One week ago I attended a meeting of tech startups focused on financial services. The topic was serving the unbanked and under banked. Now, a week later, T-mobile has an offering. As I recall from the meeting, major reasons people don’t use banks include (1) they don’t trust them, (2) banks fees are too high, and (3) access. T-Mobile’s move address all three issues. T-Mobile customers use the same kiosk they already use to pay their bill via cash. Now there is an additional option to deposit cash into a T-Mobile bank account. Let’s see how this works.
T-Mobile is trying its hand at banking
T-Mobile and CEO John Legere have another new idea. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)
Here’s a look at six ideas that could affect to how we live, work and play.
1. Banking with your wireless provider.
I’ve written in the past about T-Mobile’s renegade CEO and his desire to shake up the telecom industry. Well, John Legere is at it again. His company’s latest offering is a low-cost alternative for millions of Americans who don’t have a bank account or rely on expensive checking-cashing and payday-loan services. Via Hayley Tsukayama:
From their Mobile Money accounts, users will be able to direct-deposit paychecks, deposit checks via smartphone camera, make purchases, pay bills and withdraw cash from 42,000 ATMs across the country, T-Mobile said.
2. The computer chip that cancels out sound waves. From Forbes:
The company has already gained acceptance in data centers, where its chip is valued for its ability to reduce server noise without affecting airflow. Silentium has also found a receptive audience in the transportation industry. Barath said the company is working with a variety of automotive and aerospace seat makers who are gearing up to manufacture noise-cancelling headrests. The idea, Barath explains, is to create a quiet bubble that lets a person enjoy desired sounds, like music or a movie, without having to suffer the roar of engines and other aural assaults.
3. Verizon, Amazon could be threats to cable.
Cable companies such as Comcast and Time Warner are in trouble. Customers are disappearing, cord-cutting is hot, and alternatives such as Netflix are strengthening. Now Amazon is reportedly considering an online pay-TV service complete with live channels. Verizon just purchased an online video-streaming service, which paves the way for it to become a larger player in TV programming and what becomes of it.
4. The interactive resume. Robby Leonardi’s resume is in a class of its own.
5. Does Apple need an iPhablet? From Venturebeat:
Last year, 20 million phablets (smartphones with screens larger than 5.5 inches) shipped to consumers around the world. And according to the analysts at Juniper Research, that figure will rise by 100 million units over the next four years — meaning that by 2018, manufacturers will be shipping 120 million phablets per year.
Any way you slice it, that’s going to be a multi-billion dollar pie — a pie of which Apple currently has no slice whatsoever.
6. Long stories find a home on the small screen. From The Atlantic:
Buzzfeed published a piece called “Why I Bought a House in Detroit for $500.” The story ended up getting more than a million pageviews, which is notable because it is also more than 6,000 words long. The other notable thing: 47 percent of those views came from people accessing the story on mobile devices. And while people who read the piece on tablets spent an average of more than 12 minutes with the story, those doing so on phones spent more than 25 minutes–a small eternity, in Internet time.