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Zelle Alternatives For Money Transfer: Beyond Domestic Transfers

Updated on Jun 19, 2020
Zelle Apps

Mobile payment apps have revolutionized how we move and handle money. We hardly pay cash to buy things or when eating out in a restaurant. We can send and receive money from our friends and family in an instant thanks to these mobile applications. Customers are using such apps to split a restaurant bill or taxi fare and even offer a gift.  

A report by eMarketer found that peer-to-peer (P2P) payments transactions totaled $309.95 billion dollars in 2019 and will reach $396.48 billion in 2020 in the US. By 2023, it may hit $612.23 billion driven by the success of several mobile payment apps.

With the Coronavirus pandemic, contactless payment is on the rise due to health risks associated with physical notes and coins. People are looking for alternatives for money transfer and mobile payments apps are serving the needs. 

Zelle Money Transfer

Zelle, launched in 2017, is one of the most popular mobile payment apps in the US that facilitates peer-to-peer payments. Initially, the payment service was called clearXchange (originally created by Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo) and then it was rebranded to Zelle following its purchase in 2016 by Early Warning Services, LLC. Early Warning Services, a risk management firm is owned by seven US largest banks namely, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Capital One, US Bank, BB&T, and PNC Bank.

How does money transfer work with Zelle?

Zelle transfers money from one bank account to another in a matter of minutes at different financial institutions. All you need is the email address or the phone number of the person you want to send the money to at zero cost. This is possible because Zelle is partnered with more than 500 banks in the US. 

Account to account transfer usually takes many business days but Zelle eliminates such delays as the transfers are instant. Just make sure that whenever you send money through Zelle, the person you are sending to is someone you trust like family and friends. Since money is transferred very quickly, you can’t cancel once it is sent. 

Zelle is either already integrated into the participating banks’ mobile banking app or is available as a standalone app. When you send the money via Zelle through your bank app or website, your recipient either received a text or an email about the payment including a link to accept the payment. 

If your recipient’s bank is one of the partners of the Zelle Network, he/she just needs to get enrolled with the service either through their bank app or the bank’s website to receive the funds. You can pay for the transfer from your checking/saving accounts or debit card.

Another way is when your recipient’s bank is not a participant of the Zelle network, they can download the Zelle app (available for both Android and iOS) to receive the payment and register within 14 days of getting the message. They can register with their email or phone number and even connect with a Visa or Mastercard debit card. Credit cards are not allowed for registration. 

Keep in mind that the sender and the receiver would have to be enrolled in the service for the instant transfer to work and the bank accounts must be located in the US. Zelle is not supported in U.S. territories like American Samoa, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Zelle Participating Banks

Many major banks in the US are supported by Zelle. Some of the big banks include Bank of America, Well Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Capital One, PNC, US Bank, TD Bank. In total, more than 500 banks participate in the Zelle network. Here is the link to the full list of the banks. 

Alternatives to Zelle Money Transfer

Zelle is a convenient and fast method to transfer money within the US. And similar peer-to-peer payments services are available like Venmo, Square Cash, Google Pay, or Apple Pay. However, such apps are limited in their services when it comes to international money transfers. 

Alternatives to Zelle for international Money transfers 

People looking to transfer money to other countries also want quick, easy, reliable, and affordable ways to send money. Traditional bank transfers can be expensive, complex at times, and slow. Check these money transfers tips for immigrants. 

Fortunately, there are several international money transfer companies that are safe and offer good exchange rates, low transfer fees, and quick delivery of your money. You can send money via their website or mobile apps. We have compiled a list of the best apps for international money transfer.

Choosing the right money transfer service will largely depend on the recipient’s destination country, the amount of money to be transferred, the method of payment, and how the recipient receives the money. Some companies offer the fastest but not the cheapest way to send or vice-versa. 

Compare top international money transfer companies before choosing the best one that meets your needs.

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