Boost Mobile is expanding into financial services with the launch of OmniMoney, a digital platform aimed at providing basic banking services and remittances to an underserved demographic, the wireless carrier announced Thursday.
The company’s existing customer base and brick-and-mortar presence will give the new platform a competitive advantage over other digital banks going after the same market, Boost Mobile CEO Stephen Stokols said.
In a space where customer acquisition costs are high, Boost is already ahead of a major hurdle facing most neobanks, Stokols said.
“We have the acquisition already,” he said “We've got millions of customers coming into Boost’s physical locations — thousands of which are in the right demographic — every day. We've got the distribution already in place.”
OmniMoney’s features include a debit card, basic no-fee digital checking services and free remittances to Mexico of up to $1,000 per month with premium unlimited plans.
Anyone can open an OmniMoney account, but certain discounts only apply to Boost Mobile users, a Boost spokesperson said.
Users can deposit cash into their OmniMoney accounts at select Boost Mobile stores, a feature that will be available nationwide in the coming months, according to the company.
Boost Mobile, which doesn’t publicly share its exact number of retail locations, has ventured outside of its main wireless offering in the past.
The Englewood, Colorado-based company launched a telehealth add-on service through a partnership with virtual medical care company K Health last year.
“The bigger play, for us, was always the financial services element,” said Stokols, who founded the wireless carrier FreedomPop before joining Boost Mobile in 2020.
There’s a strong demand for banking services among Boost’s customer base, and several neobanks have approached the wireless carrier expressing interest in marketing their services to Boost Mobile’s users, Stokols said.
“We've got millions of customers coming into Boost stores who are paying in cash every month. They don't have access to banking services. They don't have electronic payment forms, or they're paying large remittances to send money back to their home countries,” he said. “So we thought, ‘We give them the connectivity. Can we give them the banking services, as well?’”
Boost Mobile is offering the banking services through a partnership with embedded finance platform Alviere, an agent and service provider of Community Federal Savings Bank, according to the wireless carrier.
“We were less concerned about the sponsor bank than we were about the financial services and the [application programming interfaces] that Alviere provided for us in order to be able to build our own product quickly,” Stokols said. “Alviere actually is the one who has a direct relationship with the sponsor bank, and we have a direct relationship with Alviere.”
Boost Mobile isn’t the first wireless company to branch into financial services. T-Mobile launched its own banking services platform, T-Mobile Money, in 2019 through a partnership with banking-as-a-service provider BM Technologies, formerly known as BankMobile.
“We're trying to do things that traditionally, you wouldn't think a lot of carriers are trying to do,” Stokols said. “The users don't really care what network they're on. So, it's really about that differentiated experience that adds value for the customer that goes above and beyond what we consider a commodity.”