Recently I was asked why I had drifted away from using Paypal, Venmo and similar payment services to collect payments from my clients.

One simple reason: Zelle.

Zelle is a money transfer service free to customers of participating banks.

Zelle sends the recipient a text or email indicating there’s a payment waiting for them, along with a link to accept it. If the recipient’s bank is a participating partner, the recipient simply needs to register for the service through their bank’s website or mobile app with an email address or phone number.

Zelle payments are typically available within minutes. (The first payment may take longer as it requires registration by the participants and establishing the handshake between the two party’s banks.)

Both parties to a Zelle money transfer need to be registered with Zelle or with a participating banking partner. Unlike PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay or other such services, there is no charge by Zelle to either sender or receiver if both parties banks subscribe to the Zelle service.

Examples of Banks offering Zelle service include:

  • Ally Bank

  • Bank of America

  • Bank of Hawaii

  • Bank of the West

  • BB&T

  • BECU

  • Capital One

  • Citi

  • Citizens Bank

  • Comerica Bank

  • ConnectOne Bank

  • Dollar Bank

  • Fifth Third Bank

  • FirstBank

  • First Tech Federal Credit Union

  • First Tennessee Bank

  • First National Bank

  • Frederick County Bank

  • Frost Bank

  • HomeStreet Bank

  • JP Morgan Chase

  • KeyBank

  • M&T Bank

  • MB Financial Bank

  • Morgan Stanley

  • PNC Bank

  • SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

  • Star One Credit Union

  • SunTrust Bank

  • TD Bank

  • USAA

  • U.S. Bank

  • Wells Fargo

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