There are a lot of different mobile payment apps out there, with some of the most popular being the likes of Square Cash, PayPal, Venmo, etc. There’s one that has recently entered the fray — Zelle — and was created by leading bank and credit unions. Zelle was designed so that you could easily settle up with friends and family by just using a phone number or email address; however, it hasn’t turned into the flawless Zelle’s developers made it out to be.
Either way, if you’re considering either Venmo or Zelle, we’re comparing the two, showing you how they stack up against each other, and hopefully by the end of this, you’ll be able to make an educated decision on your next mobile payment app.
First up, we’re looking at Venmo. Venmo is a mobile payment app that will allow you to send and receive payments. You can request and receive payments from friends, family, and businesses — the former two are completely free, but you might find that there’s a few on transactions with businesses (i.e. invoice payments). This is usually nothing more than a 0.01% to 0.03% charge on the total cumulative amount received.
One of the downsides of Venmo is that you can’t transfer funds to your bank account instantly like you can with Square Cash. Funds can only be withdrawn to your bank over an ACH transaction — when you do this, Venmo will tell you the estimated arrival time. Normally, this is one business day, but can depend based on weekends and holidays.
Venmo will give you monthly statements of activity on the mobile payment app, just like you would receive a bank statement from your local bank or credit union.
Even though you can’t transfer funds instantly over a debit card to your bank, you can still use cards to make payments. For example, you can use your bank card within Venmo to pay back a friend for last night’s pizza or movie ticket. You can use a credit card as well, but with credit card comes fees, and as far as Venmo goes, they charge a 0.03% fee on credit card transactions.
Still, Venmo is free to download and use. It’s, overall, great mobile payment app that you can try out for yourself from the Google Play Store.
Download it now: Google Play
Next up, we have Zelle. Zelle was created by top rated banks and credit unions across the US after they began seeing the success of independent mobile payment apps like PayPal, Square Cash, and Venmo. The idea was that consumers could send money from bank account to bank account with Zelle, only using a consumer’s phone number or email. However, Zelle works awful if your financial institution isn’t integrated with Zelle. Your money can be held up, and some reviewers even claim money they tried to send has just disappeared.
Zelle doesn’t charge fees to use their service, although they do say that it’s likely that there will be bank fees that apply. Another interesting factor with Zelle is that you can only use it with Visa and MasterCard’s linked to US checking accounts — that means that other card services, such as American Express, are not supported. That, of course, alienates a lot of their customer base.
Zelle has a ridiculous amount of bugs, glitches, and limitations as well. Most people have trouble registering and setting up their Zelle account, and even if they can get it setup and supposedly working, there’s usually errors that come about when trying to send money. On top of that, Zelle won’t let you send money unless they have access to your full contact list, which is a bit of a permission nightmare as far as Android goes.
The Zelle app really is a disaster and should be avoided. It had a lot of potential with banks trying to corroborate with each other, but all it has is turned into a nightmare for consumers to get access to funds.
If you want to give it a go for yourself, you can at the link below. As we already mentioned, it’s free to download and use, so you can at least poke around with it.
Download it now: Google Play
As you can see, Venmo is probably your best decision here. It’s much more versatile, has better developer support, and will allow you to pay back friends and family instantly. Not only that, but it’s a great way to collect invoice payments without too many fees as well.