A zest for Zelle drives early adoption at 2 credit unions

Members at UWCU and First Tech are digging the digital disbursements available through the big banks’ P2P play.

Only five minutes had passed when the first member of the University of Wisconsin Credit Union ($2.8B, Madison, WI) used the cooperative’s new Zelle person-to-person payments offering.

That was on Jan. 24 this year, and by the end of March, more than 13,000 members had used Zelle through the UWCU app or website, moving nearly $4 million through approximately 15,000 transactions, says Eric Bangerter, UWCU’s vice president of e-commerce.

Those 13,000 or so members represent 6.5% of the credit union’s online banking base, but that’s a pretty good adoption number considering the real marketing doesn’t begin until this summer, Bangerter says.

Right now, Zelle exists as an unadvertised menu option on the credit union’s website and app. An indication of how receptive the audience is: Bangerter says about 3,000 members signed up as new users recently after UW simply added a popup screen about it on its website.


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