Mobile Payments

T-Mobile Unplugs Its Mobile (Money) Side

T-Mobile is pulling the plug on its mobile payments business — two years after it took on the check cashing industry.

The company’s Mobile Money service, which was launched in 2014, allowed customers to buy and add credit to a T-Mobile Visa card that could be used to withdraw cash at at over 42,000 ATMs without a fee, Re/code reported. The service’s mobile app enabled its customers to use the account for paying bills, direct payroll deposit and depositing personal checks using their smartphone’s camera.

Earlier last week, the Bellevue-based company began notifying its customers about its plan to bag the service. Mobile Money’s existing customers will be able to add credit to their cards until June 27 and will be able to withdraw their remaining balance by July 27 of this year. The company will issue checks to settle any remaining funds.

The service was reportedly brought into market with an ambition to provide an extra value-add to T-Mobile customers rather than to make profits. “We’ve tried to zero out all the fees that are typical if you are [a] T-Mobile customer,” said T-Mobile VP Andrew Sherrard at the launch of the service. “They’re really getting hammered with egregious fees by the industry.”

Unlike developing countries, where mobile carriers have had great success in penetrating the financial market with their mobile money services, T-Mobile got little traction. Since its launch, the service barely made a mark in the U.S. payments space, which has now captured the interests of tech giants, such as Apple, Google and Samsung, as Re/code pointed out.

T-Mobile declined a request to reveal information on the size of the service’s user base.

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