T-Mobile's Mobile Money Service: Prepaid Visa, No-Fee Checking

The latest in a line of UnCarrier tactics, T-Mobile has just announced that it's launching a Mobile Money service—a personal finance system that uses a smartphone app and pre-paid Visa card to help people handle their cash.

T-Mobile customers will be able to use the service without paying any fees, allowing them to deposit checks into their Mobile Money account—just by taking a picture of them with their smartphone—before withdrawing cash from 42,000 supported ATMs. The Visa card can also be topped up with cash at T-Mobile stores. Non-T-Mobile customers will have to pay some fees to use the service, though it's heartening to note that there are no maintenance fees, minimum balances or activation fees.

While many of you already have free checking accounts, you're not, perhaps, the target audience. Instead, the system is really aimed at those who can't get a traditional checking account, who currently rely on check-cashing or payday loan services. Both represent terrible value, and T-Mobile's service provides a very attractive alternative. If you're interested, you can sign up now online or in T-Mobile stores. [T-Mobile via Engadget]