How To Use Zelle: A Step-by-Step Guide

Zelle payment app
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Zelle is a payment platform similar to Cash App and Venmo. You can make instant money transfers to almost all U.S. bank accounts and to set up your account, all you need is an email address or a U.S. mobile phone number. Keep reading to find out more about how it works.

How To Use Zelle

If your bank supports Zelle, you do not need to enroll separately and you can start using it on your banking app. Otherwise, you will have to download the Zelle app for iOS or Android and enter some basic information to get started.

Here are some details to keep in mind while getting set up with Zelle:

  • If your bank supports Zelle, then you only need to enter your email address and U.S. phone number.
  • If your bank does not support Zelle and you are using the standalone Zelle app, you will also have to enter your debit card details to get started.

Sending Money Through Zelle

After you have enrolled with Zelle, here are the steps you can take to send money:

  1. Enter the phone number or email address of the receiver.
  2. Enter the amount you want to send.
  3. If the receiver is already enrolled with Zelle, the money will be sent to their account within minutes.
  4. If the receiver is not enrolled, they will receive a notification explaining how they can receive the money.
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While sending money through Zelle, make sure you are only using the contact details received from people you know or trust. Once you have initiated a payment, you will not be able to cancel it so be cautious when you are sending your money.

If you are using Zelle as a standalone app, the weekly sending limit is $500. If you are going through your bank, you will have to contact them to find out your specific limits.

Receiving Money Through Zelle

Once you have enrolled with Zelle, you can receive money directly within minutes. You don’t have to take any extra steps to receive money with Zelle.

How To Use Zelle Through QR Codes

You can also send or receive money by using a QR code.

  • To send money, while on the “Select Recipient” screen, click on the QR code icon displayed at the top.
  • When your phone camera opens, scan the code and enter the amount.

You can find your own code by tapping the “My Code” tab. If you cannot find the QR code, then your bank or credit union does not support this function yet.

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Zelle Safety

Zelle is considered to be a safe money transfer app and is protected by data encryption. You should still exercise caution when sending money and confirm you have the correct information before you hit send.

Which Banks Support Zelle?

Zelle is supported by many banks and credit unions like Citizens Bank, Discover Bank, Ally Bank and Bethpage Federal Credit Union. Accountholders of these banks get Zelle as a default option. You can check out Zelle’s full list of participating banks and financial institutions on its website.

Even if your bank does not support Zelle, you can still use it by downloading the Zelle app.

Final Take

Zelle is a convenient option when you are trying to send money quickly to your friends or make a payment. However, like all money-transfer apps, you should be careful how you send your money. Zelle scams are very common and you need to be vigilant regarding disclosing personal information.


Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Zelle.
  • How do you use Zelle step-by-step?
    • 1. You can start using Zelle by completing the enrollment. Zelle is automatically activated in supporting bank portals. Otherwise, you have to download the app to get started.
    • 2. Once you are enrolled, you simply have to provide the email address or U.S. phone number of the receiver and enter the amount to send money.
  • How do you receive money in Zelle?
    • If you are already enrolled with Zelle, then you do not need to take any additional steps to receive money. Once the sender has sent you the funds, they will reach your account within minutes.
  • Do you need a bank account for Zelle?
    • Yes, you need to have a U.S. checking or savings account to use Zelle.
  • Does Zelle charge a fee?
    • No, Zelle does not charge any fees for making transactions through the app. However, your financial institution might so you should check with them first before sending any payments.
  • Can you use Zelle with any bank?
    • Zelle is compatible with over a thousand banks and financial institutions. Even if your bank or credit union does not support Zelle, you can still use it by downloading the app.
  • Can you use Zelle internationally?
    • No, Zelle only works if the sender and receiver accounts are in the U.S.
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    Information is accurate as of March 22, 2023. 

    Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

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    About the Author

    Suchetana Bhattacharyea is a financial writer and has a master’s degree in this field from the University of Calcutta. She writes about personal finance, real estate, law, cryptocurrencies, banking, economics and marketing. Suchetana has been a freelance writer for the last few years and has ghostwritten several books on finance.
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