Just as Apple launched its own attack on Venmo with iMessage payments, so did the banks.
The bank-approved peer-to-peer payment tool Zelle went live Monday morning in most mobile banking apps.
Zelle is basically Venmo, only directly within your Bank of America/Chase/CitiBank app.
Zelle’s big advantage against Venmo, PayPal, and even Apple is that it’s approved by the banks where users already keep their money. Zelle doesn’t have its own app yet and for now is just a tool to send money within the mobile banking app you already have.
More than 30 financial institutions, from the biggest banks to tiny credit unions, have signed on to add the tool to their mobile banking services. The firm Early Warning Services is behind the tool.
Even though Zelle is backed by banks, it’s still trying to be fun and hip like Venmo.
But more than just stealing users from Venmo, Zelle is hoping to sign on the millions of consumers who don’t yet send money to their friends through an app — a.k.a. non-millennials.