Home Comparison Zelle Vs Cash App

Zelle Vs Cash App

Zelle and Cash App are smartphone based money transfer companies that both offer services in the US. Cash App has the advantage of providing services to UK customers too, while Zelle’s main attraction are their low-cost fees. Many US banks have incorporated Zelle into their online banking services to compete against competitors in the remittance world. This comparison of Zelle and Cash App will compare international money transfer features such as transfer speed, available currencies, cost, trust and payment options. If better deals are available elsewhere, we will also be providing favourable alternatives. 

Updated: 25/01/2022
Read time: 8 minutes
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About Zelle and Cash App

Zelle is a money transfer app that allows for transactions between US customers only.  It differs from most mobile payment apps because it is integrated as an online service with many major banks. Zelle launched 5 years ago and since then, the company has acquired over 100 million customers. Company headquarters are in Scottsdale, Arizona and the business is owned by Early Warning Services LLC. Zelle’s mission statement reveals the company’s core objective: “allowing family and friends to send money efficiently – even if they do not have accounts from the same bank”. 

As the name suggests, Cash App is an app-based service available for Android and iOS. It was launched on October 15th 2013 and is currently only available to UK and US-based customers. Cash App has over 70 million active users and reports annual profits of $1.8 billion. We will now be looking at which company has the upper hand in terms of fees, exchange rates, customer opinion, location coverage and much more.  

Both brands primarily focus on domestic money transfers, or in Cash App’s case, transfers between UK and US customers only.

Which brand has lower transfer fees?

Zelle

Zelle does not charge a fee for domestic transfers, and this free service is one of the brand’s biggest selling factors. Users may be charged by their bank when using Zelle, but this can be queried beforehand.

Cash App

Cash App also does not charge fees for domestic transactions, but users will incur other charges along the way. This includes a 1.5% fee for instant transfers to a bank account, as well as fees for using a Cash App card and withdrawing money from an ATM.

✅ Verdict: This first round ends in a tie

Overall, both services offer free money transfers which means there is no obvious winner in this category. Readers will need to look at other factors to decide which brand is better suited to their needs.

Which brand offers better exchange rates?

Zelle

This category is not applicable to Zelle because the company only accommodates transfers between USD accounts: a domestic transfer does not require any kind of foreign exchange service.

Cash App

Cash App claims to use the mid-market exchange rate for GBP to USD and USD to GBP transfers which means the company is able to compete with other money transfer operators. The platform makes a profit by charging for additional services which will become clear later in this comparison.

✅ Verdict: Cash App is the winner

This win goes to Cash App because Zelle does not support international transfers and therefore cannot compete. Regardless of this fact, Cash App’s vow to match the mid-market rate gives the company a major advantage. 

Which brand covers more locations?

Zelle

Zelle only offers domestic transfers between customers based in the United States. This is the biggest limitation of Zelle because users that do not live in the US, will not have any reason to use this provider. To send money internationally, we recommend other service providers such as TorFX or Azimo, both of whom offer vast location coverage.

Cash App

Cash App is not much better than Zelle, since the brand’s location coverage only extends to users in the US and UK. Customers can apply for a Cash App debit card which can be used for worldwide payments anywhere that accepts Visa.

✅ Verdict: This win goes to Cash App

In conclusion, although the location coverage is still very limited, Cash App covers more locations and is the better choice for users sending money between the UK and US.

Which brand is faster?

Zelle

Transfers are typically processed within minutes, as long as the recipient has a Zelle account to receive the funds: if they do not, the time taken to create an account will be added on to the overall speed.

Cash App

Cash App transactions are instant, even if you are sending money in a foreign currency, from the US to the UK, or vice-versa. Transfer speed is one of the highlights of using Cash App to send and receive money.

✅ Verdict: Another tie between the two

Both services are able to offer faster speeds than traditional banks, as funds are deposited within minutes of executing a transfer. This means Zelle and Cash App are tied as both offer instantaneous turnaround on domestic transfers.

Which brand offers more transfer and payment options?

Zelle

Zelle facilitates transfers between US bank accounts and users do not need to add money to a separate Zelle account as the money can be directly deposited from one bank account to another. Although an efficient method, some customers prefer to pay for money transfers using a credit or debit card, or in cash.

Cash App

Cash App allows for deposits using your bank account or debit card. Bank account deposits will take 1 – 3 business days while debit deposits are instant, but incur a fee of 1.5%.

✅ Verdict: Another tie between the two

Cash App offers two types of transfer and payment options, making it the more flexible of the two brands. Zelle is only suitable for customers who are happy to transfer money between banks, but this is a free service. It is hard to conclusively determine which is a more preferential approach.

What do users have to say about each brand?

Zelle

Zelle has a very poor score of 1.1 out of 5, on consumer feedback platform, Trustpilot. This means the Zelle user consensus is largely negative, with many customers reporting huge delays, despite it being a domestic only service. 

Further to this, there are multiple instances where scammers have been accused of hacking Zelle to target users. This concerning feedback is corroborated in the news, with several media publications reporting on fraudulent activity.

Cash App

The Cash App TrustPilot score is not much better than Zelle’s, with 93% of feedback rating the company “Bad” and an overall score of 1.2 out of 5. Feedback about Cash App is compiled of complaints about the company’s customer service department, as well as reported issues retrieving money from lost or deactivated accounts.

✅ Verdict: Neither brand wins this one

Both brands have bad TrustPilot ratings, which mean that you should be cautious about using them. The low TrustPilot ratings of 1.1 for Zelle and 1.2 for Cash App are a clear indication that something is wrong. Fortunately, there are companies with amazing customer reviews that you can trust with international money transfers. For example, Key Currency has a TrustPilot rating of 4.9, which is near perfect. 

What brand offers better ease of use, accessibility, transparency & security?

Zelle

Zelle does not offer additional language support, beyond English, on their website or mobile app. Accessibility of Zelle services is limited to US bank accounts and credit unions, with bank transfers being the only available remittance option. 

When sending money using the app you will not need to enter additional security details. Money arrives instantly if the recipient is also registered with Zelle and transactions cannot be cancelled, which may prove problematic considering the company does not offer refunds or insurance for incorrect or mistaken payments. 

The mobile app is available to download from the Google Play and App Store, with high user ratings of 4.3 and 4.8. This suggests the app performs well, even if the overall user experience is less than satisfactory. The app’s core functionality focuses on sending and receiving money. 

Zelle is free to use for customers and charges banks a fee of around $0.50 – 0.75 USD per transaction.

Cash App

Cash App is available in English and Spanish languages, with users to switch between the two. You can fund your Cash App account using bank transfer or debit card. The latter comes with an added fee, but will be an instant payment. Transactions between Cash App users are designed to be instant which is a large draw for many users. 

To contact customer support you will need to sign in or enter your mobile number. Also, there is an FAQ section on their website where you can get answers to commonly asked questions. 

The user score on Google Play for the mobile app is 4.6 and it is 4.7 on the App Store. These high scores indicate a positive overall experience. The app allows you to sign up in minutes and send or receive money, as well as supporting stock trading and offering users a free custom debit card linked to their account. 

Cash App does not charge a fee for transfers aside from payments made via debit card which incur a fee of 3% of the transfer amount. 

✅ Verdict: Cash App wins but only just

It was a close call for this category, but we will award the win to Cash App as there are simply more user options in terms of accessibility and payment. 

Additional features

Zelle
  • Simple transfers: to send money with Zelle you only need to enter the recipient’s email address or US mobile number. There is no need for long account numbers and bank address details. 
  • No smartphone required: there is no need to use the Zelle app to execute transfers. You can log in with online banking of a bank or credit union that accepts Zelle. 
  • Disbursements: Zelle allows you to receive money from government organizations, businesses and universities. 
Cash App
  • Debit card: you can receive a free debit card that can be used for payments and withdrawals abroad. Use the Visa card anywhere with the applicable logo. 
  • Automatic currency conversions: when sending money from the US to the UK, then USD will automatically be converted into GBP based on the mid-market rate. Likewise, when sending money from the UK to the US, then GBP will automatically convert to USD. The automatic currency conversion means the recipient will receive the currency that is native to their country. 
  • Security: to make payments you need to log in securely using a passcode, TouchID or FaceID. These security protocols protect your account from unwanted transactions. 

Overall, Zelle is a good choice if you do not want to use a mobile app to complete transactions. Also, it allows money to be received from governments and businesses. Cash App is a great choice if you want a debit card that is linked to your account. This allows you to spend money from your account while traveling abroad.

 Bottom line – who is better?

There are many similarities between Zelle and Cash App such as limited coverage, low to no transfer fees and mobile-only access. However, there are a few key differences that you should consider before deciding whether to use either service. Zelle allows domestic bank to bank transfers, whereas Cash App can be used to deposit money internationally, paid for by bank transfer or debit card.

Also, Cash App allows transfers in the UK, but Zelle is limited to the US. You will also find additional services at Cash App such as a free Visa debit card and the ability to buy Bitcoin or stocks. Zelle is limited to just transfers between US banks and has no ambitions to expand. 

To summarize, Cash App provides better flexibility for customers that want to send money internationally because the UK is included in their global coverage. Alternatively, you can find out all about the best Alternatives to Cash App for International Transfers, or check out all available service providers using our comparison engine.

Additional support from MoneyTransfers.com

Learn more about both services by reading our detailed Zelle review and Cash App review which dig a little deeper into the details of each service as well as provide steps on how to execute international money transfers. 

However, both services have limited worldwide coverage, which means many customers will need other options. Consider using an alternative like WorldRemit, which offers a far-reaching global network of over 150 countries. 

April Summers

April is a trained journalist and the Content Editor for MoneyTransfers.com. She has 10 years experience writing about a diverse range of subjects, from financial services to arts and entertainment. When she’s not writing about global remittances she can be found daydreaming about her next holiday abroad.

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