Zelle’s network operator, Early Warning Services, has reported record growth in 2023. Specifically, consumers and small businesses sent 2.9 billion transactions totalling $806bn in 2023, both up 28% year-over-year. And some 120 million consumer and small business user accounts leveraged Zelle through their financial institution in 2023. The fourth quarter of 2023 was the largest quarter to date with users transacting more than $219bn across the Zelle Network. That means an average of more than $100m was sent per hour.

“Powered by our unmatched reach through thousands of participating banks and credit unions – and enabled by our continued efforts to enhance security and educate consumers – Zelle soared to new heights in 2023,” said Cam Fowler, CEO of Early Warning.

“Zelle is the digital payments growth engine for the US financial services industry. It’s committed to providing consumers and small businesses a way to quickly and safely pay people they know and trust.”

Small businesses sent and received over $200bn in 2023

Zelle helps eligible small businesses improve their cash flow, reduce the need to use cash or cheques, and send and receive payments directly from their banking apps. Last year, small businesses received 217 million payments through Zelle. These payments total more than $100bn, up 44% and 39%, respectively from 2022. In addition, small businesses are increasingly using Zelle for various payments needs, like paying employees, vendors, and office utilities, like office space rent. Small businesses sent 179 million payments totalling $113bn, up 34% and 29%, respectively, from 2022.

According to Zelle, its efforts to protect consumers and small businesses are paying off. Less than one-tenth of one percent of transactions were reported as fraud or scams in 2023. That percentage continues to get smaller due to a layered security approach. This includes services like Risk Insights for Zelle. The facility provides network participants with real-time information to assess potentially high-risk transactions.

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