Zelle P2P network zooms past Venmo

The American bank-backed Zelle network processed 170 million person-to-person payments last year boasting an aggregate transaction volume of $55 billion, more than double that of PayPal-owned rival Venmo.

Run by Early Warning for its owners – Bank of America, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Capital One and US Bank – Zelle lets users send funds directly from their bank accounts to the recipients’ using only an email address or mobile phone number.

The network now has 20 banks and credit unions onboard, and is poised to reach 85 million people through member apps this year. So far Bank of America, US Bank, and Wells Fargo have already embedded aspects of Zelle within their mobile apps, and more network banks are scheduled to launch in the second quarter.

The transaction figures demonstrate the power of big-bank backing. While Venmo has established itself as the most talked about P2P payments service in the US, its standalone app processed just $17.6 billion last year.

Thong Nguyen, president, retail banking at Bank of America., BofA, says: “With Zelle, we’ll collectively reach more US bank consumers than any other person-to-person payments network and deliver a faster, safer and easier payments experience that will enable our customers to live more convenient financial lives.”