Early Warning Services, an Arizona FinTech company, announced Wednesday it distributed $133 billion through its Zelle digital payments network for the first half of the year, according to a press release.
A total of 519 million transactions were made through Zelle during the first six months of 2020, with enrollment growing 17 percent compared to the same period one year ago, the company said.
“Zelle has become an everyday essential for consumers who need to send and receive money fast,” said Lou Anne Alexander, Early Warning’s chief product officer, in the release.
Among the transactions was the Wounded Warrior Project, which distributed more than $8 million to wounded veterans in urgent financial crisis due to the sudden loss of household income from the pandemic. More than 11,000 wounded or ill service members received a $1,000 grant per household to help cover their immediate needs for food and shelter, the release stated.
Sender usage, customers who have sent a payment in the past three months, increased by 43 percent year over year. In addition, payment transaction values increased by 60 percent compared to 2019, while payment transaction volume increased by 63 percent, Early Warning said in the release.
Small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have also begun using Zelle to accept payments from customers. The release stated that seven financial institutions have made Zelle available to their SMB clients, including Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Frost Bank, FirstBank, Morgan Stanley and U.S. Bank.
Using Zelle allows SMBs to have a record of payments received and lets SMBs pay employees via the network, according to the release.
"Zelle offers many benefits to consumers, small businesses and people in need of disbursements, which was especially important during the first half of the year when critical sectors of the economy were impacted,” said Ravi Loganathan, chief analytics officer at Early Warning, in the release.
In January, before the pandemic, Zelle reported its payments increased 76 percent year over year in the fourth quarter of 2019. During the quarter, consumers made 95 million payments worth $23.8 billion using Zelle.