How Does Zelle Make Money?


We live in a digital era where everything can be done with just a few clicks. Online payment platforms are one of the digital services that have made life easier. It enables users to send and receive money electronically. Payment platforms are typically web-based or mobile applications that allow individuals or businesses to make transactions online, often with the use of a credit card, bank account, or digital wallet. Zelle is one such platform that provides this service.

Launched in 2017, Zelle has quickly become one of the most popular payment platforms in the United States, boasting partnerships with over 100 banks and credit unions nationwide. With Zelle, users can send and receive money instantly using just an email address or mobile phone number, making it a convenient and efficient way to split bills, pay rent, and send money to friends and family. As the popularity of digital payments continues to grow, Zelle has emerged as a significant player in the space, offering a fast, secure, and user-friendly way to transfer money online.

What is Zelle?

Zelle is a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment network through which users can send money to friends, family, and others who are part of the network. Only US account holders can access this service. Registration for this can be done in mere minutes. Users can use the mobile app to send money to friends and family after registration. As an alternative, you can utilize partner bank apps like Well Fargo and Chase to access the Zelle network. Users must only provide the recipient’s phone number and email address to send money. Usually, money is sent within minutes.

Who Owns Zelle?

FinTech Company Early Warning Services LLC owns Zelle. On the other hand, Early Warning Services is owned by another banking group. These include PNC, Chase, Bank of America, and the USA. Bank, Wells Fargo, Capital One, BB&T. The bank hired a quasi-independent third party to outsource Zelle development; hence, reducing the time to market and combined effort. Early Warning Services has developed many other products with Zelle, including risk assessment tools and identity verification.

How Does Zelle Make Money?

With the facilitation of bank payments, wZelle generates revenue. The business does not, however, currently have any independent revenue sources. Participating banks make money on the platform each time a user uses Zelle to make a payment. One of the intriguing aspects of the Zelle concept is that the company does not generate revenue on its own. With its parent business Early Warning, Zelle, which a group of banks owns, allows these payments without charging banks third-party fees.

By offering a premium service to its users, Zelle generates revenue. Through a service called Zelle for Business, small businesses can receive payments from customers directly through their bank accounts. A fee is charged for this service, which is mostly a percentage of the transaction value. Moreover, Zelle added features in 2018 that let customers pay companies for goods and services. In this scenario, the merchant is responsible for paying a processing fee of up to 1% to MasterCard or Visa. The bank that issued the card receives a portion of this income. Nonetheless, Early Warning Services, the company behind Zelle, may receive payments from participating banks in return for building and maintaining the Zelle network. It does not generate revenue for the parent company. 

man hand holding smartphone and using laptop

Furthermore, Zelle has also partnered with a few companies to provide additional services to its users, such as payment reminders, purchase protection, and fraud monitoring. These services are offered for a fee, which is shared between Zelle and its partners.

It is worth noting that Zelle is a subsidiary of Early Warning Services, a financial services company owned by a consortium of banks. This ownership structure means that Zelle’s ultimate goal is not necessarily to make a profit but rather to offer a convenient and secure payment service to its users.


In conclusion, Zelle generates revenue primarily through transaction fees charged to participating financial institutions and by offering a premium service to its users. Additionally, Zelle has partnered with a few companies to provide additional services for a fee. Despite being a subsidiary of a financial services company, Zelle’s goal is to provide a safe and convenient payment service to its users rather than to make a profit.