. And you can send up to $100 a day and $500 a month to another pre-paid card with the receiver's mobile number and the last four digits of their T-Mobile card.
"We've already transformed how Americans use and pay for phones, tablets and wireless service; why stop there? Millions of Americans pay outrageous fees to check cashiers, payday lenders and other predatory businesses - just for the right to use their own money. Mobile Money shifts the balance of power for T-Mobile customers and keeps more money in their pockets."
-John Legere, CEO, T-Mobile"It's ridiculous that families, especially those who can least afford it, have to pay so much for basic check cashing services that many of us take for granted. Mobile Money levels the playing field to put money back in consumers' pockets for important things - like bills, groceries or vacations. The typical household using a check cashier to cash their paychecks could save about $1,500 per year, and customers tired of getting hit with overdraft fees can switch and save an average of $225 a year."
-Mike Sievert, CMO T-Mobile
T-Mobile stresses that it is not a bank (too much regulation required, you know), but does want to eliminate those nasty fees that the banks are famous for. T-Mobile's CMO, Mike Sievert, says that the average family can save $225 a year in overdraft charges and $1500 a year using a check cashier to cash payroll checks. The pre-paid card will also be available at Safeway stores starting next month.
It should be interesting to see if the other major U.S. carriers follow. Even more interesting is seeing which "pain point" T-Mobile and its CEO attack next.
T-Mobile announces a new pre-paid card that works with an app to help consumers save money