US Banks to Launch Payments Service Called Zelle

Move aside, fintech startups and Silicon Valley giants alike: incumbent financial institutions have decided to launch their own unified payments service.

Companies like Square and even Apple (soon) have released peer-to-peer payment systems, but an alliance of financial firms across the US are launching Zelle, which they hope will move P2P payments into the mainstream.

“Zelle is the new, easy way to send money in minutes directly between US bank accounts—right from your mobile banking app,” the service’s website reads. “The country’s leading banks and credit unions have partnered to bring you a better way to move money, so you can spend less time wondering where your money is and more time living life.”

Dozens of banks are participating in the rollout, which begins next week, and Visa and Mastercard are expected to come on board within the next couple of months. For customers of said banks, Zelle technology will be integrated inside apps; for the rest, a separate Zelle app will enable the same functionality.

P2P is among the fastest-growing segments of the payments industry, which in and of itself is a rapidly expanding area of North America’s financial sector, especially among the Millennial generation.