After watching their customers split the cost of happy hour tabs, share utility bills, pay rent and gift money using third-party P2P payment apps, several banks worked with Early Warning Services, LLC, to find a solution. While most had their own branded payment services, each agreed that creating a payments network with EWS would allow them to compete in the marketplace at a broader scale. In 2017, EWS launched a peer-to-peer payment solution available to be embedded in their banking apps.
Known today as Zelle, the new payments platform intended to unite a fragmented industry around a new standard for fast payments. Different from the fintech apps of the day and possible only through collaboration between financial institutions, money could now flow directly from one bank account to another within minutes for enrolled users.
Fast-forward to today and the impact of the Zelle Network has been enormous. No longer just a handful of banks, the network has grown to include more than 1,800 other banks and credit unions—and 90% of FIs that have signed have assets under $10 billion. Five billion payments totaling nearly $1.5 trillion have flowed through the network, with more than 99.9% of transactions having been sent without any report of fraud or scams.
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