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Velera Blog: Meet Your Members Where They Are with Zelle®

In Velera’s latest blog, Amy Evans, SVP of Strategic Network Solutions for Velera, explains why P2P payments solutions, like Zelle®, are a must-have offering for members in your credit union’s payments toolkit.

When peer-to-peer (P2P) apps were first introduced in the late 1990s, they ushered in a new era in payments. This revolutionary channel is now hitting its stride, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

P2P transaction volume hit an estimated $1.4 trillion in 2023, a figure that is expected to grow to nearly $2.3 trillion by 2026.

P2P represents a unique challenge—and opportunity—for credit unions. Whereas many of the most popular P2P apps, including PayPal, Venmo and Cash App, compete directly with community financial institutions for their consumer deposits, there is one that is designed to help credit unions grow their primary financial relationships and increase member loyalty: Zelle®.

In this article, we’ll discuss what makes Zelle different, and why it has become a “need to have” offering in every credit union’s payments toolkit.

P2P is a critical member engagement tool

Zelle is a P2P payments solution that lets members easily and quickly send, receive and split money directly between financial institutions.

The Zelle Network is far reaching – almost anyone with a U.S. bank or credit union account can enroll. Enrolled members can send money and request payments using only an email address or a U.S. mobile telephone number.

According to Early Warning Services, LLC, the creator of the Zelle Network, 120 million consumers and small businesses used Zelle through their financial institution last year. Nearly 3 billion transactions — totaling $806 billion — were sent through the app in 2023, representing 28% growth over 2022. 

Zelle is becoming an essential payments channel for small business, a sector that is increasingly using the tool to manage daily operational needs like paying team members, suppliers and utilities. Last year, small businesses sent and received over $200 billion in payments through Zelle, representing a double-digit increase in volume over 2022.

With this level of growth, the ability to offer your members a P2P option—and specifically Zelle—is becoming a must-have. Members love the Zelle experience, which is fast, safe and easy. Here are five reasons why your credit union should put Zelle on your product roadmap:

  1. Zelle meets your members where they are: Credit unions are all about offering the best member experience available, whether that is in-branch, through the contact center or online. Zelle P2P supports this experience by allowing your members to make payments how, when and to whom they want, through a convenient tool that is fully integrated within your credit union’s native digital interface. Whereas other popular P2P options force users to navigate a separate app outside of their primary financial relationship, only Zelle offers members a seamless, frictionless P2P payment experience. 
     
  2. Your members are already using P2P: Peer-to-peer payments is one of the fastest-growing sectors in financial services, as consumers love the convenience of being able to send and receive money with other users directly from their phone or mobile device. If you don’t offer this service within your mobile banking platform, your members will simply migrate to another service. Unfortunately, this means they will conduct most of their daily transaction activity outside of your credit union.
     
  3. Your competition already offers Zelle: A total of 6,900 financial institutions are represented in the Zelle Network, with 2,500 currently offering it through their mobile banking app. If you’re not offering Zelle through your mobile app today, your members will look elsewhere for the convenience of transferring funds person-to-person, right from their checking account.
     
  4. Zelle keeps your members engaged: For your credit union, Zelle is more than a mobile payment solution. It’s a powerful branding and engagement tool that allows you to be there for members during everyday moments that matter most – from splitting the cost of a lunch tab with friends, to paying the sitter or covering rent.  

    Ultimately, offering simple and convenient solutions are the touchpoints that count with members – and that help pave the way toward earning primary financial relationship (PFR) status.
     
  5. Implementation is easy: Offering Zelle directly through your credit union’s mobile banking app isn’t as hard as it sounds. At Velera, we’ve developed a comprehensive, easy-to-activate integration. In other words, we’ve laid the technological foundation for you.

Partner with Velera to offer Zelle

In developing our implementation solution for credit unions at Velera, formerly PSCU/Co-op Solutions, we have invested time and resources on your behalf, working closely with our technology partners and Early Warning Services. As a result, we are able to deliver a platform that makes Zelle efficient, easy and affordable for credit unions to implement. Zelle transactions also represent an all-new source of member data for the Velera community, insights we are leveraging to secure and enrich future member experiences.

Zelle P2P represents just one important piece of Velera’s commitment—as the premier fintech solutions provider for credit unions—to providing our clients with the capabilities and solutions needed to serve today’s digitally-savvy financial consumers. 

Amy Evans is Senior Vice President, Strategic Network Solutions for Velera. She has more than 20 years in the financial services technology industry, including seven years with Velera and 10 years prior to that with Fiserv. Evans is a skilled, results-oriented cross-functional/matrix manager understanding the discipline and benefit of situational leadership.

To learn more, contact Frank Taddeo at ftaddeo@mddccua.org.

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