Skip to main content

Look out Venmo! Big banks are coming for you with mobile payment service Zelle

Zelle, the big banks' answer to Venmo, to start rolling out in the U.S.

zelle big banks venmo
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Update: Zelle is finally here. The Venmo competitor will start rolling out to customers in the U.S. over the course of June. 

Well, it certainly took them long enough, but it looks like the largest financial institutions of the United States are finally up to the challenge of challenging Venmo, PayPal, and the other mobile payment services that have long made direct deposits or check writing between friends a thing of the past.

In October, a number of leading banks, regional lenders, and credit unions, including behemoths like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, joined forces and unveiled Zelle, a money-transferring app of their own. And now, Zelle will be rolling out to customers in the U.S. over the course of the next month.

Zelle hopes that it will be able to outpace other payment platforms with its speed. While most transfers made on Venmo or Square Cash take hours or even days to complete (at least, to move money to your actual bank account), Zelle promises to be able to move funds in just minutes.

The app is built on a bank-owned payments network that includes five of the biggest banks in the U.S. (and other financial institutions as well). Using Zelle, customers should be able to send and receive payments to chosen recipients instantaneously … which, of course, sounds very familiar at this point.

The cachet of being associated with nearly 20 of the largest banks in the U.S. may be reason enough for some users to switch. Many of these institutions are now featuring the Zelle name on both their mobile apps and websites.

Big banks already have a built-in user base, one they hope Zelle will further connect. Of course, some banks were a bit further ahead of the game, and had previously established their own digital payment services. Chase, for example, has JPMorgan’s Quick Pay, but as Fortune reports, the plan is to “use the Zelle name prominently alongside their established names as Zelle catches on.”

“Fragmentation has been frustrating for consumers. Inconsistent experiences, have made it difficult to send and receive money between banks,” said Paul Finch, CEO, Early Warning Services, in a statement about Zelle’s launch. “Zelle unites the financial community behind a single, real-time P2P payments experience for millions of consumers. Together, we are removing friction from finance, allowing money to move seamlessly between accounts in minutes. This revolution in money movement will create for consumers a viable alternative to checks and cash.”

You can check out a full list of Zelle’s partner institutions here.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
The best iPhone 15 Plus cases in 2023: 11 best ones right now
iPhone 15 color family includes: Black, Green, Blue, Yellow, and Pink.

One of Apple’s latest and greatest, the iPhone 15 Plus, is finally here. Announced at Apple's big iPhone 15 event, the iPhone 15 Plus gives you a huge 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with Dynamic Island, an A16 Bionic chip for fast performance, and a powerful dual-camera system with a 48MP wide and 12MP ultrawide lenses. It has also ditched Lightning for USB-C, and it comes in five fun colors this year.

But considering that the iPhone 15 Plus still starts at a hefty $899 for the base model, that’s some pricey glass and aluminum. You definitely want to protect your investment, and one of the easiest ways to do so is with a good case. Here are some of the best iPhone 15 Plus cases you can buy right now.

Read more
Is this our first look at the Google Pixel 8a?
Side by side images of a reported Google Pixel 8a.

In May, there were reports that the Google Pixel 7a could be the last of Google's budget-friendly Pixel A smartphone series. Despite the series' success, it was believed that the 7a would be the last one. However, a recent post on X, formerly known as Twitter, by @yabhishekhd has sparked new rumors that there might actually be a Google Pixel 8a after all.

The tweet includes hands-on images of the supposed Google Pixel 8a, which is indeed interesting. The leak comes several months before any new Pixel A series would likely be released. The current Google Pixel 7a was only released this past May.

Read more
Hurry — OnePlus 11 just dropped to its cheapest-ever price
Angled view of OnePlus 11 Marble Odyssey Edition.

Amazon has some great phone deals for anyone who's been keen to buy a OnePlus 11 in recent times. Both the 8GB/128GB and the 16GB/256GB models have been reduced for a limited time only. The 8GB/128GB model is down to $600 with a $100 saving from $700, while the 16GB/256GB model is down to $650 reduced from $800 so you save $150 off the usual price. Anyone interested to learn more should keep reading. Alternatively, simply hit the respective buy button below if you know this is the one for you.

Why you should buy the OnePlus 11
The OnePlus 11 is a return to form for the company. It has an eye-catching design with its smooth glass, unusually shaped camera module, and a textured alert slider that makes it feel more tactile than most of the best phones around. It's slim and lightweight too which is always good to see, even if it does offer only IP64 water resistance and isn't particularly durable.

Read more