Zelle Business vs Personal: What’s the difference?

Panna Kemenes

Zelle® is a popular peer-to-peer payment service that also offers business account compatibility.

In 2021, consumers and small businesses sent near to half a trillion dollars using Zelle.¹ 8 million users received payments from small businesses via Zelle in the second quarter of 2022 alone.²

Let’s look at the differences between Zelle personal vs business, and see if the latter could benefit you.

💡 If you need an account that offers international transfers, then you can also discover Wise Business in this article.

Zelle business vs personal: Quick overview

Here’s a quick-fire overview of Zelle business vs personal.

Zelle business accountZelle personal
FeesDepends on your financial institutionFree to use when you send money to friends or family
Great forSmall businesses wanting quick contactless paymentsAnyone looking for quick bank-to-bank cost-free transfers
RequirementsA financial institution that directly offers Zelle through their mobile banking appA Visa or Mastercard debit card issued by a US financial institution (for personal transactions)
AvailabilityOnly available in the USOnly available in the US³

Can I use my personal Zelle account for my business?

This depends. You first need to check if your bank or credit union offers Zelle for small businesses. Unfortunately, not every bank supports Zelle for all business account types.⁴

Zelle personal vs business key features

If your bank or credit union offers Zelle for personal accounts, then you can make all Zelle transactions via your mobile banking app. If they don’t offer Zelle, you can enroll by simply connecting your account with a Visa or Mastercard debit card associated with a U.S. bank.⁵

To send money to friends or family, all you need is their phone number or email address. Transactions with Zelle are fast and efficient. Funds usually arrives within minutes in your bank account.⁶

For personal transactions, at least one person’s bank or credit union must offer Zelle.⁷

But, for Zelle business accounts, it’s a bit of a different story.

For all business transactions between Zelle consumers and small businesses registered with Zelle, both parties' financial institutions must offer Zelle through their banking app.

This means that if you’re registered to Zelle with a Visa or Mastercard debit card, you can’t register as a small business, nor can you make payments to small businesses using Zelle.⁸

If both you and your customer can access Zelle through your banking apps, then Zelle enables fast direct transfers from the customer's bank account to yours. This eliminates the need for card or cash payments.

However, one drawback of Zelle is that you can’t cancel payments. On top of this, there is no customer protection scheme.⁹ This may put off customers if they are looking for a payment system that can refund their money.

Additionally, Zelle is only available to US based financial institutions and cards. This could limit your business if you want to expand internationally.

When it comes to how much you can send and receive with Zelle, it’s best to check with your bank or credit union. Each financial institution has different sending and receiving limits.

Using Zelle for business

Zelle business account vs personal fees

Let’s now take a look at Zelle business account vs personal account fees.

Zelle personal account fees

The Zelle personal account is free to use.¹⁰

There are no extra transaction fees when you send money to friends or family. On top of this, there are no setup fees or monthly fees, making it a cost-effective money transfer service.

Zelle business account fees

Just like with the personal account, the Zelle business account is free of setup fees and monthly fees.

But is there a fee to use Zelle as a small business?

When it comes to making and receiving business transactions, fees may be applied. However, there is no definitive fee, as it varies from bank to bank.⁴

    For example, if you have a Wells Fargo or Chase Bank business account, transactions are free. But, you may be charged for your mobile carrier’s message and data rates.¹¹ ¹²
    On the other hand, if you have a business account with Amerant, then a fee of $2.00 USD applies to each incoming and outgoing transaction.¹³
    So it’s best to check with your credit union or bank about which fees will apply.

Need to send or receive international payments? Try Wise

One thing Zelle personal and business accounts have in common, is that they're only available for US based bank accounts and debit cards. This means you can’t receive or send money internationally with Zelle, limiting your business’ market.

Wise Business could be a great alternative in this case.

Wise is a smart online banking alternative that’s already used by 15 million people and businesses. There is no monthly subscription fee, and you’ll find a host of tools to help manage your business finances.

Open a Wise Business account online

With a Wise Business account, you can pay suppliers and employees abroad, in up to 80 different countries. You’ll have access to the mid-market exchange rate when you do so, free from hidden fees and mark-ups.

You’ll also have access to local account details for up to 10 different currencies. With these, you can receive money from abroad like a local, saving you on cross border fees.

Money for here, there and everywhere

Find out more

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