Zelle Network Numbers Show Mobile Payments’ Power in the Field

October 26, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Ever since Zelle first appeared on the scene, it’s been a growth product. It promptly posed a major threat to Venmo, which pretty much owned the peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payments market at the time. Now, a new report about the Zelle Network’s overall health and operations revealed just how much of a hit Zelle is, and the bad news for Venmo is that it’s quite a hit indeed.

The numbers are stark; just during the third quarter of 2018, Zelle landed a cumulative $32 billion in payments represented by roughly 116 million transactions. That makes a rough average of $276 per transaction.

That’s impressive enough, but it only gets more so when you start comparing against the previous years and quarters. Transaction volume, for example, is up 16 percent quarter-over-quarter, and the overall cash involved is up 13 percent as well. Enrollment is up 10 percent over the same time last year, thanks in large part to financial institutions, which are bringing quite a few new users under the Zelle umbrella.

Financial institutions are proving a big part of the Zelle gains,with reports noting over 40 have joined this quarter alone. Some of them are huge—57 percent have assets equal to or less than $10 billion—while 34 percent have assets less than or equal to $1 billion.

Paul Finch, Early Warning’s CEO and one of the biggest forces behind Zelle, noted “… Zelle is one of the fastest growing consumer financial brands in history and we are proud of our momentum…. These partnerships are helping financial institutions stay at the center of their customer’s financial lives.”

Basically the numbers confirm what many of us have suspected for some time now; Zelle is gaining lots of ground with the end users and is gaining it with an almost disturbing speed. Perhaps it’s that bank connection that’s helping; the halo effect of an institution control scheme might make people think Zelle is better protected than Venmo, which could give it a better case with the baby boomers and Generation X, possibly even Generation Z.

Either way, it’s obvious Zelle’s picked up plenty of users, and as long as it can hold these users, the end result is that Zelle will be a market powerhouse for the foreseeable future.