Sen. Blumenthal says financial institutions must take responsibility for Zelle fraud

Democrat charges Zelle evades any role in helping defrauded consumers

Financial institutions must assume more responsibility for helping people who are defrauded by Zelle and other peer-to-peer payment systems, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Investigations Subcommittee said Tuesday.

“The banks of America have a dirty little secret,” he said, as he opened a hearing focusing on Zelle and allegations of fraud. Zelle and the financial institutions that participate in the Zelle Network contend that there is little they can do when someone is a victim of fraud.

“By the time a consumer knows that they’ve been scammed, it’s too late to do anything about it,” Blumenthal said.

Zelle, the largest peer-to-peer payment service, is owned by the nation’s largest banks but it is used by credit unions, community banks and minority depository institutions. In a letter to the subcommittee, Jim Nussle, president/CEO of America’s Credit Unions pointed out that those institutions comprise more than 95% of the financial institutions that participate in the Zelle Network.


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