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Zelle vs. Venmo
We look into the fees and features of these two popular money transfer services as well as recommend when you should use each.
Zelle and Venmo are both free, mobile-based domestic transfer options. One of the major differences between Venmo and Zelle is the ease of use, particularly for users that maintain accounts at banks that aren’t supported by Zelle.
In short, Venmo is more accessible for a greater percentage of people, while Zelle is easier to use for those who can seamlessly use the service with their existing bank account. Although Zelle and Venmo have similar features, each has its own pros and cons to consider.
We recommend Zelle for
- Users that already have bank accounts supported by Zelle — see a full list here.
- Transferring money to people you know, not to strangers.
- Fast transfers that go directly between bank accounts, not through an escrow service.
We recommend Venmo for
- Paying your friends in a fun, social-feed focused way.
- Users who don’t have a bank account supported by the Zelle network.
- Keeping money in a digital wallet without having to constantly shift money to and from your bank account.
Zelle is a better option if you have one of its supported bank accounts. But if you don’t, check them out side-by-side below.
Breakdown of Zelle vs. Venmo
|Description||Supported banks enjoy direct bank-to-bank transfers with the tap of a button.||Pay and request money to both friends and businesses through this peer-to-peer, socially driven payment app.|
|Supported devices||iOS app
|Ways to pay||Bank account
|Ways to receive||Bank account
|Fastest transfer speed||Instant||Instant|
|Free withdrawal speed||Up to 3 business days||Up to 3 business days|
|Maximum amount you can send per transfer (unverified account)||Varies||$299.99|
|Maximum amount you can send per transfer (verified account)||Varies||$4,999.99|
|Supports international transfers?||No||No|
|Fees to send money||No fees||No fees|
|Instant withdrawal fee||0%||1%|
|Bank account required?||Yes||No|
Summing up Zelle vs. Venmo
Overall, Venmo is the most straightforward option if you’re just looking for an easy way to pay friends back with little hassle. Zelle is great, but if your bank or your friend’s bank doesn’t support Zelle, then the process becomes more complicated. If in doubt, go with Venmo.
If you’re trying to use either of these options to send money internationally, you’ll be out of luck — instead, read our guide about the best ways to send money online internationally to get started.
Compare other services that send money within the US
See how both Zelle and Venmo stack up against other popular ways to send money within the US.
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Finder Editorial Review Board Member: Douglas E. Noll, JD, MA
Award-winning lawyer, mediator and author with over 40 years in the legal industry.
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