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Established in 2017, Zelle is an online payment platform created by Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Wells Fargo & Co. Zelle app has around 924 banks participating in its payment networks, facilitating $307 billion in payments.

This amazing Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payment network provides fast, secure, and simple payment facilities that enable users to send and receive money with a tap.

As per the reports, in 2021 Zelle app made a transfer record of $307 billion in around 1.2 billion transactions. The revenue is expected to increase 2x more times in the coming time.

Today, Zelle is giving tough competition to other e-wallet apps like PayPal, Venmo, etc. As a result, businesses plan to develop apps like Zelle to take their business to the next level.

If you are also planning to build Zelle app, read this blog once. It will help you know everything about the Zelle business model, including how Zelle works, how Zelle makes money, and more.


What Is Zelle App?


What Is Zelle App?


Zelle® app is a fast and secure digital payment gateway to send and receive money from people and small businesses holding a bank account in the US. A fintech company, Early Warning Services LLC, owns the Zelle app. The company has office set-up at multiple locations, such as – Chicago, San Francisco, and Scottsdale.

Users of the Zelle application can easily transfer funds to anyone using the platform directly from their bank accounts. But, only the US residents holding banks that are a part of the Zelle network can utilize this e-wallet app. Once registered, users can start the transactions online. Zelle is powered by – MasterCard Send and Visa Direct payment rails.

Although the e-wallet app Venmo was one of the popular applications with a larger user base, the invention of Zelle gained immense popularity due to its fast and secure payment services. Its popularity and success raised the demand for e-wallet app development in today’s time.

Still, a lot of business owners wonder how Zelle makes money. Are you too one of them? Refer to the next section.


How Does Zelle App Works?

The working process of the Zelle app works similarly to other types of e-wallet apps. So, using Zelle is straightforward. Let’s look at the process of how Zelle works and make money. 


Step 1 – Download the Zelle App

First, download the Zelle app to get started with digital payment. If your bank or credit union does not offer Zelle® yet, download the Zelle® app.


Step 2 – Fill in the Details

Once you download the Zelle app, enter your email address and phone number to access the application. Make sure you have a US number; then, you can log in to the Zelle application. As you enter the details, you will be redirected to the Zelle home page and begin the online payment process.


Step 3 – Pick Someone to Pay

Now, you can find your friends, family, or businesses to send and receive money with just a tap. While using this app, users can easily send money to anyone with a US bank account.


Step 4 – Choose the Amount to Send

Enter the amount you want to send. Now, the receiver already has a Zelle app, and the money will go directly into the bank account, or they will get a notification explaining how to receive money.


Step 5 – Enjoy Hassle-Free Payment

Tadaaa!!! Now, you can get an extremely fast and secure online payment experience.


So, this is how the Zelle app works and help users enable users to exchange money smoothly while allowing businesses to earn huge profit. Now, you might be wondering how Zelle makes money. Right? Keep calm and scroll down ⬇️


How to Send & Receive Money with Zelle App?

Now that you are already well-versed in how Zelle works, the next question that’ll strike your mind is how to send money with Zelle or how to receive money with Zelle. Isn’t it? Well, here is a step-by-step process.



For  Senders

Step 1: Open the Zelle app

Step 2: Log in to the application

Step 3: Tap on “Send Money”

Step 4: Choose the person you want to send money

Step 5: Enter the email ID of the recipient

Step 6: Type the amount and click “Next”

Step 7: Enter the reason specifying “What this is for”

Step 8: Click on the “Send” button

For Receivers 

Step 1: Open your email ID and tap the link in the payment notification

Step 2: Choose your bank or credit union

Step 3: Follow onscreen instructions to receive payment

How Zelle App Makes Money?

Zelle app makes money by facilitating payments with banks. But, as the application does not charge a fee, it generates no direct revenue and is developed to save banks money.

Such P2P applications charge a certain amount from the banks; thus, keeping all the transactions in-house reduces the cost significantly.

Moreover, it enables the banking and finance sectors to avail profit from a general shift toward a cashless culture. This is how Zelle App makes money and allows businesses to experience better profit in less time.

The app also provides indirect income for a group of banks with access to 100 million users in the USA.

The best thing about the Zelle app is that the concept has grown to be the largest peer-to-peer app service in the USA, with over 743 million transactions totaling $187 billion. As per the research, even the Zelle owner, Early Warning Services LLC, gets paid by participating banks to maintain network integrity.

Customers can use the Zelle app at a cost which means it is free to use. The bank issuing the card will receive a portion of the sales if the retailer pays Mastercard or Visa a 1% fee. In addition, it enables collaborating bank institutions to make money through affiliate commissions and referral fees. We hope it is clear to you how Zelle makes money and benefited businesses for decades.


Zelle Business Model


Who Are The Top Competitors of the Zelle App?

Zelle is a P2P online payment app enabling users to transfer money free of charge. But, there are other e-wallet applications and payment apps available that are giving tough competition to Zelle. Want to know the Zelle app alternatives? Have a look at the 5 popular apps like Zelle.


1. Venmo



Founded In – 2009

App Founders – Andrew Kortina, Iqram Magdon-Ismail

Headquarters – New York City, New York


Venmo is one of the toughest competitors of the Zelle app. However, within just a few months of its launch, the application attracted over 25,000 users. It is quite an impressive number. Isn’t it? This amazing hike led Braintree to acquire Venmo for $26.2 million in August 2012.

A year later, Venmo was again acquired by PayPal for $800 million in Sept. 2013. Since then, the Venmo application has been under PayPal. Besides being the best P2P payment gateway, the Venmo app allows users to send emojis, GIFs, and more. As a result, more and more businesses started planning to develop an app like Venmo for their business and reap more benefits.


2. Cash App



Founded In – 2013

App Founder – Block (formerly Square)

Headquarters – San Francisco, California


Created by Block (formerly known as Square), Cash App is the third most popular P2P payment application in the USA. Twitter’s Co-founder, Jack Dorsey, founded the Venmo app, which later launched in Oct. 2013. This digital payment app allows users to send money using an email app. In 2015, Square added functionality to pay businesses via Cash App.

Since the application started gaining immense popularity, more businesses started searching, “How to build mobile payment app like Cash App?” and started looking forward to hiring dedicated developers who can develop a similar app.


3. PayPal



Founded In – 1998

App Founder – Elon Musk, Ken Howery, Luke Nosek, Mallikarjun Yagnavajulla, Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, Rod D. Martin, Senthil Udayasooriyan

Headquarters – San Jose, California


PayPal application has revolutionized modern commerce and is used to pay for goods and services online. Around 30 million merchants use the PayPal application and receive payments from approximately 429 million active accounts.

Besides this, PayPal is well-known for allowing users to send money to their families, friends, and more at no cost. It is one of the best features of the PayPal app, due to which more businesses are planning to develop apps like PayPal.


4. Google Pay


Google Pay Logo

Founded In – 2015

App Founder – Google

Headquarters – Mountain View, California


The search engine giant’s response to Apple Pay and Samsung Pay is Google Pay. It introduced Android Pay four years later to enable Android users to make purchases using their phone’s NFC technology. In 2018, Google Wallet and Android Pay would finally be combined to form what is now known as Google Pay. Users can easily send money to other users for free using the Google Pay app, pay for goods and services, understand spending patterns, and earn rewards for regular payments.

The Google Pay app has been downloaded over 500 million times as it is available on both Android and iOS platforms. The cost to develop the Google Pay app is similar to other e-wallet app development processes. Hence, businesses that want to develop an app like Google Pay should know the cost of creating an e-wallet app.


5. Apple Pay


Apple Pay

Founded In – 2014

App Founder – Apple

Headquarters – Cupertino, California


Apple Pay is another great Apple mobile payment service that allows multiple users to pay for goods and services using the device’s NFC technology. Besides paying merchants, Apple Pay enables users to send money to their friends and family via Apple Cash (Only available in the US).

The goal of Apple Pay is to integrate Apple into the lives of its users. It gives Apple another great opportunity to monetize its mobile device.

For instance, the app already profits from interchange and merchant fees for credit cards. Businesses whose majority audience uses Apple devices can think of developing payment apps like Apple Pay.

These are the 5 most popular competitors of the Zelle App that are giving neck-to-neck competition to the Zelle online payment app. Businesses can refer to any of these digital and e-wallet mobile apps as a reference and get a similar app for their business.

What Is the Transfer Limit of Zelle App?

Some ample users keep wondering how much money can be transferred using the Zelle app or what is the limit to transferring an amount via Zelle. To let them know, the transfer limit of your Zelle depends on two major criteria –

  • Firstly, if your bank does not support Zelle, the weekly cap for money transfers is around $500.
  • Secondly, if your bank has partnered with Zelle, you can transfer a huge amount.
  • Also, if we talk about receiving funds via Zelle, there is no certain limit. So, the amount transfer limit completely depends on these two criteria.

Every business owner must be well-versed with the transfer limit criteria of the Zelle app before developing an app. It will help them make the right decision.


Key Takeaways!


  • The first ever Zelle network was launched in 2017 with around 1000 participating banks in its network.
  • Zelle is a P2P (Peer-to-Peer) digital payment network allowing users to send money to their friends, family, and anyone else.
  • Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App are some of the biggest competitors of the Zelle digital payment platform.
  • Zelle app does not generate direct revenue and is developed to save banks money.
  • In 2021, the Zelle app made a transfer record of $307 billion in 1.2 billion transactions.


While reading this blog, you must have understood how the Zelle app has become the talk of the town and has gained immense popularity within very less time. Its tremendous growth has excited so many business owners to develop a Zelle alternative and earn huge profits.

So, if you also desired to develop an app similar to Zelle, we would recommend you get in touch with a leading e-wallet app development company. Its experienced and dedicated developers will better understand your project requirements and help you deliver a perfect digital payment app like Zelle.


Zelle Business Model


Frequently Asked Questions on Zelle App


1. How Much Does It Cost to Develop A P2P Payment App Like Zelle?

With the ever-rising demand for P2P app development, the cost to develop a payment app has also increased. On average, e-wallet app development cost ranges between $50,000 to $100,000 depending on multiple factors.


2. How Much Amount Can I Send Via Zelle Without Any Fees?

Zelle app’s monthly transaction limit is around $1,000/day and at least $5000/month. So, users can transact this much amount without paying any additional fees or charges.


3. Is it Compulsory to Have Zelle Send & Receive Money?

Yes, both the sender and receiver must have a Zelle account to send or receive the amount.


4. Is Zelle Secure?

Yes, the Zelle app is safe and secure for making digital transactions in the US. Moreover, its system is very hassle-free and easy to use.


5. Are There Any Fees to Send Money Using Zelle?

No, Zelle is free of cost. Users’ do not have to pay a fee to send and receive money via Zelle. But, users have to confirm the same with their bank or credit union regarding the additional charges.


6. Who Founded Zelle?

Zelle is a private organization that offers financial services owned by the banks – Bank of America, Capital One, BB&T, PNC Bank, JPMorgan Chase, US Bank, and Wells Fargo.