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T-Mobile Gets Into Banking with ‘Mobile Money’

Mobile Money by T-Mobile AppT-Mobile is bringing its prepaid, contract-free phone model to banking. It introduced a “Mobile Money” service Wednesday, offering basic banking services via a prepaid Visa card and a new smartphone app with the same name.

Customers can deposit checks via the app, pay bills, transfer money to other card holders and withdraw cash from 42,000 in-network ATMs without facing a fee. Non-T-Mobile subscribers will face small fees, such as a $5 monthly account fee and an initial $4 cost to purchase the card. The mobile phone carrier is touting the service as an alternative to pricey fees from check cashing, payday lenders and “other predatory businesses.” Read more

Report: Japan’s SoftBank in Talks to Acquire T-Mobile

Jayson Stark

PrintJapan’s SoftBank Corp, owner of Sprint, is in talks to acquire U.S.-based wireless carrier T-Mobile, according to media reports. The deal is designed to have Sprint take the majority stake in T-Mobile, a Reuters’ source said.

T-Mobile is the No. 4 wireless carrier in the country, but the deal would let SoftBank “leapfrog” Verizon and AT&T into the No. 2 slot. The Reuters report cites unnamed sources — a common practice in merger and acquisition news. Read more

T-Mobile Offers ‘Free Facebook’ to PrePaid Customers Without Data Plans

gosmartCellular company T-Mobile is trying its best to accumulate new customers – the mobile wireless provider is now offering free Facebook access to its prepaid customers without data plans. The deal is for its GoSmart users ( starting at $25/mo) who will be able to access a slower, free version of Facebook using their phones starting in January of 2014.

Since GoSmart users who have data comes with unlimited access, the free Facebook access will be unnoticeable for those on the 3G data network. Additionally, T-Mobile is rumored to be luring new customers by paying off their cancellation fees with other carriers. Subscribers of other cellular service will get up to $350 credit to switch from rival carriers, with up to five lines of service per family.

T-Mobile Offering iPhones for $99 Down with $20 Monthly Payments for 20 months

T-Mobile’s UNcarrier event today has a lot of consumers rethinking the nature of mobile contracts, which typically hides the cost of expensive smartphones spread over the course of a few years. Most importantly, it changes the nature of how consumers pay for phones, if they so chooses.

With a minimum down payment of $99 dollars, consumers can pay $400 for the remainder of 2 years without signing a data contract. T-Mobile is also adding many more 4G devices with varying payment plans along with the popular iPhone: Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy Note II, and Blackberry Z10. for example, the Nexus 4 is available for only $49.99 down with $17 per month for 24 months.

The carrier’s no contract data plan allows anyone to have an unlimited data plan for just $70 a month  without the fear of throttling or early termination fees. The company has also invested heavily in its 4G LTE network – a $4 Billion dollar technology upgrade that will launch later this year.

T-Mobile Now Offering Customers Personalized Cellular Names in Lieu of Numbers

T-Mobile customers can now replace their numeric cellular number with personal monikers through vanity calling service Star Star Me. The carrier is the third cellular company to add the service – along with Sprint and Verizon. The service is not free, however, customers have to pay $2.99 per month to use their personalized calling numbers.

With the StarStar Me app, available as a free download from Google Play and iTunes, StarStar Me subscribers have the option to automatically respond to calls with a custom text or pre-recorded message or send callers a link to a personal page that includes links to their blog, website, or social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as other contact info, which can easily be added into a mobile phone address book.

 

AT&T customers remain the only major group without the service so it will be difficult to obtain a popular personalized name once the provider offers Star Star Me. With Facebook and other social networks offering free voice calling via social networking apps, it remains unclear whether there is a vast market of number-forgetters out there. Further, Google Voice offer similar free services so this user will be waiting on that option if it is ever available.