Zelle continues to battle Venmo in person-to-person payments

Two years into its existence, bank-owned Zelle mobile payments service has picked up momentum. It has enough banks and credit unions contracted now that three out of five checking account holders will be able to make P2P payments from their banking accounts via smart phones.

Zelle, the bank-owned response to PayPal’s Venmo person-to-person mobile payment service, Square Cash, and others, continues to grow by long strides since its launch in 2017.

Early Warning Services, the network that operates Zelle, announced that in the second quarter 2019 it hit total payment value of $44 billion, spread over 171 million transactions. The payments dollar value represents an increase of almost 13% over the first quarter 2019 and an increase of 56% over the year-earlier quarter.

Year-over-year the transaction volume rose by 71%. This means that the average transaction on Zelle fell in the second quarter to about $257, about 8% lower than the $281 of second quarter 2018. And that is seen positively. Payments experts take the decline as a sign that Zelle is steadily being used for smaller and smaller payments, rather than just larger P2P transactions like rent payments.


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