A personal payment platform, Zelle is a personal digital payment platform established in 2017. A consortium of large banks developed it, and today it is counted among the top peer-to-peer (P2P) payment networks. This platform was created by Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. to give competition to biggies like Paypal’s Venmo, Square Cash, aka ‘The Cash App .’ and several other third-party P2P services present in the app market.

As it comes, Zelle offers easy, fast, and safe payment facilities to its users so they can conveniently send and receive money from their family, friends, and others. In the year 2021 itself, the app users of Zelle have transferred a record amount of $307 billion in 1.2 billion transactions.

Presently, the app is free-to-use for its users, hence no subscription fee or monthly charges for using this P2P payment platform. The app is participating banks generate revenue, everyone, a user makes payment to a business in exchange for the goods & services. The merchants pay a one percent charge to MasterCard or Visa and share this revenue with the issuing bank. However, more on this later, as now let’s explore more about Zelle.

What is Zelle?

Zelle is owned by FinTech company Early Warning Services LLC, which provides fraud management & prevention services for financial institutions. It has its operating offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Tempe, and Scottsdale. Meanwhile, Early Warning Services is owned by a group of banks, such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, U.S. Bank, PNC, BB&T, and Capital One.

This online payment system enables its users to send money from the bank accounts to anyone using that platform. Zelle is available only in the USA and for the US account holders who have banks part of the Zelle network, so they can use this platform. To develop the app, 30 central U.S. banks collaborated, and as it is ready, people are quickly downloading it from the app store and enjoying the facilities it is offering. The app is also integrated with mobile banking/fintech apps of big participating banks, with the likes of Wells Fargo, Citi, Chase, Bank of America. Hence, the users having their bank’s mobile banking/fintech app ideas can use Zelle too.

What Does Zelle Do?

As mentioned above, Zelle allows its users to send and receive money easily to and from anyone involved with the platform. The registration process is very smooth, and once the registration is done, the app users can send money to their family and friends easily via the app. They can alternatively even use a partner bank’s app like Chase or Bank of America.

Currently, the network is only available to consumers. Hence the businesses have to stick with the other means to collect payments. The app is powered by Visa Direct and Mastercard Send payment rails. The banks nowadays are using either of the two as their payment processor, and hence basically, the app allows any bank to be a part of the Zelle network. The user only needs to enter the recipient’s phone number and email address, and the funds are mostly transferred instantly.

As we speak, Zelle is working with 924 financial institutions together, and as mentioned before, most of the partnered banks have integrated payment platforms into their apps. Hence, if the user has a Visa Mastercard or Visa Credit/Debit card, it is easy to send money using the Zelle network.

How Does Zelle Work?

What sets Zelle apart from the other money transfer platforms is that the app transfers money directly from one bank account to a different bank account using Zelle Moves. Usually, bank transfers require both accounts’ account numbers for initiating transactions. Also, this kind of transaction could take up a few business days to complete. With Zelle, the transaction time is lesser, and it enables users to send money from one checking account to another in a few minutes. Here, the users will only need the recipient’s email address/phone number for the money transfer. Then the recipient receives an email from Zelle indicating there is a waiting payment, along with a link to accept payment. The recipient can click on the click to get the payment. In case the recipient is a first-time user, then it can take three days to receive funds. If the recipient’s bank is not a participating partner, the recipient will require to download the Zelle app to register their account with an email to accept payments.

How to Send Money With Zelle?

Here we explain the steps:

  • Step 1: Open the Zelle app on mobile
  • Step 2: Log in to the Zelle account
  • Step 3: Tap on the option “Send Money”
  • Step 4: Select the person to whom money is to be sent
  • Step 5: Enter the valid email ID of the recipient
  • Step 6: Enter the amount to be sent and click next
  • Step 7: Now fill the “What’s this for” box with a valid reason
  • Step 8: Final step is to click on Send button completing the process

How to Receive Money with Zelle?

It is very convenient to receive money from Zelle. If you already have a Zelle account, nothing needs to be done to receive the payment as the amount will be automatically added to the bank account. But in case you are not enrolled with Zelle, then it is time to open an account to receive the money from Zelle. Here are the steps to be followed:

  • Step 1: Open email ID and click on provided link in the payment notification
  • Step 2: Choose your bank/credit union
  • Step 3: The last step is to follow onscreen instructions for receiving payment

If your bank/credit union does not allow Zelle, then it is necessary to download the Zelle app on mobile and open an account for receiving payments. For that, you will require enrolling with your credit or debit card.

How Does Zelle Make Money?

As Zelle doesn’t charge any fee, hence the app doesn’t generate direct revenue. It was created to save banks money. The competitor P2P offerings like Square, Venmo, PayPal charge the banks a fee for each transaction, and thus keeping all these transactions in-house reduces the costs. This way, the banking institutions can capitalize on a general shift towards a cashless society and avoid maintaining the branch offices and ATMs.

Also, the app generates indirect revenue for a consortium of banks collectively having access to 100 million users in the USA. This consists of a range of add-on and complimentary services, like loans, insurance, mortgages, and credit cards. This app idea has become the largest Peer 2 Peer app service in the USA in just two years, with the users completing around 743 million transactions worth $187 billion. It is said that the owner of Zelle, Early Warning Services LLC, also gets paid from participating banks to maintain the integrity of the Zelle network. Also, in the year 2018, the Zelle app launched this feature that enables the users to make payments to businesses for goods & services.

For consumers, Zelle offers its service for free. However, the merchant has to pay a 1% fee to Mastercard or Visa, who would then share resultant revenue with the bank issuing the card. It can work those other financial products are recommended within Zelle app, which allows partnering bank institutions to generate revenue via referrals and affiliate commissions.

Learn More: Tech Stack For Developing A Mobile App

Top competitors of Zelle App



This payment software aims a build a simple, connected, and delightful payment experience. Venmo started off as an SMS platform that was used to send and receive money, and now it has become a social payments app that enables its users to pay, split and share their experiences.


PayPal App

This payment software enables its users to send and receive money quickly and without any hassle. PayPal is a platform with faster checkouts & easy returns.

Square (Cash App)

Cash app logo

Here, the users can integrate with Square’s card reader hardware and POS app for processing the payments anywhere and in a manner wishes by the customers to make payments. The app allows people to send instant money to friends and family.

Apple Pay


Mobile payment and digital wallet service launched by Apple Inc., Apple Pay allows its users to make payments in person, in the iOS apps, and on the web it uses Safari. The app is supported on iPhone, Mac, iPad, and Apple Watch. However, the app is not available on any client devices made or sold by Apple.

Google Pay

Google Pay

This mobile payment service is designed for online checkouts on apps and websites. It is a contactless payment method in app stores not requiring internet connectivity to make payments. As Google Pay works both on iOS and Android, it is more accessible than Apple Pay.

Also Read: How Much Does It Cost To Make An App?

Daily Transfer Limit of Zelle

If your bank doesn’t have Zelle, the daily transfer limit is $500/week. However, if the bank offers Zelle, then a larger amount of money can be transferred. The easy option is to get in touch with the bank to find about the spending limits. However, in regards to receiving funds, there are no limitations on how much to accept.


If you want to create your own digital payment app like Zelle, you should contact the best mobile app development company that can help you create your own unique mobile app with the help of their skilled mobile app developers and push your company to new heights.

Frequently Asked Questions about Zelle

Does Zelle Charge a Fee?

No, Zelle is entirely free and doesn’t charge anything. The app allows you to make an immediate deposit in the bank account for free, but when making a payment to a business using a credit/Debit card, 1% is charged on the transaction amount.

Is Zelle safe to use?

Yes, it is a safe app. As it is not safe to handle cash or send checks via email, with Zelle, you get a secure and hassle-free system for transferring money. With Zelle, the money is never sitting in a third-party location. Hence it is secure. Also, as most renowned banks enable Zelle access, the financial data is secure and protected by banks.

Do both parties require to have Zelle receive money?

Yes, both the sender and the recipient must have a Zelle account for sending and receiving money.

What happens if the recipient doesn’t have Zelle?

If the recipient doesn’t have a Zelle account, then s/he needs to enroll in Zelle using a credit/debit card. After that, the recipient can receive money.

Can Zelle Transfer be canceled once it is sent?

The Zelle transfer can only be canceled if the recipient is not enrolled yet with Zelle. To cancel, the sender can go to their app’s activity page and choose the payment to be canceled. Then select “Cancel This Payment,” and the payment will get canceled.

What happens if the Zelle payment is sent to the wrong number?

If the Zelle is sent to the wrong number or email id, the payment can be canceled. But, the payment can only be canceled if the money has not been credited to the recipient’s bank account. If not, the payment can be canceled from the Zelle app or the mobile banking unique app ideas.

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CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.