Al Ko, CEO of early warning
Why Should Your FI Implement Zelle®? The Zelle® Effect

From helping power new account openings to validating deposits and making payments, Early Warning has protected the financial system for more than 30 years. It’s on this foundation that we earned the right to bring to market products like Zelle®.

But not everyone knows who we are and what we do.

So, over the course of my next few posts, I’ll explain our business and our key products, some of which you may know and love, like Zelle® and others which may surprise you, like our check verification products.

What is Zelle®?

Zelle® has become a household name in the five years since we first launched. Last year alone, over 115 million enrolled users (consumers and small businesses) trusted Zelle® to move $629 billion.

Today we have over 1,900 financial institutions on the Zelle Network® with dozens of community banks and credit unions joining every month. These institutions love that Zelle® helps them drive increased engagement with their customers and members.

The value proposition of Zelle® for consumers sending money to folks they know and trust is clear: convenience and speed.


in 2022 zelle transactions exceeded $600 billion sent


Early Warning is subject to regulation, supervision, and examination by both the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). All financial institutions on the Zelle Network® are chartered, regulated, and insured under U.S. banking laws.

Let’s look at why small businesses (SMBs) and financial institutions prefer Zelle®:

Small Businesses Love the Convenience of Zelle®

We know from testimonials that small business owners love Zelle® because it offers payment convenience and reduces collection time from days to minutes.

For instance, Candace from Maryland, who runs a waxing salon, receives most of her payments via P2P apps, including Zelle®. Small businesses like hers received more than 150 million payments with Zelle® in 2022, totaling more than $72 billion.

Candace also uses Zelle® to make payments, a trend we’re increasingly seeing across our small business users. The number of unique SMB senders increased by 66% year over year, with 133 million payments totaling more than $87 billion last year. Those payments go out to landlords, vendors, employees, and beyond.

Why Should Your FI Implement Zelle®? The Zelle® Effect!

Zelle® adds value to financial institutions (FIs) of all sizes by deepening customer relationships and increasing engagement.

According to a recent Curinos study, the more that people use Zelle®, the more they tap their checking accounts to pay for goods and services – that’s what we call “the Zelle® effect.” On average, in the first 12 months, new Zelle® users have three times more debit transactions than non-Zelle® users.

Smaller FIs account for most of the recent growth of Zelle®:

  • Of the FIs who joined the network in 2022, 97% had assets of under $10 billion and 70% had assets of under $1 billion
  • As of Q4 2022, almost half of the country’s banks which qualify as Minority Depository Institutions (48%) are participating in the Zelle Network®.

FIs love Zelle® because it reduces cash and check management costs, creates more cross-selling opportunities, and attracts and engages more customers/members. Smaller FIs love Zelle® because it helps level the playing field with their larger competitors by offering the same valued P2P payment solution as the country’s biggest banks.

Take for instance Valley Strong Credit Union, which serves California’s San Joaquin Valley and started off in the library of a Bakersfield high school in 1938: In the first seven months, Zelle® generated more than 440,000 transactions and moved more than $61 million in peer-to-peer transfers for Valley Strong. That was more than 20 times the engagement of their prior P2P solution.

Read more about the Value of Zelle® and reach out to us if you’d like to learn more about how to implement Zelle®.

Was this content helpful?