Zelle is a great way to send money to others. Unlike other services that transfer money, it moves money directly to and from bank accounts.
Zelle is a peer-to-peer money transfer service. It allows you to transfer money to others and receive money directly into your bank account. Typically, it works within minutes.
Related: How a credit card balance transfer works
It’s owned by Early Warning Services, which is owned by seven of the largest banks in the United States. They’re as follows:
- Bank of America.
- Capital One.
- JPMorgan Chase.
- PNC Bank.
- Truist Bank (BB&T and SunTrust merged).
- U.S. Bank.
- Wells Fargo.
What makes Zelle convenient is that it’s integrated with mobile and online banking for most financial institutions in the U.S.
Plus, Zelle doesn’t charge fees for transfers, and most transactions process quickly.
Many other money transfer apps and services charge a fee for instant transfers, which is why Zelle has become a preferred method of sending money.
How it works
Zelle makes it easy to send, receive, and request money. The first thing you need to do to use Zelle is to enroll.
Through your mobile or online banking, there’s a section for Zelle. Enroll by entering and verifying your email or phone number. You’ll also select the main account for Zelle transfers.
Once you’ve enrolled, take the following steps to send or request money:
- Select Send or Request.
- Click Add New Contact.
- Enter the person’s information that you’d like to request money from or send money to. You’ll need their first and last name along with a phone number, email address or account number, and routing number.
- Click Save.
- Enter the amount.
- Select the date to send or request the money.
- Click Review.
- Enter a reason (optional).
- Click Send or Request.
If you’re receiving money and have already registered with Zelle, the funds will automatically be deposited into your bank account.
If you haven’t registered with Zelle, login to your mobile or online banking and enroll. If your bank or credit union doesn’t use Zelle, take the following steps:
- Download the Zelle app.
- Enroll your phone number.
- Enroll your Visa® or Mastercard® debit card to receive the payment.
Whether you’re sending, requesting, or receiving money, you’ll have a record of each transaction. The other person will also be notified via text message or email.
Safety and security
What makes Zelle safe and secure is that your information is protected by your financial institution.
Zelle is safer than physically sending cash or a check, but you must treat it like cash and be careful.
When you’re sending money to people, double-check their information, and make sure everything is correct.
Since the money transfers quickly, you can’t cancel the transfer or take the money back. If you accidentally sent your friend too much money, you’ll have to ask them to send you the difference.
The only exception is if the funds you sent are stuck in the pending status, which is a result of the recipient not being enrolled. If that’s the case, you can cancel the transaction.
It’s also important to be aware of scams. When you send money through Zelle, you’re authorizing the payment.
If you send money to someone for a product or service and they don’t deliver, you aren’t protected. The same thing goes for scammers and fraudsters.
That’s why it’s important to be careful with who you’re sending money to. Only send money to people through Zelle that you know and trust.
What banks and credit unions use Zelle?
From banks with locations across the nation to small, local banks, hundreds of banks and credit unions across the nation have partnered with Zelle to offer a fast, safe, and easy way to send and receive money.
View the list of banks and credit unions that use Zelle. There’s a good chance your financial institution is included in the list. If not, you can download the Zelle app to use it.
Frequently asked questions
Are there limits for Zelle?
Each financial institution can have different limits that can range from $500 to $5,000. If your bank or credit union doesn’t offer Zelle, and you use the app, the limit is $500 per week.
Does Zelle work for small business accounts?
Although Zelle is capable of sending and receiving money in small business accounts, not every financial institution is offering the service. Check with your bank or credit union before sending money to a small business account.
Is Zelle better than Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App?
Zelle has the advantage over Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App because it’s integrated with your financial institution. Zelle is also the fastest.
If your financial institution offers Zelle, and you haven’t enrolled in it, do it now. Zelle is free, can send money quickly, and is compatible with hundreds of banks and credit unions. It’s an excellent money transfer service.
Featured image courtesy of Zelle.
About David Em
David Em is the founder of More Money More Choices, which he launched to help you take control of your finances and build your dream life. Before More Money More Choices, David worked in leadership positions in the finance industry.