If you’ve ever sent or received money, or transferred funds between banks, you’re probably used to the fact that it can take several days until the transaction is completed and the money arrives at its final destination.
But recently, you may have come across the choice to use Zelle as a way to send money. What is Zelle, and what’s so great about it? And while we’re at it, what banks use Zelle?
What is Zelle?
Zelle is a way to transfer money between bank accounts. What sets Zelle apart is its quick transfer times. While the traditional method of sending money can take several business days, Zelle transfers money in minutes. There’s no waiting period, which makes Zelle similar to cash.
Zelle doesn’t charge any fees, either, but they recommend double-checking with your bank to ensure that your bank doesn’t charge a fee.
How does it work?
Zelle has over 800 partner financial institutions. As long as the person either transferring or receiving the money belongs to one of these institutions, transferring money is a seamless, quick process.
Zelle can be accessed through your bank’s mobile app if they are a Zelle partner or through Zelle’s app. After you’re enrolled, you can send money simply by having the email address or the phone number of the person you want to send money to.
Once you send money, the recipient will receive it in their bank account in minutes. If they aren’t already enrolled with Zelle, they’ll receive a notification telling them how to access their money.
What banks use Zelle?
With over 800 financial institutions enrolled, the best way to see if your bank uses Zelle is to check their website. A few of the major banks that use Zelle are:
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- Discover Bank
- US Bank
- Wells Fargo
Zelle is adding new partner banks all the time, so if your bank isn’t listed, you can check back with them periodically to see if your bank has been added.
What if my bank isn’t a Zelle partner bank?
If your bank isn’t a Zelle partner bank, you can still use Zelle to transfer or receive money as long as the other person involved in the transaction belongs to a partner bank.
Simply download the Zelle app and enroll using your debit card to connect your bank account. Note that transfer times may be slower than they would for partner banks and that only accounts in the U.S. are eligible for use with Zelle.
Is there a limit on how much you can transfer with Zelle?
If your bank isn’t a Zelle partner, you have a weekly transfer limit of $500 when using Zelle. If you use a partner bank, your bank may set limits on the amount of money you can transfer. These limits may be daily, weekly, monthly, or some combination, so the best way to find out if your bank limits how much you can transfer is to contact your bank directly.
Is Zelle safe?
As with most types of online transactions, there is room for error when you use Zelle. If you mistype your friend’s cell number, you could end up sending money to a stranger. Since transfers are nearly instant, you’ll want to double-check the information you’ve entered before sending money.
It’s only possible to cancel a transaction if the person you sent money to hasn’t enrolled in Zelle yet. If you do send money to the wrong person, there’s a possibility that you may not be able to get that money back.
You should only use Zelle when you trust the person you’re sending money to. Zelle doesn’t offer a payment protection program, so if you’re buying goods or services, it may be best to use another payment method such as a credit card.
Zelle is adding its name to the list of companies assisting in transferring money, such as CashApp, Venmo, PayPal, and others. If you’re looking for a quick way to send money to friends or family, and you already bank at one of Zelle’s partner banks, Zelle could be just the answer you’re looking for.
It’s simple to use through either your bank’s app or the Zelle app itself. Since money transfers within minutes, you don’t have to worry about waiting to make sure your friend received it. You should only use Zelle to send money to people you trust, and make sure you have entered your contact’s payment information correctly before finalizing the transfer.