Peer-to-peer (P2P) payment platform Zelle processed $187 billion in payments on 743 million transactions in 2019, according to figures released Tuesday by network operator Early Warning Services. Year-over-year payment values increased by 57%, while transaction volume jumped 72%, the company said.
The payment network, which is owned by a consortium of seven U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, says it has 378 contracted financial institutions processing transactions.
"2019 was a monumental year, with one in two U.S. adults with a bank account gaining access to Zelle in their mobile banking app," Lou Anne Alexander, chief product officer at Early Warning, said in a statement. "We achieved strong growth across the network including onboarding hundreds of national and regional financial institutions. We will continue growing and evolving Zelle with the hope that everyone with a bank account in the U.S. will have access."
Early Warning said 766 financial institutions are contracted to participate on the Zelle network, including the 378 that are processing transactions, representing nearly 70% of U.S. checking accounts.
The platform added more than 100 national and regional financial institutions to its network last quarter, it said.
"Gifting and splitting shared everyday costs — utilities, rent, meals, cell phone plans, tickets, etc. — continue to be the most common usages of Zelle amongst friends and family,” Early Warning said in a statement.
The company said sending money with Zelle for birthday and holiday gifts is an increasing trend, citing a 2019 survey it conducted that found money was the preferred holiday gift.
The U.S. market for digital payments was worth $979 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow to $1.3 trillion by 2023, according to a recent study by Statista and LearnBonds.com. Early Warning said it is not worried about As P2P payments market saturation, as it competes against the likes of PayPal’s Venmo and Square’s Cash App.
"There are 11,000 financial institutions in the United States," Jamie Armistead, business line leader at Early Warning Services told Banking Dive in September. "So, I don't think we'll be experiencing any sort of market saturation for quite some time."