Does Zelle Work Internationally? [Comparison Detailed Guide]

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Does Zelle Work Internationally?

Zelle, an online payment service launched by Early Warning in 2017 that is currently provided for most banks within the United States of America. The service is backed by all major banks including Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, etc.

Zelle promises a secure peer-to-peer payment transaction within minutes that will be done without sharing bank account numbers or any other sensitive financial information with the sender and receiver.

The service transfers money from one’s checking account to another person’s checking account with just the recipient’s email address or U.S mobile number on the same bank.

Zelle provides everything you need in one place: automatic notifications on funds received or sent; things like transfer confirmation codes via text message; mobile alerts letting customers know where their money came from or went so they can check transactions easily across all financial institutions. Plus, Zelle makes it really easy for recipients.

The major difference between Zelle and other money transfer services such as Paypal, Venmo, etc is that it transfers money directly from one’s checking account to another person’s checking account in a secure environment by providing a temporary virtual account for this transaction.

Currently, it only works domestically — meaning you cannot send money to foreign countries with Zelle at this time. However, there are no current plans or announcements about expansion outside America.

What Does Zelle Mean?

Zelle, as a service, is a way of sending and receiving money through your bank or financial institution. When using the app, users send and receive money using an email address or their phone number instead of bank details like with other services such as Venmo.

“Zelle” may also be used as a verb, such as “I zelle’d the money to my roommate so I wouldn’t have to carry all of those groceries.” Zelle is a service that allows its users to send and receive money from each other by using their email addresses or phone number.

The company’s website states that Zelle is the “new, safe way to pay and get paid.” The service itself was created by Early Warning Services (EWS), a group of banks that includes Bank of America, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, PNC Bank, TD Bank, Capital One, and more. This company cannot access users’ sensitive banking or financial information.

What are the features of Zelle?

The Zelle app is available for both Android and IOS. The main feature of this service is to transfer money from one person’s checking account to another within minutes with just a few taps on the screen.

There are no transaction fees applied for using Zelle, but some banks may charge a fee when transferring money outside of one’s own bank. However, you must be a customer of one of the supported banks to use this service.

Advantages of using Zelle:

  • Does not require sensitive account information to send money.
  • Do not apply a transaction fee for one’s own bank.
  • Does not have limits on the amount that can be sent or received per day, but some banks may have limits on usage.
  • The main benefit is its ease of use and security of money transfers.
  • Does not require a credit card or debit card to send or receive money.

Disadvantages of using Zelle:

Zelle is very limited on what it can do as a service at this time. Currently, you cannot send money internationally with Zelle — meaning no foreign bank wire transfers; you cannot send money to friends or family that are not customers of the same bank, and you cannot use Zelle for businesses to send money at this time.

When Does Zelle Work Internationally?

Zelle is only currently available for the US banks and will not be working internationally as of now. However, one can use international banking transfers such as MoneyGram to send money internationally.

One can also use their credit card during checkout options to pay for services that offer international payments such as Airbnb or Uber. International Zelle transactions will only be available once the banks and financial institutions around the world start offering this service.

The service is currently working on expanding outside of the United States.

Who can use Zelle?

Anyone that is a customer of one of the supported banks can use Zelle for transactions. The service will require both parties to be customers in order for it to be used successfully.

This ensures a secure transaction without needing to provide bank details or sensitive financial information.

How Does Zelle Work?

Zelle was developed as a service that is integrated into many of the major financial institutions’ apps and websites. To send or receive money, one must be a customer of one of these banks.

There is no need to enter bank information into the Zelle app itself. When sending or receiving money, you will only need the email address or phone number of the person you are sending to.

For example, in order to send $100 to your friend using Zelle, all you would need is their name and phone number. Once sent, it takes minutes for the transaction to complete, whereas most other payment services can take several days to complete.

Is Zelle Safe?

One of the biggest benefits of using Zelle is that it ensures secure payment with no need for financial information or sensitive banking details. When sending or receiving money, you will only need your friend’s name and phone number — not their bank account information.

If someone were to try to hack one’s device, they would not be able to access the sensitive banking or financial information that could harm the user.

Zelle comes with protections against fraudulent payments and unauthorized transactions, so there is no concern about giving out your bank account number or passwords to complete a transaction.

Is Zelle Free?

Zelle uses an email address or phone number for sending and receiving money, but this has no fees. One’s own bank may charge a fee for hosting the service, however.

This is at the discretion of each financial institution so users should check with their banks about any potential fees that they might incur through using Zelle to send or receive money.

Users can also avoid fees by sending money within certain limits of $2000/month or $3000/month. Let’s see some of Zelle’s alternatives and compare them:

What is the difference between Zelle and Venmo?

Zelle was created by Early Warning, whereas Venmo is owned by PayPal; both services are peer-to-peer payment services. Venmo is a free service that allows you to send money from your debit card, credit card, or checking account; however, it only applies to your own accounts with your bank and does not apply if they are not customers of the same bank as you.

Venmo

  • Does allow for international transfers.
  • Does not require being a customer of the same bank to send or receive money.
  • Does apply a transaction fee for sending money outside of one’s own accounts.

Zelle

  • Does not allow for international transfers.
  • Do not apply a transaction fee for sending money outside of one’s own accounts.
  • Does apply a transaction fee when transferring money to or from an account with another bank.

What is the difference between Zelle and Paypal?

Zelle is owned by Early Warning, whereas Paypal is owned by eBay. The main difference between these two services is that Zelle deals with financial institutions while Paypal deals directly with the consumers.

Zelle advantages over PayPal:

  • Does not require you to have a credit or debit card for transactions.
  • Do not apply a transaction fee for sending money to friends and family who are customers of the same bank as you.
  • Do not apply a transaction fee if transferring your own funds from your checking account to another checking account that is with the same bank as you.
  • Does not require any fees on top of transfer balances when using Zelle.
  • Does not apply limits to how much you can tie to your account or have in your account.

Zelle disadvantages over PayPal:

  • Does not allow for international transfers.
  • Does require being a customer of the same bank to send or receive money.
  • Does apply a transaction fee if sending money outside of one’s own accounts.
  • Does apply a transaction fee for sending money to friends and family who are not customers of the same bank as you.
  • Does have limits on what the maximum amount that can be held in your balance or transfer between accounts is either.

What is the difference between Zelle and Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a mobile payment service at ATMs or stores where you can purchase using your bank account or credit cards. However, it can be used for transferring money to friends and family as well.

This service is available for iOS users at POS locations that accept Apple Pay, but the main difference between Zelle and Apple Pay is that you can only transfer money to those who have a debit card associated with their bank accounts.

Zelle:

  • Does require being a customer of the same bank to send or receive money.
  • Does apply a transaction fee for sending money outside of one’s own accounts.
  • Do not apply any fees on top of transfer balances when using Zelle.
  • Do not apply a transaction fee if transferring your own funds from your checking account to another checking account that is with the same bank as you.

Apple Pay:

  • Only transfers money to or from an account with another bank.
  • Does not require being a customer of the same bank to send or receive money.
  • Do not apply a transaction fee for sending money to friends and family.
  • Does apply a transaction fee if transferring your own funds from your checking account.

The Bottom Line

Zelle is currently the quickest and most secure way of transferring money between two people. There are no fees associated with this service for one’s own bank, but some banks may charge a fee when transferring funds to another person’s bank at their discretion.

Transactions on Zelle are carried out within minutes on their network, whereas PayPal transactions can take days to complete. Financial institutions are starting to become more aware of the popularity and security that Zelle provides.

The ease of use is also an important reason for the success of this service. There are barely any steps required for sending or receiving money unlike other services such as Venmo, which usually require additional information about one’s bank accounts, passwords, and a need to link the account.

I lead product content strategy for SaltMoney. Additionally, I’m helping our broader team of 4 evolve into a mature content strategy practice with the right documentation and processes to deliver quality work. Prior to Instacart, I was a content strategy lead at Uber Eats and Facebook. Before that, I was a content strategist at SapientNitro, helping major Fortune 500 brands create better, more useful digital content.

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