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The Almighty Buck Technology

T-Mobile Jumping Into the Check-Cashing Industry 211

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
An anonymous reader writes "T-Mobile has made headlines recently for trying to change the cellphone industry's reliance on contracts that lock customers into a particular carrier. Perhaps surprisingly, they've been fairly successful. Now, they're jumping into another industry plagued by high, customer-unfriendly fees: check cashing. 'Specifically, T-Mobile is hoping to offer an alternative for the 70 million or so U.S. adults that either have no bank account or have some bank services but still rely somewhat on check-cashing or payday-loan services.' How will they do it? 'Through the combination of a smartphone and a prepaid Visa debit card, T-Mobile (and its banking partner, Bancor) aims to offer many of the services typically offered through a bank, including check cashing, direct deposit and bill pay. The service, dubbed Mobile Money, allows customers to purchase and reload the card at more than 3,000 T-Mobile stores and, eventually, at Safeway and other retail stores. They can use the card anywhere Visa is accepted, and can also withdraw money, without a fee, at 42,000 ATMs across the country. Mobile Money customers can enroll in direct deposit for payroll, and personal checks and other types of checks can also be deposited by taking a picture of the check using the smartphone's camera.'"
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T-Mobile Jumping Into the Check-Cashing Industry

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  • by jeauxkewl (1465425) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @09:20AM (#46034637)
    Most banks have gotten to the point that they only offer free checking if you use direct deposit. If you deal mostly in cash or work for a small company that cuts paper payroll checks, you're not left with a lot of free options.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @10:45AM (#46035183)

    Since it would seem that most /. folks are unaware, allow me to explain exactly why many folks don't have bank accounts -- it's simply that due to onerous fees, if/once someone makes a mistake, their existing bank piles on miles of crap fees until such time as the account, through little to no direct action of the customer, ends up irreparably into a negative balance; one of my own employees went negative by about $20, and within 3 months, through no further action by him, he was told his account was something like -($200.00). While this might be a simple problem in a pure competitive capitalistic system, aka GO TO A COMPETING BANK AND SAY THE HELL WITH THE BOGUS FEES, nowadays the banks prevent this by sharing the information -- so if you screw up at one bank you are truly blacklisted at ALL OF THEM, regardless of the legitimacy of the original infraction. Anymore, my understanding is that ALL BANKS are tied into this database, and it's private, and not regulated like the credit reporting system.

    For more reading enjoyment, I found this:
    http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/07/30/over-a-million-are-denied-bank-accounts-for-past-errors/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

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