What is Zelle?
Since its inception in June 2017, Zelle’s instant payment service has exploded in popularity. It has established itself as one of the most widely used methods of money transfer in the United States.
Zelle, a digital payment network, is housed under the umbrella of Early Warning Services, LLC (EWS). EWS is a private financial services company jointly owned by some of the largest names in banking. These include Bank of America, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, Truist, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.
How does Zelle work?
Zelle users can quickly send money to other registered Zelle users for free. Anyone can download the Zelle app. However, if your bank or credit union partners with Zelle, you can enroll through your bank’s mobile banking app or website.
To send money via Zelle, all you need is the recipient’s phone number or email address. Once you’ve confirmed the payment, they will receive a text message or email with a link to accept it.
There are currently more than 1,190 banks that use Zelle in the U.S. Below is the full list.
Full Listing of Banks That Use Zelle (A-Z)
Banks Starting With # or A
Banks Starting With B
Banks Starting With C
Banks Starting With D
Banks Starting With E
Banks Starting With F
Banks Starting With G
Banks Starting With H
Banks Starting With I
Banks Starting With J
Banks Starting With K
Banks Starting With L
Banks Starting With M
Banks Starting With N
Banks Starting With O
Banks Starting With P
Banks Starting With Q
- Quad City Bank & Trust
- Quail Creek Bank
- Quaint Oak Bank
- Queenstown Bank
- Quontic Bank
Banks Starting With R
Banks Starting With S
Banks Starting With T
Banks Starting With U
Banks Starting With V
Banks Starting With W
Banks Starting With Y
- Yakima Federal Savings
- Yampa Valley Bank
Banks Starting With Z
- Zions Bank
If someone sends you money via Zelle, you’ll receive an email or text about their payment. Once you do, click on the link in the email or text. Then, download the Zelle app in the Apple App Store or Google Play if you haven’t already.
Click, “get started” and enter your email address or phone number, depending on how the funds were sent to you. Select “continue” and find your bank. As soon as you add your billing address on the next screen and click “continue,” you’ll be able to receive the transfer and any other transfers in the future.
Just like any other digital payment provider, Zelle comes with pros and cons you should consider, including:
- No fees to send or receive money
- Available to customers at almost 10,000 U.S. banks and credit unions
- Quick transfers, often within minutes
- Chance to earn interest on money kept in checking and savings accounts connected to Zelle
- Convenience of no contactless payments
- Can’t cancel a payment after you send it if the recipient is already signed up with Zelle
- Inability to link Zelle to a credit card
- May require a smartphone
- No chance to maintain a cash balance
- Only for U.S. customers
Zelle doesn’t charge fees to send or receive money. But it’s a good idea to contact your bank or credit union to find out whether any additional fees may apply.
Since Zelle was created by banks and uses data encryption, it’s safe in most cases, especially when you compare it to alternative options like Venmo and Cash App. Despite this, Zelle doesn’t offer fraud protection for authorized payments.
This means if you use Zelle to make an online purchase, there’s not much you can do if you never receive the item. To avoid all safety concerns, only use Zelle to pay people you know and trust.
PayPal and Venmo are digital payment providers, which are similar to Zelle. However, unlike Zelle and Venmo, PayPal allows you to send and receive payments internationally. Many online retailers use PayPal as well.
Venmo is unique in that it’s a combination of a digital wallet and social media as you can comment with emojis when you send and receive payments. Zelle is not a digital wallet because you can only use it to transfer money from one account to another. While Zelle is generally free to use, PayPal and Venmo do charge fees in some situations.