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Will Zelle Overthrow Venmo? Big Banks Are Betting On It

* Zelle hopes to sway customers from third-party payment services like Venmo
* More than 30 banks around the country will start using the app this year
* Bank of America, Wells Fargo among the banks to incorporate Zelle

While digital services like PayPal, Google Wallet and even Facebook Messenger allow instant person-to-person money transfers, they’re all missing one crucial element: your bank’s support. Now, with the new Zelle app, you can finally send and receive money without having to go through an extra service.

Unlike current third-party payment apps, where both the sender and receiver need the app in order to send and receive money, Zelle lets you transfer money to anyone with an existing bank account free of charge. Financial institutions are banking (pun intended) on the idea that users won’t have to download third-party apps or go through an extra service in order to send and receive money.

The new service is hoping to compete with Venmo, a third-party app that’s become incredibly popular among younger generations — so much so that they’ve even started including various social media features. By baking Zelle into various banking apps, it makes it easier for users to send money, which could equal more profits for the banks that decide to use the service.

According to Brett Pitts, head of digital for Wells Fargo, “The rollout of Zelle at banks across the country represents an advance in the speed, connectivity and security of P2P payments.”

Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other banks will likely to start utilizing the new service within the next few months. You can see the full list of participating banks here.