Discover Bank Just Added Zelle, the Venmo Killer

Discover customers, rejoice — your bank just added the extremely popular Zelle, a digital payment network similar to Venmo that lets you send money directly from a Discover checking, savings or money market account. Best of all, the person on the receiving end doesn’t have to bank with Discover to receive the funds: Zelle lets you to send funds to almost any U.S.-based bank. All you need is an email address or a phone number.

“The main advantage for Discover customers is the convenience, speed and ease-of-use to send and receive money between almost any U.S. based bank account. Discover also does not charge any fees to send or receive money using Zelle. In addition to being easy and fast, customers can take comfort in the fact that their account information is protected and not shared with recipients, since all they need to share is their phone number or email address,” said Ram Subramanian, vice president of deposits at Discover, in an email to The Simple Dollar.

Need to be reimbursed for picking up the tab on your card? Zelle can do that. Waiting to be paid back for picking up groceries for your roommate? Zelle can do that, too.

“We understand the need to be able to quickly and easily transfer money, particularly when you’re on the go and using your mobile device. Adding Zelle to our banking platform now allows our customers to easily send money to their family, friends and the people they trust in minutes, which means you can split your rent, pay your landscaper and send your daughter a gift of money directly into her bank account, all with just a couple of clicks through your Discover mobile app or online account center,” Subramanian said.

This news comes on the heels of another big change for Discover. Back in June, the banking giant announced it was removing all fees across its deposit products, making banking cheaper for their customers. “This account feature, available to Discover customers, supplements a long list of features that help to make banking more convenient and seamless, like Freeze it for debit cards, no fees and access to over 60,000 no-fee ATMs,” Subramanian said.

There are a ton of benefits to using Zelle, including:

  • You can send funds and they’ll be deposited at lightning speed — most of the time within minutes. With Zelle, the money you send goes directly from your bank account to theirs, and unlike other person-to-person funding apps, there aren’t any extra steps to depositing the money after it’s received.
  • You can request that other people send YOU money. We all like to be on the receiving end of money, right? With Zelle, you can request that people send you money directly to your bank account. You’ll finally be paid back for those dinner tabs.
  • You won’t have to share any sensitive account info. No routing numbers or account info necessary. All you’ll need to send or receive funds is the U.S. cell phone number or email address that’s associated with the other account.

But while Zelle may often work to send money to family and friends, there are some caveats to take note of. You shouldn’t send money through Zelle unless you know the person on the receiving end, and if you use your savings or money market account to transfer funds, be aware that the transactions will count toward the federal limits for those types of accounts (six per month).

“While Zelle is a great way to easily and quickly send money to people that you know and trust, we recommend customers don’t use Zelle if they don’t know the person or aren’t absolutely sure they will get what they paid for,” Subramanian said. “We also want to mention that our customers can send money through Zelle from their Discover checking, savings or money market accounts, but sending money with Zelle from either their Discover savings or money market accounts will count towards the federal law limits of six transactions for the month.”

For more information or to get started with Zelle, log in to your Discover banking app or visit zellepay.com/get-started.

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