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Is Zelle available in Canada?
Unfortunately, Zelle is not available in Canada.
Participating customers must have US based bank accounts and phone numbers.
Zelle Alternatives for Canadians
If you are based in Canada and looking to send money to a fellow Canadian then Interac e-Transfer is probably the best option in terms of cost (likely free), security, and transfer speed.
What Is Zelle?
Zelle is a US payment services company that was initially launched in 2011 by JPMorgan, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, under the name “clearXchange.”
The company was looking to take advantage of growth in the digital payment space as customers were beginning to shift away from traditional payment methods such as cash and cheques.
ClearXchange facilitated three types of transactions: person-to-person (P2P), government-to-consumer (G2C), and business-to-consumer (B2C), allowing customers to easily send money to other users who had a bank account with one of the institutional partners.
In 2016, Early Warning Services, a fraud management company owned by several banks, acquired clearXchange and rebranded it as Zelle in 2017.
Why do people LOVE Zelle?
Zelle has an extensive network of financial institutions across the US and is backed by some of the largest banks in America such as Capital One, Wells Fargo, and US Bank.
This is beneficial because it makes the app more credible and reliable.
In addition, the diverse network of partners allows users more flexibility when it comes to sending money to friends and family across the country.
Additionally, Zelle transfers money nearly instantly, and it is one of the only payment transfer options (along with Venmo) that does not charge a transaction fee.
When will Zelle be coming to Canada?
Zelle probably won’t be coming to Canada anytime soon because Canadians have a payment service called “e-Trasnfer” which was created by a company called Interac many years ago.
Similar to Early Warning Services, Interac is backed by Canada’s leading financial institutions such as TD and RBC.
Furthermore, Canadian banking laws combined with a smaller market may discourage a company like Zelle from attempting to dip their toes into the Canadian market.