Zelle Processes $39B In Q1


Digital payment company Zelle sent $39 billion through its network on 147 million transactions during the first quarter of this year, the company said in a news release.

Early Warning Services LLC, which is the network operator behind the company, announced the Q1 news on Wednesday (April 24). Payment values went up 54 percent year over year, and payment volume increased 72 percent.

“This past quarter Zelle achieved several milestones toward our goal of nationwide ubiquity,” said Lou Anne Alexander, group president of payments solutions at Early Warning. “Our core processor partners have achieved tremendous results, signing more than a hundred and thirty banks and credit unions in Q1. In addition, our new marketing campaign was launched, tapping into everyday use cases of Zelle, designed to drive deeper knowledge and relevance with consumers.”

The Zelle network is used by upwards of 5,391 financial institutions, either through a mobile banking app or by registering a debit card with Zelle’s app.

Zelle has also been touting an ad campaign called “Everyday Better,” to highlight person-to-person (P2P) payments.

“Although digital P2P adoption first caught on with millennials, adoption of P2P services continues to rise among all generations. The Everyday Better campaign from Zelle highlights situations that appeal to a broad spectrum of people, tapping into moments everyone can relate to, such as graduation, rent, birthdays, brunch, and family reunions,” the company said. “The campaign continues to use bright colors, quirky humorous characters and fun memorable lines that demonstrate an alternative to using cash or checks.”

Zelle also had a fortuitous fourth quarter, along with Venmo. In Q4, Venmo posted an 80 percent spike in transaction volume, hitting $19 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to PayPal’s most recent financial earnings release. When it came to total P2P volume, including transfers sent through the core PayPal service, the Q4 volume hit $39 billion.

That last figure was ahead of Zelle’s reported payment volume of $35 billion during the fourth quarter of 2018, but there’s a hitch to that — that $39 billion was for the entire PayPal network, not just Venmo for that quarter.

Meanwhile, for the full year 2018, Zelle had $119 billion worth of payments via 433 million transactions. The Zelle network includes “229 financial institutions [FIs] — 60 of which are live and processing transactions,” according to Early Warning Services. Those institutions serve some 100 million customers.