What is Zelle?
Zelle is a quick and easy way to send and receive money with individuals that you know. Over the past decade, there have been numerous companies that have offered this service. Paypal, Venmo, and Cash App are a few of them.
The newest is Zelle. Before being Zelle, the name of the company was clearXchange. clearXchange was created in 2011 to connect customers who had used different banks. Some of the largest and most well-known banks, such as Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Wells Fargo, were there at the beginning of clearXchange. They already had an existing client base that could use the service, so it made for a smooth beginning.
After clearXchange was sold, there needed to be a new name for the company. The new name was Zelle and all clearXchange users were told that they needed to start using this new mobile app. Zelle is now owned by Early Warning Services, which is itself owned by several of the largest banking institutions in the United States.
The CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Early Warning Services (and therefore the CEO of Zelle) is Albert Ko, who has only been in the role for the last 2 years. Zelle itself does not directly generate any revenue. This will be discussed in a later section as well as how Zelle can generate revenue indirectly. Zelle has its corporate headquarters based out of Scottsdale, Arizona.
What is Chime?
Chime is a financial institution that offers banking services to its customers. Chime has no physical buildings for customers to transact in. Instead, all transactions are done online. The company was founded in 2013 to provide an alternative method to banking.
Younger generations today do not go into banks as often, so Chime saw a business need to fill. Since all banking is done online, this was a unique way to market their services to the younger crowd. Chime offers various products such as checking accounts, savings accounts, and credit cards. Chime is owned by the Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank. Its CEO is Chris Britt and its CTO (Chief Technology Officer) is Ryan King.
They both founded the company in San Francisco, California. In 2019 Chime was valued at nearly $6 billion. That same year Chime was estimated to bring in almost $200 million in revenue from an estimated 6.5 million account holders. Chime has since raised its number of account holders to 8 million and its valuation to $14.5 million in 2020. Chime is currently in talks to become a publicly-traded company.
Now that we have a good understanding of both companies, let’s look into how they work individually as well as how they work together.
Does Chime Work with Zelle?
While money cannot be sent directly from Zelle to Chime, there is a way to get around this issue. Currently, Zelle can only be used with brick-and-mortar banks. Think of banks that have a physical building such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Regions. Zelle cannot be used with banks that only conduct business online.
Since Chime is an online bank, Zelle cannot directly be used with Chime. So, the way to bypass this problem is to use a brick-and-mortar bank as the middleman. This will be discussed in a later section.
How to Set up Chime to Work with Zelle?
The first step is to make sure that you have both Zelle and Chime downloaded on your mobile device. You will need to have an account with both Zelle and Chime as well.
Once in your Zelle account, you will need to locate your bank. This is where you would need to find Chime, but as was already discuss in the prior section, Chime is not directly available through Zelle. At this point a ‘don’t see your bank?’ option will appear.
You can select this and begin entering in your debit card number and other information. Once this is done, you will be able to start sending money using your Chime account through Zelle.
What bank does Chime use for Zelle?
Chime uses The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank. Since Chime is technically not a bank but a financial services and technology company, it must provide banking services outside of the company. But customers can rest assured that their deposits are safe as all Chime accounts are insured by the FDIC.
This means that their accounts will be insured up to a maximum of $250,000 per person per account. If a customer has more than this in one account, then it would be wise to spread this out between multiple accounts. So, if an individual has two accounts (say a checking and savings account), they can allocate $250,000 to both accounts and be insured on both.
If it is a joint account with one other person, there can be up to $500,000 insured. While this information is typically not needed for most people, it is still good to know just in case a financial windfall comes in anybody’s way.
Related: How to Transfer Money from Green Dot to Chime
How Fast is Zelle Payments Sent Using Chime?
If there is both an already created account for Zelle and Chime, it should just take no more than a few minutes. Transferring from Zelle to your bank and then from your bank to Chime each can be completed within minutes, so the overall process will not take long at all.
If an account must be created or if sending outside of the bank that is compatible with either of them, then it will likely take between 1 and 3 business days. The process takes a while because, for a newly created account, Zelle and/or Chime will need to verify the individual’s identity and verify that they entered in their banking information correctly.
Once this is done, the funds will be available to be released. If no money is received within a few days, then it is best to ensure that all information has been entered correctly and there are no typos. Information to verify is name, number, address, routing number, and account number. If all of this still appears to be correct, then contact Zelle or Chime to see what is holding up the process. They both have their customer services listed on their websites, which can be found in the last section.
Related: How to use Spot Me on Chime
What fees to expect when using chime with Zelle?
One unique feature of Zelle is that it does not charge any fees to the individual to sell or receive money. Other peer-to-peer fund transfer services, such as Venmo or Cash App, will charge various fees surrounding instant withdrawal or sending money via a credit card. These fees can be upwards of 3% of the transfer and can therefore be a significant amount taken in fees if the transfer is a high amount.
Related: How does Chime compare to SoFi?
How does Zelle Make Money?
How does Zelle make money if they do not charge any fees? Well, the short answer is that it doesn’t generate revenue. Remember, Zelle was created by large financial institutions to be a money saver. Zelle was created to facilitate money transfers between customers who did not bank with the same company. So, since these companies still own Zelle, they do not need it to be a revenue generator.
Zelle can still indirectly provide an income stream in two ways for the banks that own it. First, it can act as a marketing arm of the banks that own it. For example, Zelle can provide add-on services such as mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, student loans, or insurance. With consumers already using Zelle, it makes a lot of sense for Zelle to in a way advertise these products that are offered through their bank. This is a great way to generate revenue for the bank as well as solve a need for the consumer.
The next way that Zelle can indirectly generate revenue is through business-to-consumer transactions. If a consumer were to buy a product or service from a business, the business must pay a small fee (typically 1%) to the card company. The card company then shares a portion of this fee with the issuing bank. Again, the consumer will not see any fee come their way.
Chime has a business model that is like one part of Zelle’s business model. Since Chime is not technically a bank, it does not have a traditional banking model. Banks make money by taking in deposits and lending out the money in the form of mortgages, auto loans, student loans, etc.
Banks charge a higher interest rate to their debtholders than they give to the depositors. Banks can then take the spread and that becomes their income. Any money not lent out can earn interest through safe investments (investments that have low risk and low returns). Additionally, banks can make a little bit of money through fee income. But this is not the business model for Chime.
Like Zelle, Chime makes money by taking a fraction of the fee that card companies charge businesses when a Chime account holder makes a purchase. Chime also does not charge fees to its customers. Even if someone overdrafts, Chime will not charge a fee (something very few banks will do). Chime will just stop the card from being able to be used if the negative balance reaches $100.
Related: How to Close a Chime Account
How to Send Money from Zelle to Chime
To get Chime to work with Zelle, an individual needs to first have an account with both Chime and Zelle. This process involves creating a username and password and entering in information about yourself with both apps.
You will then need to tell Zelle and Chime what are your routing and account numbers. The routing number (always 9 digits) is the number associated with your bank, while the account number (usually between 8 and 12 digits) is for your personal account where you choose to bank. To transfer money from Zelle to Chime, you will need to follow a few steps.
First, you will need to link your bank account to both Zelle and Chime. If you already have an account with both, then great. Otherwise, you will need to go through the signup process for Zelle and/or Chime and make sure that your bank account is linked to both.
Once that is completed, you can then send the funds from Zelle to Chime. While this is an inconvenient and inefficient way to transfer money, it will get the job done with a little bit of extra work. This will be something that Zelle will need to start thinking about to keep their customers happy.
Related: Can Money be Transferred from Venmo to Apple Pay?
What’s the Weekly Transfer Limit for Between Chime and Zelle
The weekly transfer limit is $500 if the transfer is being done from Zelle to a non-participating Zelle bank. And since Chime is not directly available with Zelle, this is the weekly limit that can be transferred. However, the weekly limit is much greater if the bank is a Zelle participating bank. Bank of America’s limit is $3,500. Wells Fargo, Citibank, and TD Bank have it set at $2,500.
Chase is set to $2,000. USAA and PNC have their weekly limit at $1,000. If a transfer needs to be greater than $500, it may make more sense to use an alternative bank to have the transfer done in only one transaction. Chime has both a daily and monthly transfer limit to make transfers from an external account. The daily transfer limit is $10,000, while the monthly transfer limit is $25,000.
Troubleshooting Chime and Zelle Setup
The easiest way to troubleshoot issues between Chime and Zelle is to either contact their customer service directly or search their websites to look through frequently asked questions.
Chime has a help page that you can go to search for your issue.
The link can be found here: Help (chime.com). Additionally, Chime has a FAQ page that anyone can search through. This page can be found here: Frequently Asked Questions | How to Get Started with Chime Banking. Or you can directly contact their Customer Support by either emailing them at email@example.com or by calling them at 1-844-244-6363.
Zelle also has a FAQ page that their customers can search for any issue that they are having. The page can be found at the link here:
Support – Top Questions | Zelle (zellepay.com). The way to leave Zelle a written message is to navigate to this link (Contact Zelle Consumer Support | Zelle (zellepay.com)) and select the Other tab. Fill in your name, email address, telephone phone number, and message. Zelle will respond to your problem within 2 business days. If you prefer to contact Zelle by phone, their phone number is 1-844-428-8542.
Related: Does Chime Work with Cash App