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Does Zelle work internationally?

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  • 3 min read

Zelle is a digital payment method with a dominant and sole presence in the US. With Zelle, users can send and receive money across the US in minutes. Zelle’s financial institutions, including major banks, make sure that money is transferred as quickly as possible between two bank accounts in the US.

In this article, we will be finding out if Zelle works internationally, and if not, then why is Zelle unable to work internationally?

Also read: Zelle not working with Chime: Quick Fix

Zelle’s progress

Since a vast number of major financial institutions support and even had a hand in starting up Zelle, people living in the US are Zelle’s main focus. In 2022 itself, Zelle overtook Venmo and Cash App as it made more than 5 billion transactions since its launch. Its user base was initially small in 2017 when it launched however, it has finally caught up with its competitors in 2022.

It was recorded that more than 70% of users in the US with 99% of its payments were made without raising any fraudulent issues. In the US, Zelle is offered by more than 1600 banks and credit unions on their apps and websites.

Why can’t Zelle work internationally?

Zelle is supported by 30 major banks in the US like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citi, and Wells Fargo to name a few. It has its own app and can even be accessed through the apps of various banks and credit unions. With Zelle being so heavily managed by banks in the US, it seems unlikely that Zelle might work outside of the US anytime soon.

All you require to send or receive money through Zelle is a US-based mobile phone number or an email address. Since Zelle only requires basic information to send or receive money in addition to being enabled recipients, Zelle relies on the banks affiliated with it to send the money through a peer-to-peer transfer.

Granted that you are a registered receiver on Zelle, Zelle is popular in the US because of its quick cash transfers directly into another person’s account. Zelle’s money transfer methods would usually take days to successfully transfer from one bank account to another however, Zelle does this in a matter of minutes.

This is why Zelle cannot work internationally at the moment, as it requires a direct connection to all the banks through which P2P money transfers can take place, something which India’s UPI has already mastered. Hence, Zelle only works if both the receiver and sender’s bank accounts are in the US.

Also read: How to block someone on Zelle?

Sania Usmani

Sania Usmani

Always curious, calm, and a little crazy, you can find me daydreaming or studying. An avid reader, traveler, and graduate of Aviation Science, I love gaining new experiences in life and star gazing. You can contact her here: