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How Does Zelle Make Money

How Does Zelle Make Money

Ever pondered how payment companies like Zelle make money? Fees linked to account transfers, plus loan interest rates – there’s a truckload of money to make in this sector.

Want to know how Zelle earns its cash? Here’s the scoop on the factors that impact its profits. Learn exactly how Zelle makes money now!

Introduction to Zelle

Zelle is an easy and secure way to send money straight between almost all American bank accounts. It is usually quick, with transfers to and from participating banks taking only minutes. It is a cool way to transfer money to family, friends, or anyone with a bank account. Money sent with Zelle is not protected by the FDIC like other banking services, so how does it make money?

The answer is fees charged to financial institutions. For example, Bank of America charges retailers 30 cents per transfer when using Zelle. Then, these fees go to Early Warning Services (EWS), the company that runs Zelle and provides data-driven solutions for financial institutions and businesses.

In addition to its normal fee structure, EWS also has partnerships with big companies such as Walmart. This gives customers the option to use Zelle for online purchases, and EWS gets revenue from such companies. Plus, if the transfer is done via Zelle, Walmart guarantees the payment.

How Zelle Works

Zelle simplifies transferring money from one bank account to another. You don’t have to use a third party processor or write and mail a paper check. Partner banks like Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, and Wells Fargo pay fees for Zelle.

If you register and use Zelle within your own bank, you don’t pay a fee. Sending money outside your own bank may have a fee, depending on your terms with the financial institution.

Optional services like fraud protection and priority handling cost extra. These services protect you against unauthorized transfers and make payments arrive faster.

Zelle’s Business Model

Zelle’s digital payment solution links people and businesses to their bank accounts or mobile wallets. They can send and receive money quickly and safely, without using physical money or checks.

Zelle makes money by charging network fees. This is usually when someone uses Zelle to pay, like if a customer settles money via a mobile app or online banking platform. The fees are split between the banks in the service and Zelle. By late 2020, Zelle processed over 100 million payments monthly. And experts estimated their yearly income from network fees was around $200 million USD.

In addition to network fees, Zelle also profits from collaborations with companies like Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, PayPal and Google Pay. They have their own digital payment platforms. Both partners make money from each transaction processed through the services. By partnering with these companies, Zelle has more customers, which helps them expand their business and increase their total revenue.

Zelle’s Revenue Streams

Zelle is a digital payment platform owned by Early Warning Services. It lets users send money securely, quickly and conveniently between debit card accounts within the US. Zelle earns money from fees on transactions, fees for transactions from other banks’ debit cards, fees for app initiated transactions, and various other payments and services.

Transaction Fees: Zelle charges a fee for processing transactions when users send money to and from accounts located at debit card partner banks.

App Initiated Transaction Fees: A fee is charged when users initiate payments using their personal funding account associated with the Zelle app. They can do this by linking an external bank or payment account to their profile, or by uploading funds directly using a linked credit/debit card. The fee size depends on transaction size and account used.

Courier Services Fees: Zelle also offers courier services. Customers can pay cash-in/cash-out at designated locations. Funds can also be delivered via e-wallet with partner banks. Courier services vary from bank to bank, and fees may apply based on geographic location. Some banks also charge fees on bigger denomination transactions that require traceable cash transfers.

Other Revenues: Zelle earns interest income, revenue from merchant payments, tax preparation services, origination loan fees, etc. It also gets revenue from merchant discount sharing, joint marketing opportunities, EDI revenue, software licensing agreements, set-up/activation fees, identity verification/authentication charges, insurance products, and receivables management credits.

Zelle’s Partnerships

Zelle earns money via collaborations with financial organizations. It has joined forces with banks, credit unions, and mobile apps. Therefore, Zelle is paid a fee when transactions are done through its service.

Subsequently, Zelle has created extra services such as cash payment management, loyalty programs, and merchant commerce options. It also offers promotional campaigns for its partners, plus awards to users that regularly use its service.

Thus, financial organizations can cost-effectively increase user participation and provide extra convenience to customers.

Zelle’s Growth and Expansion

Zelle is a massive mobile banking and payments network, with 86 million US users! It makes money by charging fees to businesses that use its services. For example, companies have to pay a fee to pay their employees through Zelle.

Zelle also earns income from lending out customer deposits at interest rates. In 2020, consumer loan originations grew by 30%.

B2B transactions such as payroll services or supplier payments are also popular on Zelle. Companies can access fee-based APIs or use whitelabel versions of Zelle’s services. Big companies like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America back up this platform, allowing for effortless expansion in 2021 and beyond.

Zelle’s Advantages and Disadvantages

Zelle is a digital payments network created by banks such as Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. It allows users to send money quickly and securely between accounts. To understand how Zelle makes money, ask yourself if it’s the most cost-effective for your business.


  • Quick Transfer: Money sent through Zelle can arrive in minutes, depending on banks’ processing time.
  • No Fees: Zelle does not charge fees for transfers, making it a great option for those who need to move money without high costs.
  • Secure: Banks participating in the network have verification protocols, making transactions secure.


  • Limited Availability: Not all U.S. banks use Zelle, so you may not be able to transfer money from some banks.
  • No Buyer Protection: No intermediaries are involved, so there is no buyer protection guarantee if something goes wrong with a transaction made through Zelle.


Zelle’s income comes from transaction fees and service charges. Fees depend on the bank or processor, as well as the type of transaction. Also, Zelle earns money from partnerships with other companies. Plus, Zelle likely shows ads on its website or app.

Though it’s hard to tell exactly how much Zelle makes yearly, its profit from transaction fees alone is healthy. As Zelle keeps expanding its user base and working with more companies, we may understand its revenue better.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q1: How Does Zelle Make Money?

A1: Zelle makes money by charging a fee to financial institutions for access to its money transfer network.

Q2: How Can I Use Zelle?

A2: Consumers can use Zelle to transfer money from their bank account to another person’s bank account. The service is available through most major banks and credit unions in the US.

Q3: Is Zelle Safe?

A3: Yes, Zelle is a safe and secure way to send and receive money. Transactions are protected by bank-level encryption and require users to verify their identity with a unique passcode.