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How to use the Zelle for digital payments

What is Zelle and should you use it to transfer money in and out of your bank accounts? Zelle is a digital payment system that is owned by several US banks. It allows a customer to transfer money almost instantly to another person’s account. 

Zelle is used through your existing bank account at a participating bank or credit union. With Zelle you can send money to another person just using their email address or their phone number. If your banking institution doesn’t participate with Zelle QuickPay, then you can download the app to your smartphone.

Since more and more people are moving away from carrying or using cash, digital payment systems have grown in popularity. 

It is now just as easy to pay a friend with your smartphone as it is with cash.

Setting Up Zelle QuickPay

Zelle can be set up by using the mobile or online banking site of your financial institution or through the app.

Link your bank account to your email address or mobile number.

Once you have an account associated with Zelle, you can send or receive money with an email address or phone number. 

You no longer need to get a person’s routing or account number.

You can also link it between your accounts at two different financial institutions should you can move money instantly. 

What are the participating banks using Zelle?

Most of the major banks are using Zelle along with many credit unions. The first banks to use the system were the ones that own the company that runs Zelle. Here is a list of the top banks that allow their customers to use Zelle:

Bank of America

Wells Fargo

Capital One

US Bank

Citibank

TD Bank

There are many others and more are being added every year. Check with your bank or credit union first to see if they use Zelle or will in the future.

Can I use Zelle through my computer

Zelle Quickpay is meant to be convenient and primarily used from your smartphone. However, if you don’t feel comfortable transferring money through your phone, you can use your computer. You can transfer money using Zelle through your bank’s website. 

You can only use Zell through your computer if your bank is participating with Zelle. If not, then you will have to use the app from a smartphone.

Benefits

One of the things I like about Zelle is the speed of transfer. Let’s say I am at dinner with a bunch of friends and none of us have cash.

Instead of splitting the bill across multiple credit cards, I volunteer to put the payment on my card. I then receive money from everyone at the table within minutes through Zelle. 

It is especially helpful when I am traveling abroad. If I or my companion doesn’t have enough local currency on hand we settle up using Zelle Quickpay.

Since Zelle is owned by major banks and there are no fees to use Zelle. This is a plus, in my opinion, to use it over other digital payment systems.

Even if your bank or credit union is not a participant on Zelle, you just download the Zelle app. You add your debit card and you are ready to receive or send payments. 

I primarily use Zelle as a way to receive payments from my tenants. Payments are easy to track because they go right into my account. I no longer have to cash a paper check ( my shredder is happy about this lol) 

I’m all for limiting the amount of paper that comes into my life.

Is Zelle Quickpay Safe?

When dealing with digital payments, most people are concerned about theft or fraud. A major question is if Zelle is safe to use because the payments are almost instantaneous?

For the most part, yes. There are security checks put in place to limit the amount of loss. However, Zelle is very tempting for hackers to use to transfer money illegally out of your account. 

Gone are the days when you had to wait 3-5 days for a check to clear. With digital payments, you can have the money in your account in as little as 1 minute. 

Remember, digital payments are meant to replace the usage of cash from person to person. 

Since the money is moved so fast, you need to be vigilant and aware of the debit from your accounts. 

Scammers do their best to get access so that they can transfer money quickly out of unsuspecting accounts. 

Fraud and Zelle QuickPay

I can’t stress enough to verify the identity of the person you are sending money to using Zelle. Zelle is not a service that comes automatically with a bank account. The process needs to be set up. Just because a person is banking with one of the banks that offer Zelle QuickPay, doesn’t mean they use Zelle at the moment.

Scammers have used several common tricks to take money out of accounts. As Zelle has grown in popularity so have the fraud complaints. The speed at which the transaction takes place along with zero fees makes Zelle Quickpay a very tempting target.

Mobile Numbers

When sending money to another person’s account you should verify if their mobile number is registered through Zelle. A scammer could register that mobile number and link it to their bank account. The money would never enter the account of the person you intended to send it to. 

It is next to impossible to get your bank to send the money back because you initiated the transaction. It is your duty to verify the information with the recipient first.

Digital Payments should be treated like cash. You do not have the same protections with digital payment systems/cash apps like you do with credit cards. 

Don’t use Zelle or any digital payment service to pay a stranger online. Unless you have what you want to purchase in front of you, don’t pay for it first.

Think of it like handing cash to someone and letting them walk away before getting what you paid for.

Banks will not reimburse your money if you initiated the payment from your account. Don’t fall for the okey-doke. A stranger online is still a stranger, even if they give you an email address or a phone number.

However, if a scammer gets access to your account, banks are obligated to pay you back. Cybercrimes using cash apps are up so you need to be aware. When money is moved out of your account without permission, you are entitled to repayment under the Electronic Funds Transfer Act.

As a user of the service, there are 2 noticeable safety measures that I have come across. 

Transfer limit

There is a limit on how much money you can transfer with Zelle between accounts in a day. The daily and monthly limit varies by bank. On average, the daily rate is $1,500. From my own experience, I have seen the daily amount vary between $2,000 -$2,500. 

However, when it is above $2,000 you may have to wait a few days for the rest of the money. For example, you want to transfer $2,400. The first $2,000 will move over in a matter of minutes. The remaining $400 will arrive in the recipient’s account within 3 days. 

This helps to mitigate some of the damage if you are tricked or mistakenly send money to another account. 

The downside is that it requires the user to plan ahead. You must combine Zelle with another payment method when the limit is lower than what you want to transfer.

Double verification of the recipient

Since you can transfer money by using an email address or mobile phone number, Zelle asks you to verify if the information is correct.

If you initiate the transfer and put in the wrong information, then you will not get your money back (unless the person is a decent human being).

In the past, I have had someone intend to send money to me but instead sent it to someone with a similar name.

The person on the receiving end honored the request to send the money back, but they didn’t have to comply. 

Do yourself a favor and double check the information of the person you are sending money to verbally or written. Or you can have them send you a text and just use that mobile number for the payment.

Zelle Quickpay vs Venmo

Another popular digital payment service is Venmo. I have experience using both but I tend to like Zelle more. 

Both services place a limit on how much you can move. However, there is a time lag to receive your money through Venmo.

With Zelle, I can receive payment under 5 mins. With Venmo it can take a couple of days for the money to reach my actual bank account. 

You can authorize Venmo to pay you the money instantly but they will charge you a fee. 

I don’t know about you but, I have a problem when a fee is applied to my money.

The only reason you are charged a fee is that financial institutions, use your money during the transfer period. 

They make money on your money in the stock market while you are waiting for it to hit your account. It is part of the business of banking. 

Additionally, Venmo is not owned by the banks. Venmo is owned by Paypal. Due to this fact, to send or receive money through Venmo, each party has to have the app.

Venmo is a third party so the setup process is less convenient.

Since the larger banks use Zelle, it is more likely that the person you are dealing with has direct access to Zelle Quickpay. 

The setup of the process and money exchange can happen before the bill comes to the table or before the conversation ends.

Conclusion

If you are like me and never have cash on hand, Zelle makes paying easier.

I hope you gained some clarity on using Zelle Quickpay after reading this post. Zelle along with other digital payment systems have been game-changers for me because they are so easy to use.

I was initially against using my phone as a means to pay or receive money but I have come around. 

I hope you found the content in the post valuable and consider using new methods of payments. We only write about the things we have experience with and hope to give you insight that you wouldn’t find.  

If you found this post useful, please consider subscribing to the Wealth Twins email list. We discuss ways to improve your money management and reach financial independence.

How to use the Zelle to transfer money

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