What is Zelle® and Why it’s a Safe Way to Send Money to Friends and Family
In today’s digital world, carrying cash and checks are becoming a thing of the past, while using credit cards and other electronic payments have become the norm. This is super convenient except for when you need to pay an individual back for things like babysitting, your share of a pizza, or that group gift for your child’s soccer coach. Thankfully, there are services like Zelle® that fill this gap by allowing two people to send money to each other’s bank accounts within minutes.1 This article explains what Zelle® is, how it works, and why it’s a safe and easy way to send money to people you know and trust.
What is Zelle®?
More than 150 million consumers have access to Zelle® (pronounced as zel). It’s located in more than 1,900 banking apps and allows enrolled users to send money to one another within minutes, even if they bank at different U.S.-based financial institutions.
How do I enroll in Zelle®?
For participating banks like FNBO, Zelle® is located in the bank’s website and mobile app. If your bank offers Zelle®, simply enroll with Zelle® through your bank’s website or mobile app by entering your U.S. mobile number or email address. Once you are enrolled, you can send money to people you know and trust directly from your bank account.
What if my bank or credit union doesn’t offer Zelle®?
If your bank or credit union doesn’t offer Zelle®, you can still use it by downloading the Zelle® app from the App Store or Google Play and enrolling an eligible Visa® or Mastercard® debit card. After you enroll, you can send and receive money with confidence to almost anyone you know and trust.1
How do I know if my bank or credit union offers Zelle®?
It’s easy to determine if your bank or credit union currently offers Zelle®. Simply go to the ‘get started’ page at zellepay.com and search for your bank’s name. If you find your bank or credit union listed, go to their website or mobile app and enroll. If you don’t find your financial institution listed, you can still use Zelle® by downloading the Zelle® app from the App Store or Google Play.
How do I use Zelle®?
You can send, request, or receive money with Zelle®. After you’ve enrolled, simply add your recipient’s email address or U.S. mobile number, the amount you’d like to send or request, review and add a memo, then hit “confirm.” In most cases, the money is typically available in minutes1. To receive money, just share your enrolled email address or U.S. mobile number with a friend or person you trust and ask them to send you money with Zelle®.
Is there a limit to how much money I can send with Zelle®?
Sending limits vary by participating banks. If your bank or credit union offers Zelle®, please contact them directly to learn more about their sending limits. At FNBO, the limit is $500 per day and $2,000 monthly.
If your bank or credit union does not yet offer Zelle®, your weekly send limit is $500 in the Zelle® app. Please note that you cannot request to increase or decrease your send limit.
Does FNBO charge a fee to send money?
At FNBO, there is no fee for Zelle® transactions.
How long does it take to receive money with Zelle®?
Money sent with Zelle® is typically available to an enrolled recipient within minutes.
Is Zelle® safe?
Zelle® is a safe and easy way to send and receive money with people you trust. No sensitive account details are shared when you send and receive money with Zelle® – only an email address or U.S. mobile number tied to a bank account in the United States.
What can I do to safely use Zelle®?
There are certain things you can do to ensure you are being safe when sending and receiving money:
- Only send money to people you know and trust.
Money moves fast with Zelle®, directly from bank account to bank account within minutes.1 So, it’s important you know and trust the people you’re sending money to. Why? Because you can’t cancel a payment once it’s been sent if the recipient is already enrolled with Zelle®. And if you send money to someone you don’t know for a product or service you might not receive (like paying for something in advance), you may not get your money back. Keep in mind that sending money with Zelle® is similar to handing someone cash.
- Beware of payment scams.
One example of a payment scam is buying event tickets at a price that seems too good to be true from a stranger and never receiving them. If the seller you don’t know and/or trust asks you to use Zelle® to purchase the tickets, you should refuse. Also, keep in mind that no one from FNBO or any other bank will ask you to send them money with Zelle® as a test or to send money to avoid a fraud event.
- Neither Zelle® nor FNBO offers a protection program for authorized payments made with Zelle®.
So, if you aren’t sure you will get what you paid for, you should use another payment method with purchase protection, such as a credit card.
- Treat Zelle® like cash and verify each payment before sending.
Did your friend change phone numbers recently? It’s easy for people to change their phone number or email address. When in doubt, contact your friend to verify the email or U.S. mobile number they used to enroll with Zelle® before you hit “Send.” Another good check point for ensuring you're paying the right person is to confirm the first name that is displayed for enrolled emails and U.S. mobile numbers. If a person has already enrolled a U.S. mobile number or email address with Zelle®, you can’t cancel the transaction, so it’s important you get it right the first time.
For more information and videos on how to use Zelle® safely, visit “How to Pay it Safe with Zelle®.
Can I use Zelle® to send money internationally?
In order to use Zelle®, the sender and recipient’s bank accounts must be based in the U.S.
Can I cancel a Zelle® payment?
You can only cancel a payment if the recipient hasn’t yet enrolled with Zelle®. You can go to your activity page within the Zelle® experience, either within your mobile banking app or the Zelle® app, choose the payment you want to cancel, and then select “Cancel This Payment.”
If your recipient has already enrolled with Zelle®, the money is sent directly to your recipient’s bank account and cannot be canceled.
Does Zelle® report how much money I receive to the IRS?
Zelle® does not report transactions made on the Zelle Network® to the IRS. The law requiring certain payment networks to provide forms 1099K for information reporting does not apply to the Zelle Network®.
Does Zelle® tax me on money that I receive?
Zelle® does not impose taxes on transactions made on its network. If payments you receive on the Zelle Network® are taxable, it is your responsibility to report them to the IRS. If you have any questions about your tax obligations, please consult with a tax professional.
Will Zelle® send me a 1099K form?
Zelle® does not issue 1099K forms for payments made on the Zelle Network®.
Does Zelle® report any payments I receive over $600 to the IRS?
Zelle® does not report any transactions made on the Zelle Network® to the IRS, even if the total is more than $600. The law requiring certain payment networks to provide forms 1099K for information reporting does not apply to the Zelle® Network®. If payments you receive on the Zelle Network® are taxable, it is your responsibility to report them to the IRS. If you have any questions about your tax obligations, please consult with a tax professional.
If you have questions about Zelle® or any of your banking needs, a Personal Banker from FNBO would be happy to answer them. Give us a call today.
The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.
1 U.S. checking or savings account required to use Zelle®. Transactions between enrolled users typically occur in minutes.
Zelle® and the Zelle® marks are property of Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.