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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.

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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

Zelle

Venmo

Zelle

Venmo

OVERVIEW
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
Android app
Browser
iOS app
Android app
Ways to pay Bank account
Bank account
Credit card
Debit card
Ways to receive Bank account
Bank account
Debit card
Mobile wallet
ATM
Customer support Phone
Email
Live chat
SPEED
Fastest transfer speed Instant Instant
Free withdrawal speed Up to 3 business days Up to 3 business days
LIMITS
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
Fees to send money No fees No fees
Instant withdrawal fee 0% 1%
REQUIREMENTS
Bank account required? Yes No
Learn more

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.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Fees Fastest available transfer speed Maximum transfer amount (verified)
Zelle
To send:

No fees


To receive:

No fees

Instant
Varies
Supported banks enjoy direct bank-to-bank transfers with the tap of a button.
Cash App
To send:

No fees


To receive:

1.5% for instant withdrawal

Instant
$2,500
Split the bill, pay your friends, buy and sell cryptocurrency and even spend money through a connected debit card.
Google Pay
To send:

No fees


To receive:

No fees

Instant
$10,000
Google’s take on money transfers — use this free service to quickly send and receive funds in a variety of ways.
PayPal
To send:

By bank account: No fee
By credit/debit card: 2.9% + fixed fee


To receive:

1% for instant withdrawal

Instant
$10,000
Friends and Family is a free way to send and request money in the US, with fee-based options for international transfers.
Venmo
To send:

No fees


To receive:

1% for instant withdrawal

Instant
$4,999.99
Pay and request money to both friends and businesses through this peer-to-peer, socially driven payment app.
Walmart
Walmart
To send:

Starting from $4


To receive:

No fees

Instant
$2,500
Send and receive money at any Walmart in the US and Puerto Rico. Transactions can also be sent from the Walmart app.
Apple Pay
To send:

No fees


To receive:

1% for instant withdrawal

Instant
$10,000
Pay and get paid directly through iMessage, but you’ll need an iOS device to use this payment service.
Facebook Messenger
To send:

No fees


To receive:

No fees

Instant
$9,999
Connect a debit card or PayPal account to send money directly to friends through Facebook’s messaging service.
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