Imagine the long lines you have to go through at the bank or money remittance centers to send money. On top of the waiting game, you must pay extra charges to have the funds transferred. As if that’s not bad enough, the person you are sending money to has to wait two to three days to receive the fund. In short, the sender and receiver’s resources are wasted. Now, imagine skipping those lines and instantly sending your money in the comforts of your home with just a few taps on your smartphone; that’s what the Zelle app offers.
What Is Zelle?
Zelle is a mobile peer-to-peer payment and money transfer service owned by the fintech company Early Warning Services LLC, which holds seven of the largest banks within the U.S. This app is free to download and allows you to make money transfers instantly without charges.
The Zelle app is free to use. However, fees may still occur from other banks and credit unions that have no ties with Zelle.
On the other hand, the good thing about Zelle is its broad reach throughout banking institutions in the U.S. As of today, the Zelle app is in partnership with 400 financial organizations, and among Zelle’s top partners are:
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- Wells Fargo
Thus, Zelle, being essentially owned by multiple banks across the U.S., bears the following advantage; first, its wide range and compatibility to almost all the major banks within the U.S.; and second, the app’s integration alongside its partners’ online or mobile banking services.
Zelle, in partnership with multiple financial institutions across the U.S., facilitates safe, convenient, and instant ways of transferring monetary funds to friends and family. It aims to move money instantly and directly from one bank account to another with zero contact.
How to Sign Up on the Zelle App?
Signing up for Zelle is the same as having your online or mobile banking set-up. The Zelle app is already integrated into most of the banks within the U.S. This means that if your bank offers Zelle, your account automatically pre-setup, and the only thing left for you to do is find the option where it says, “Send Money with Zelle,” and you can then start linking your accounts.
However, if your bank or credit union does not offer Zelle yet, all you have to do is look for the Zelle app and download it for free. Setting it up requires your bank details as well as your personal information. Then, you can proceed with instant peer-to-peer fund transfers.
How to Get Zelle App for iOS and Android?
Zelle cash app is already linked in most major banks around the U.S., making it available on your mobile banking apps even if you have not downloaded the Zelle app.
However, if you wish to download the app for easier access, you may do so by searching the Zelle app on Apple Store and Google Play Store for iOS and Android OS, respectively. You must note that Zelle is a product of collaboration by the U.S. banks, making the Zelle app download only available within the U.S.
Zelle Features and How to Use Them
Now, let’s talk about Zelle app downloads and why many users are still drawn to this easy-to-use app even though many players already saturate the e-payment platform.
Direct Zelle Payment Bank Transfers
Unlike other digital-payment platforms like Venmo or Cash App, the Zelle app is not considered a digital wallet. When it comes to Zelle vs. Cash App, the former comes out greater, at least according to consumers’ reviews, being that the Zelle app is not a middleman as opposed to Cash App.
How Transfers Are Made
With Zelle, payments are directly credited from your bank account and debited directly and almost instantly into another Zelle user’s bank account for free, all thanks to the app’s simple yet highly functional interface.
Zelle app’s interface only has three options; send, request, and split. The first two options kind of speak for themselves, while the Split option is Zelle’s adaptation of Venmo’s in-app calculator. With this option, users could take advantage of this feature if they want to split up payments like their bills, rent, and the like.
Sending money on the Zelle app only requires providing the contact details or a nine-digit routing number of the recipient’s bank. The app also provides its users the convenience of merely linking their phone contacts into their Zelle contacts page. So, when they want to send money, it’s just as easy as scanning through your contact list and sending a text.
Once a confirmation to send money is done, a link is provided to the recipient of the fund for him or her to accept via their mobile banking app if it is a partner of Zelle or via the app if the recipient’s bank is not a partner.
Be careful when sending Zelle payments, though. Once you hit send, you can never cancel your payment unless you tell your friend or family not to claim or accept the money within 14 days. Once that period has passed and the money is unclaimed, Zelle returns your cash into your bank account through its interface’s “Stop Payment” option.
Zelle’s Transfer Limit
With the Zelle pay app, daily and monthly transfers are determined by your bank; that is if your bank offers Zelle. So, it’s best to refer to your bank’s regulations regarding this. While if your bank does not offer Zelle, the limit for sending Zelle payment is only at $500 per week.
However, receiving funds through the Zelle app has no limitations, meaning you can receive as many payments as you need.
Money Transfer Fees
What keeps app downloads at the top charts is probably its advantage of not requiring fees for P2P instant transactions, unlike Cash App or Venmo, which usually charges from 1.5% to 3% of the transferred amount.
With Zelle, you can directly transfer large amounts of payments without worrying about the costly cut of e-payment platforms for instant services.
However, the Zelle app is independent apart from banks. This means that even though this app is free to use for instant transactions, some banks can charge minimal fees entirely out of Zelle’s control.
Zelle App Bank Integration
It is providing convenience even a step further. Unlike all the other digital payment apps, the Zelle app is already integrated into its partner’s mobile banking system.
This feature sets Zelle apart since users can send or receive payments without needing to open the app.
How It Works
Users are required to log into their bank’s mobile app or website, and from there, they can find options to transfer money with Zelle. Zero-fee instant transactions can then be done from thereon.
However, suppose Zelle is not integrated into your bank’s mobile app or website, you have to register into Zelle. You have to wait for one to three days while your account is being verified.
Is the Zelle App Safe?
As we have briefly touched on one level of Zelle’s security, which is the user account verification, this may have sparked your curiosity on whether or not the Zelle app has a robust security system.
Nowadays, it’s easy to get skeptical about these kinds of platforms, knowing how easy it is to hack someone else’s accounts, making safety a critical consideration before using such services.
How Safe Is the Zelle App?
As opposed to the traditional way of handling your cash and sending bills via email, Zelle boasts its high-security measures for a safer and faster way of transferring funds.
Unlike middleman apps such as Venmo or Cash App, you can be sure there will be lesser internet traffic when using the Zelle app since the funds you transfer automatically go into your bank account. Lesser internet traffic means lesser loopholes in which hackers could attack.
Additionally, since the Zelle app has a direct link to your bank account, banks are compelled to keep an added security layer in terms of protecting their client’s financial records.
Moreover, the Zelle app has a better advantage in terms of security since money being transferred on Zelle is always insured by its participating banks.
Although the Zelle app uses single authentication to secure its users’ transactions, users still have to be careful in sending payments. Due to the high-speed monetary transaction that Zelle offers, it is almost impossible to cancel payments made through the app.
Thus, before sending money and authenticating this transaction, users must ensure details as to whom they will be sending the money to and the amount of payment they are sending. If not, in just a couple of minutes, you might be losing your money to a stranger.
The app is also prone to scammers. Instant payments made to purchase goods or services attract many scammers due to Zelle’s system not having multiple authentication or verification on the recipient’s side.
Zelle is vulnerable to such scamming activities due to its structure that’s more ideal for bank-to-bank transfer. This means that Zelle will not be the ideal option when it comes to exchanging money for merchants and online marketplaces.
As such, the Zelle app doesn’t have the same security features as PayPal or Square Cash offers, meaning you cannot reimburse the money you send to service or product providers if they didn’t deliver their intended duty.
In cases where your Zelle account gets exposed to hackers due to its security being tied to a bank, your chosen financial institution may be able to help you trace any fraudulent activities. And depending on your bank’s policies, you can find ways to get compensated for your lost money or account.
This process may take time, and not all banks might be as generous, but still, it is worth the try checking it out with your bank. Your Zelle money is still insured, after all, thanks to its strong partnership with most U.S. banks.
Zelle’s Privacy Agreement
Now, about the Zelle cash app’s privacy agreement, here’s the gist of it.
Zelle shares your necessary account information to marketing companies for these firms to deliver ads that are specific to your wants or needs as captured by the way you interact with Zelle’s interface and advertisements.
Additionally, the Zelle app also gives out information about your geolocation. Again, this is for the app’s third-party marketing and advertising networks and its limitation since Zelle can only operate within the U.S. But do not fret, as this is just Zelle’s other way of verification.
Zelle App vs. Other Payment Apps
To give an honest review, you must also know the pros and cons of Zelle compared with other e-payment services. Knowing such will help you better decide whether Zelle fits perfectly with your banking needs.
Zelle vs. Cash App
Cash App is similar to Venmo, which revolutionized peer-to-peer payments via digital transfers. Cash App is an e-wallet. In essence, users can opt to keep their money sitting on their Cash App accounts until they decide to transfer their money to their linked bank accounts.
Conversely, the Zelle app is directly integrated with your mobile banking apps. Zelle is not a digital wallet but an instant add-on to participating banks allowing you to transfer payments directly to another bank account.
The Zelle app eliminates instant P2P fees. Whereas with the Cash App, to avail of instant money transactions, you’ll have to pay an additional fee of 1.5% of your transferred amount.
Zelle vs. Venmo
Venmo is probably Zelle’s top competitor. Both apps being only operational across the U.S. Venmo, unlike the Zelle app, offers a social media-like interface wherein users could share their payments within their social network.
Aside from Venmo’s fun interface, it is also perfect for day-to-day transactions like splitting meals, paying a colleague, and the like. With the Zelle app, you can say goodbye to such interactions as it is more conservative when it comes to keeping your transaction logs.
The maximum amount that can be transferred via Venmo is at $4,999.99 per week. Meanwhile, with the Zelle app, your maximum limit is at $5,000 daily and $20,000 per month. Again, your bank will dictate your daily and monthly transfer limits. So, it is best to check out with your bank regarding this matter.
Zelle vs. Others
Other e-payment apps have a broader and business-oriented scope than Zelle. Payoneer and PayPal are vital players that come to mind in this regard. These digital payment apps have a more comprehensive range due to their easily accessed program to pay for online marketplaces. These include companies such as Upwork, Airbnb, and Amazon, which only deals purely on business.
Whereas, the Zelle app offers more personal transactions with family and friends that are only within the U.S.
Is the Zelle App Worth Using?
Altogether, the Zelle app is a smart choice whenever you need to transfer funds directly and instantly to another user.
Zelle app downloads are growing more and more each day due to its zero-cost services. Another draw is its compatibility with almost all the largest players within financial institutions across the U.S.
However, do not be deceived by how immediate your transactions can get. Without the necessary precautions, you could easily expose your bank accounts to scammers and hackers alike.
While Zelle is a good option for your immediate banking needs within the U.S., you must still use the app with smart choices along the way to better safeguard your banking transactions.