More tech competition is coming out of the woodwork this week, as Sept. 12 marks the release of the Zelle app. And with it, another hat is thrown into the ring for person-to-person financial sharing app dominance with Venmo and Paypal. The Zelle app is backed by more than 30 major United States banks, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, a network that has been in development since approximately 2011.
While banking companies currently offer services to do instant transfers, the process for users has proven rather cumbersome. Users usually need to have details like a friend’s account number and routing information, to list one major problem. These issues led to the creation of alternate ways to send money, such as today’s peer-to-peer payment apps, where you only need is a username, phone number, email, etc.
Similarly, Zelle’s new app allows users to send and request money to and from contacts in their phone, using only the contact’s phone number or email address. Zelle will also work with Visa and MasterCard debit cards, even if the user’s bank is not currently participating in Zelle’s payment network.
All of these transactions are processed for free as well, with transferred funds available in the user’s account within minutes after the initial transaction has been issued. The current leading app in Zelle’s category, Venmo, takes 25 cents per transaction and only allows the money to be available as early as twenty-four hours after the original ordered transaction. Zelle’s superior features gives it the opportunity to be a possible major player in the industry. The app will be available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store on Sept. 12.