Zelle, the peer-to-peer payments service, had a banner 2018 with $119 billion in payments on 433 million transactions processed via its network of banks. That is a 58.7% increase in payments from 2017’s total of $75 billion and a 75.3% increase in transaction volume from 247 million.
The increases were accelerated by the fast-growing number of banks participating in Zelle, which is owned by Early Warning Services LLC, a bank-owned enterprise. Of the 229 financial institutions in the Zelle Network, 60 are live and processing transactions, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company says.
The network also relies on other companies like Fiserv Inc., Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS), and Jack Henry & Associates Inc., to offer Zelle to their bank clients.
“Our strategic processor partners are helping move Zelle closer to its goal of nationwide ubiquity—signing more than a hundred banks and credit unions in [the fourth quarter] alone,” Paul Finch, Early Warning chief executive, said in a press release. “Already, customers of more than 5,100 financial institutions are using the Zelle Network, whether it’s through their financial institution’s mobile-banking app, or by registering their debit cards in the Zelle mobile app.”
Zelle says 77% of the banks supporting the Zelle Network are financial institutions with assets of $1 billion or less. More than 100 million consumers use the service.
Still, some big banks, like Bank of America Corp., have reported significant use. BofA said its customers’ Zelle volume for the fourth quarter totaled $14 billion on 51.6 million transactions. The numbers, however, include both Zelle transactions originating with BofA customers and those that are sent to them. It does not reveal how much originate with BofA customers. Early Warning Services says it only reports originating transactions in its data.
For the quarter, Zelle had $35 billion in payments on 135 million transactions, increases of 12% and 19%, respectively, from the same quarter a year ago.