Competition in the market for mobile P2P payments is about to reach boiling point in the US as bank-backed network Zelle begins its roll out to the banking apps of more than 30 participating financial institutions.
Changing the way money moves, Zelle allows for funds to be sent from one bank account to another in minutes, using only a recipient’s email address or mobile number. It is the banking industry's riposte to the success of interloping competition from the likes of PayPal-owned Venmo.
So far Bank of America, US Bank, and Wells Fargo have already embedded aspects of Zelle within their mobile apps, processing aggregate transaction volume of $55 billion last year, more than double that of rival network Venmo.
The full scale roll out - continuing on a rolling basis over the next twelve months - will see the tag line “Send Money with Zelle” appear within the mobile banking apps of more than 86 million consumers.
Run by bank-owned Early Warning, Zelle has additionally established relationships with payment processors and vendors serving the credit union industry which will extend the range of the programme to community banking institutions across the country. A standalone Zelle app available through Mastercard and Visa is also set to come onstream later this year.
“Fragmentation has been frustrating for consumers. Inconsistent experiences, have made it difficult to send and receive money between banks,” says Paul Finch, Early Warning CEO. “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.”