Zelle, a payments service created by the 7 biggest US banks, is on track to be more popular than Venmo in 2018

If you’re not already using Zelle, you may be one of the millions of users the platform is expected to add in 2018.

Zelle is a year-old service that lets you instantly transfer money to someone else, much like Venmo or Square Cash.

But Zelle differs from either service in a major way: because it was built by seven of the largest US banks, it’s often able to integrate more seamlessly with your bank’s mobile app. While other services make you wait a few days for the money you received from friends to show up in your bank account, Zelle can transfer the money almost instantly.

For those reasons, analysts at eMarketer expect Zelle to “leapfrog” other payments services before the end of the year.


“One of the main hurdles new apps face is building trust and a sizable audience,” eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu wrote in a report. “But Zelle has leapfrogged the early stages of adoption by having the benefit of being embedded into the already existing apps of participating banks.”

Zelle is expected to grow more than 73% this year, eMarketer predicts, and will likely reach 24.7 million US users. That’s more than Venmo’s 22.9 million users.

Square Cash is the third most-popular payments app with 9.5 million users.

Take a look below at how Zelle’s predicted user growth over the next four years:

Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

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