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Money 101 - What is Zelle?

A Money 101 guide on using Zelle® to pay your friends and family


Many people have heard of person-to-person (P2P) payment options like Venmo and PayPal. Both are stand-alone payment options that require you to link a debit card, credit card, or bank account to their service. Person-to-person payments allow you to transfer funds from your bank account or credit card to another person. Typically done through a phone app, you must first set up a profile and connect your bank account to the app. After you’ve done that, you can send money to friends and family who have the same app.

Zelle is a bit different in that it is included with many major banks in the United States, now including Peoples State Bank. As a Zelle user, you can send money to other registered Zelle users directly from your Peoples bank account. You’ll be able to find the Zelle feature embedded within our digital banking platform.

The other difference between Zelle and other P2P platforms is that the money comes from your Peoples checking account, and if you send it to another person who has Zelle, the money moves quickly, typically within minutes. That means you can only cancel a payment if the person you sent money to hasn’t yet enrolled in Zelle. That’s why it is so important to know and trust the person you’re sending money to.

Zelle makes sending money fast, safe, and easy to your friends or family members. So, if you need to pay your friend Ralph for your half of the restaurant bill, it’s quick and easy to send him the $12 you owe. While in the Bank Peoples app or digital banking platform, simply add Ralph’s email address or U.S. mobile phone number, add the $12 payment amount, and a note if you want. Hit “send” and your payment will be on its way.

When you enroll with Zelle through the Bank Peoples app, your name, Peoples State Bank’s name, your email address and U.S. mobile phone number are shared with Zelle. But that’s it. Your account information stays with Peoples State Bank. When you send or receive money, Peoples sends or receives the money on your behalf, keeping your sensitive account information private.

Let’s get back to our example with the $12 payment to your friend Ralph. If he has a bank account with a bank that offers Zelle, and he’s already registered, his bank will accept your $12 payment for him. If his bank doesn’t offer Zelle, he can download the Zelle app as a standalone product linking his bank account to the app. Then, he can receive the $12 you owe him.

Here’s another example. Let’s say you receive an email from someone you don’t know asking for you to send money to them using Zelle. Don’t do it! If you don’t know the person or aren’t sure you will receive something in return, then don’t use Zelle. You should only use Zelle when you trust the person you are sending it to. Again, the only time you can cancel a transfer to another person is if they aren’t enrolled in Zelle, meaning you need to be doubly sure before you transfer the money to someone you don’t know.

You can learn more about Zelle and all it offers by clicking here to see our Zelle information page. And remember, you can learn more about Zelle from a Peoples personal banker. Stop by a bank location or call 888.929.9902 to speak to one today.

Peoples State Bank is a community bank headquartered in Wausau, Wisconsin, serving north, central, and southeast Wisconsin from ten full-service banking locations in Marathon, Oneida, Vilas, Waukesha, and Milwaukee Counties, as well as a commercial loan production office in Stevens Point, WI.