Are you in charge of collecting money from your siblings for your parent’s anniversary gift? Did you buy concert tickets for you and a friend and want them to reimburse you? Do you need to pay the neighborhood teen who watched your dog while you were on your summer vacation or traveling abroad? In situations like these between family members and friends, you can send or request money using the person-to-person (P2P) mobile payment app Zelle®.
Zelle® was created by some of the nation’s largest financial institutions as a way for people to safely and quickly transfer money electronically between all U.S. financial institutions. Many banks and credit unions (including Quorum), now offer Zelle® within their mobile banking apps.
Zelle® is free to use and transfers the money directly from one individual to the other without going through a third-party site, making Zelle® transactions safe and unbelievably fast.
How to access and enroll in Zelle®
As long as your financial institution partners with Zelle, you have access to it through your mobile banking app, where you’ll find it as an option within the Pay or Transfer function. The first time you select Zelle®, it will ask you to enroll your email or phone number. Once you do, you’ll get a notice indicating that you’re ready to use Zelle®.
If your financial institution doesn’t partner with Zelle, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it. You just need to download the standalone Zelle® app onto your mobile device.
How to send money with Zelle®
Imagine this: Minutes after returning from a weekend getaway, your neighborhood dog sitter shows up at your door with your very excited Golden Retriever and an extended hand awaiting their hard-earned payment. You don’t need to leave them hanging until you can get to the ATM. Instead, you can send the payment right then and there via Zelle® through your mobile banking app, and they’ll receive the money within minutes in most cases.
Although every financial institution’s mobile platform works differently, you can follow these general steps to send your first Zelle® transfer once you’ve logged onto your mobile banking app and enrolled:
- Go to Pay or Transfer
- Select Zelle®.
- Choose Send.
- If the person is already in your contacts, select access contacts.
- Scroll to the person’s name that you want to send money to and select them.
- When it pulls up their information, click continue.
- If the person isn’t in your contacts, enter their name and phone number or email address.
- Zelle will ask you to double-check that you’ve selected the right person. If so, click continue.
- Choose the amount you want to send and the bank account you want to use.
- Review everything to make sure it’s correct.
- Hit Send.
If your recipient hasn’t enrolled in Zelle® yet, that’s not a problem as long as they have a bank account in the U.S. Once you send money to them via Zelle®, they will get a notification telling them how to enroll and receive their money by entering their phone number or email address and the debit card to which they want the money deposited.
How to request money with Zelle®
Requesting money for concert tickets from a friend or for your parent’s anniversary gift from your siblings is just as quick and easy. From the Zelle® option in your mobile banking app, select Request money. Choose the person who owes you money from your contacts or type in their phone number or email address. Then input the amount they owe you, review that everything is correct and click Request.
How to stay safe using Zelle®
Other people you transfer money to or from can’t see your bank account information on Zelle®. And whether you use the Zelle® standalone app or your financial institution’s mobile banking app to transfer money with Zelle®, both feature cybersecurity measures to keep your information safe from hackers.
However, Zelle® transfers move directly from individual to individual within minutes with no way to cancel them after the fact. For that reason, you should only use Zelle® with people you know and trust, such as family members, friends and known providers like a neighborhood babysitter. Zelle® specifically warns not to use it to send money to anyone you don’t know or to purchase items online.
Finally, beware of scams in which fraudsters ask you to send a Zelle® transfer to yourself or where they send a text impersonating your financial institution and asking you about a Zelle® transfer. These fraudsters are trying to gain access to your bank account. Hang up on suspicious phone calls and delete such emails and texts without responding to them or clicking on any links.
Your financial institution will never ask you to disclose your account number, username, password, social security number or PIN via a phone call, text, email or otherwise. Keeping that in mind will help you stay safe, including as a Zelle® user.
Editor’s note: Quorum derives no benefit from these businesses for placement in this article.