Zelle Advances Its Mobile Payments Campaign With OneWest Bank

August 16, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

It’s got to be galling for Venmo, to see Zelle make a downright meteoric rise in the market that it largely made. The numbers make it clear, though, that Zelle has gained a lot of market share while Venmo is now facing also-ran status in the market it had sufficient foresight to build. Now, Zelle has taken one more leap forward with a new addition to the fold: OneWest Bank.

With the new move, OneWest—a Pasadena-based arm of CIT Bank—can offer its customers the ability to both send and receive instant payments to other customers, whether online or as part of the bank’s mobile app. OneWest joins a crew of nearly 500 financial institutions, putting it in some very good company.

OneWest has better than 60 retail branches to its credit throughout Southern California, which should open up a substantial new user base influx to Zelle’s operations. Zelle has already made significant headway in this market; last month, the company announced that $44 billion had been sent through its network, over the course of 171 million total transactions.

OneWest Bank’s head of retail banking Heather Ellison noted “We’re pleased to offer Zelle as it provides ease and convenience for our customers by enabling them to send or receive money in a matter of minutes. OneWest Ban. With that in mind, we’re continuing to prioritize digital offerings for our customers especially as fast payments keep gaining traction.”

It’s not surprising to see customers migrate to Zelle over Venmo. Venmo was a big deal when it was the only game in town, but its combination of a purely app-based status and its social media connections likely made it seem a bit risky to many potential peer-to-peer (P2P) payments users. With Zelle, however, users not only got that P2P functionality that few if any were interested in offering, but also got that feeling of security that comes from a bank connection.

Security has long been one of the biggest problems in mobile payments, and just about anything that makes a mobile payments product seem more secure will likely draw users. We’ve seen that much with Zelle, and now, with OneWest Bank in its corner, Zelle lands that little extra punch of user count that will give it further weight in the market.