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Zelle Sees P2P Payments Surge On Heels Of COVID-19

Digital payments network Zelle surpassed the one-billion transaction mark over the past year, with the coronavirus crisis leading to a boost in demand, according to a press release.

Zelle said it passed the billion-payments mark in the year ending this September, which also marked the end of the third quarter for the digital payments network, whose corporate parent is Early Warning Services, a FinTech owned by seven of the country’s largest banks.

In the third quarter alone, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Zelle processed 323 million transactions worth $84 billion. That represented growth over the second quarter of 17 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Zelle also saw a big jump in payments sent over its network by small businesses, which surged 30 percent over the second quarter to $4.5 billion.

“We continue to grow our network, welcoming financial institutions of all sizes. Today, more than 1,000 banks and credits unions are currently contracted to participate on the Zelle Network, including 731 that are live today and processing transactions,” said Al Ko, CEO of Early Warning Services, LLC, in a press release. “Zelle is available to more than 140 million consumers in their mobile banking apps or in the Zelle app, and is used for the most important life essentials such as sending contactless payments to local businesses and money to friends and family in need.”

The COVID-19 crisis has also led to a big rise in the number of people using digital payment services to transfer money to friends and family, Zelle noted, citing a recent consumer survey by the company.

Three-quarters of those surveyed said they were more likely to use such P2P services since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

Of course, fraud remains a significant concern on the part of digital payment networks and consumers alike.

Jamie Armistead, vice president and business line leader for Zelle, recently discussed with PYMNTS both the techniques fraudsters use and what Zelle has been doing to combat such schemes and protect its users.


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