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Zelle Business Model Breakdown: How Zelle makes money?


Zelle is a digital payments network which is owned by Early Warning Services. It is a private financial services company owned by the banks Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo. The company is based in the U.S.

The Zelle service enables individuals to electronically transfers money from their bank account to another registered user’s bank account, but the user should be within the U.S. by using a mobile device or website of the participating banking institution. The Zelle was launched in June 2017. The Zelle service was previously known as clearXchange, which offered payment services through member financial institutions and websites.

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How Zelle works?

  1. Access Zelle: First find Zelle in the mobile banking app, if you already have mobile banking on your phone then no problem, there is no need to download it. But if your bank or credit doesn’t offer Zelle then just download the Zelle app to get started.
  2. Pick a person to pay: After you get enrolled the only thing you need to send money with Zelle is the preferred email address or mobile number of the trusted recipient.
  3. Choose the amount to send: Enter the amount you want to send to your recipient, if your recipient is already enrolled with Zelle the money will go directly into their bank account but if they aren’t enrolled yet, they will get a notification explaining how to receive the money simply and quickly.

Business Model:

Key Partners:

The company is partnered with many companies like the processor partners are FIS, Fiserv, Jack Henry, and Associates Inc. Then its Network partners are MasterCard and Visa. Technology partners are ACI Universal Payments, CGI, DB Banking Technology, and IBM. Their device and mobile risk partners are InAuth, NU Data Security, and Prove.

Key Activities:

With Zelle one can easily send the money from the convenience of the mobile phone and key online banking by using just a recipient’s email address or mobile number of the U.S. You can actually pay your neighbor, friends, family, or anyone you trust. Zelle always thinks about its customers and is always ready to provide services.

Key Resources:

With over 1,100 banking partners, it has a high possibility that you will not have to make a Zelle account and can find services already within the mobile bank app. Zelle service is also provided for small businesses.

Value Propositions:

Zelle’s most unique value proposition has been its launch. Zelle is topped by top US brands which have a ready customer base. Zelle has grown up to annual transactions of over 1.2 billion since its inception in 2017. With more than 1,100  banking partners, Zelle can access millions of individual users, as well as the 31 million registered businesses in the U.S. Zelle, also offers direct money transfer services without any need to create a separate account, seamless experience, brand recognition is also value propositions of Zelle. Due to brand recognition, there is a backing of large US banks and Credit Unions.

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Customer Relationship:

Zelle enhances the customer experience by implementing P2P payments as it helps in increasing customer loyalty and engagement. Institutions that use P2P apps tend to see higher engagement from their customers and Zelle is a safer bet than any other app. That immense user can offer incredible convenience to consumers.

Customer Segments:

The most important customers, more than half of customers sending money with Zelle are between the ages 25-54, which are part of both the Millennial and Generation X demographics, while the boomers between 55-72 have recently increased their overall use of Zelle.


The Zelle network includes more than 100 participants, which also includes the network partners MasterCard and Visa, the processor partners CO-OP Financial Services, FIS, Fiserv and Jack Henry & Associates, and other many financial institutions.

Cost Structure:

Zelle doesn’t charge any fee neither in sending nor in receiving money, but you should just confirm with your bank or credit union that there are no additional fees.

Revenue Streams:

Zelle is actually not a fee base platform and so, the revenue is not directly generated, for the fiscal year 2020 Zelle has facilitated over $307 billion in payments.

Valuation, expenses, and revenue:

In 2019, Zelle individuals completed around 743 million transactions and spent in processing $187 billion in payments. In 2020 despite the Covid pandemic, 2020 was an extremely successful year for Zelle. Users used a total of 1.2 billion transactions and sent $307 billion to each other. Now, let us see the graph of the digital payment volume of Zelle from the 3rd quarter of 2017 to the 1st half of 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars).

zelle payment volume

Investor’s Details and funding:

Investors of Zelle are JP Morgan, Bank of America, Capital One, Wells Fargo & Company.

Competitor Analysis:

Zelle’stop competitors are as follows:

  • Venmo
  • Square
  • Payoneer
  • Paypal

SWOT Analysis of Zelle:


  • Zelle is backed by top US banks, which means the firm is so strong.
  • Zelle offers all money transfer services which are free of cost, the money transfer step is quick and free of costs.
  • Zelle offers money transfer services to individual customers as well as small business customers.


  • Zelle sometimes takes criticism from the financial security experts for its transaction security features.
  • Zelle is not worldwide, it offers its services only to US customers only.
  • Money transfer will not always be free, customers may pay indirect charges from their banks.


  • Zelle can expand its services and network worldwide.
  • It can also expand its services for online shoppers, just as an e-wallet.
  • It can expand its services to the corporate world i.e. beyond money transfers and small business.


  • The security concerns said by the critics can damage its reputation.
  • Zelle accounts are linked with the customer’s email and mobile phone number without any verification and therefore can easily be hacked.
swot analysis of zelle

Do Share Your Thoughts:

Do tell us all your thoughts in the comments section below, we look forward to reading all the comments in the section below.

Also, don’t forget to try our Android app 📱 which contains startup case studies and business book insights 📚 , verified business strategies, and no bullshit!!

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Zelle is a private financial services company owned by the banks Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.

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