Zelle Users Made Nearly $500B in Payments in 2021


Zelle users sent 1.8 billion payments last year totaling $490 billion, the firm’s parent company said in a news release Wednesday (Feb. 2).

According to Early Warning Services, those figures represented a 49% increase in the number of payments from the year before, and a 59% rise in the amount of payments.

Meanwhile, payments received by businesses such as property managers, contractors and health and beauty providers rose 162% from the previous year. In addition, Fortune 500 companies, universities and national non-profits used Zelle to disburse funds to the public as an alternative to sending checks.

Read more: Payment Firm Zelle’s YoY Sent Payment Values Increased by 51% for Q3

“Since its launch in 2017, Zelle has rapidly grown to become the largest U.S. P2P payments network by total payments value sent, with payment flows that are now twice the size of the next largest standalone competitor,” said Talie Baker, strategic advisor with Aite-Novarica’s retail banking and payments practice.

“While the market has seen tremendous growth, Zelle is leading the way in total payment value and in record time. A testament that if financial institutions build it, they will come,” Baker said.

Read more: Zelle® on Keeping Transactions Secure and Compelling as Digital Payments, Identity Converge

PYMNTS spoke last year with Sean Loosli, head of consumer and small business payments at Zelle, about the challenges facing payment platforms face as they work to offer frictionless, trustworthy transaction environment.

He argued that educating consumers about the security risks connected to digital transactions is as crucial as providing exceptional customer experience, which is why Zelle has invested heavily in tools to teach customers how to avoid being scammed.

The platform works with the nonprofit Cybercrime Support Network to educate consumers and small businesses on financial fraud and scams. Zelle also uses in-app notifications to remind consumers to pause and confirm the recipient before issuing a payment.

“We remind consumers that, when you send money with Zelle, the money moves in minutes from one bank account to another,” Loosli said. “We recommend only sending money to those you know and trust, treating payments like cash and being aware of ‘too-good-to-be true’ offers.”