T-Mobile appears to have given up on being a bank. Back in 2015 T-Mobile announced “Mobile Money,” which provided no-fee checking, a T-Mobile Visa Prepaid Card, and a “surcharge free” nationwide ATM network. It was, apparently, T-Mobile’s attempt to lure one of the 70 million US adults who don’t have a bank account. T-Mobile was particularly interested in aiming the service at Millennials tired of expensive, fee-laden check cashing businesses.
“We ve already transformed how Americans use and pay for phones, tablets and wireless service; why stop there?” John Legere asked at the time.
Well, because most carriers haven’t had any success being banks, making the efforts a bit of a waste of time.
T-Mobile is informing customers that it will be shutting the effort down on July 27. Users will no longer be able to access their online banking accounts or use the Mobile Money application after June 27. T-Mobile’s PR office will confirm the closure of the effort, but isn’t offering any additional insight.
This isn’t T-Mobile’s first failed banking effort. The company also partnered with AT&T and Verizon — two companies’ T-Mobile’s PR team often mocks — on a mobile payment platform named ISIS. ISIS floundered to gain traction in the market, not aided by sharing the name with an international terrorist organization. In late 2014 the companies renamed the effort “SoftCard”, yet ultimately sold the remaining assets to Google after consumers remained uninterested.
Needless to say, it seems unlikely that T-Mobile’s going to be stepping foot in the banking business again anytime soon.