Zelle Tops 1 Billion Transactions in the Past 12 Months

When it comes to peer to peer payments, often times FinTechs such as Venmo, Square Cash, and others come to mind. Yet, one competitor has managed to grow without much fanfare: Zelle. Now, Early Warning Services, LLC (the network operator behind Zelle) announced that the service recently achieved a major milestone.

According to Zelle, the platform processed more than one billion transactions between September 2019 and September 2020. That milestone-breaking total also marked a 17% year-over-year increase. The accomplishment also came thanks in part to the 323 million transactions processed between July and September, which represented an 18% rise over the previous quarter. In total, $84 billion was sent on the platform during the third quarter of the year.

Other notable numbers come from Zelle’s business payments division. According to the company, more than $4.5 billion in payments were sent to small businesses during the third quarter — an increase of 30%. Currently seven financial institutions — including Bank of America, Chase, Citi, and others — offer Zelle network services to their small business clients. 

On the other end of things, businesses sent nearly half a billion dollars to consumers using Zelle’s Disbursements feature. This service allows businesses to send funds via Zelle for everything from refunds to payroll. Anecdotally, Disbursements with Zelle was also used by the non-profit Wounded Warrior Project to distribute $1,000 grants to more than 11,000 service members.

In a press release announcing the achievement, Early Warning Services CEO Al Ko stated, “We continue to grow our network, welcoming financial institutions of all sizes. Today, more than 1,000 banks and credits unions are currently contracted to participate on the Zelle Network, including 731 that are live today and processing transactions.” Ko continued, “Zelle is available to more than 140 million consumers in their mobile banking apps or in the Zelle app, and is used for the most important life essentials such as sending contactless payments to local businesses and money to friends and family in need.” Additionally, Early Warning’s Chief Product Officer Lou Anne Alexander explained, “Zelle has become an everyday essential for consumers who need to send and receive money fast. Consumers across all generations have embraced Zelle during these challenging times as a contact-free way to safely exchange funds.”

It’s not hard to imagine that at least part of Zelle’s recent growth can be attributed to the changing landscape at the hands of the pandemic. For example, with more small businesses taking their operations online, it only makes sense that digital payments would also increase. Of course, this trend is likely to continue as contactless payments grow in popularity. All of this means that, as large as the Zelle Network may be now, it seems poised to only grow larger and larger.

Also published on Medium.


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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