Zelle has become popular for its fast and easy payments.
It’s also free.
For those who simply want to transfer money to close friends and family, Zelle has become a popular transfer method.
The app facilitates peer-to-peer transfers and has experienced enormous growth year-over-year. However, for Canadians, the main issue is that the app isn’t available in Canada.
Is Zelle Coming to Canada?
Unfortunately, Zelle has not announced any plans to expand its service to Canada.
Without any current plans for such an expansion, Canadians shouldn’t hold their breath.
Of course, Canadians can use Zelle, with the main caveat being that they must have a US bank account.
Both the sender’s and the recipient’s bank account must be in the US.
Apart from that, there aren’t any limits on who can use the app.
Of course, this makes Zelle an impractical choice for most Canadians.
Without any regular service available for Canadian bank account holders, Canadians are forced to seek alternatives.
Alternatives to Zelle for Canadians
There are several alternatives to Zelle available to Canadians.
Wealthsimple Cash is a payment/transfer app. It is used for mobile banking and transferring money in Canada.
- High interest for deposited cash.
- Only available in Canada.
- Lacks some typical account features.
Zelle is a US-based peer-to-peer money transfer provider. It is not currently available for transfers to Canadian bank accounts.
- No receiving limits.
- Convenient for on-the-go transfers.
- Only available in the US.
- Payment limits for senders.
Wise is based in the US but is available in Canada and 80 other countries. It’s a fast-growing payments company known for low and transparent costs.
- No markups on international exchange rates.
- Available in dozens of countries.
- Standard fees can add up.
- There are faster and cheaper options for domestic transfers.
1. Wealthsimple Cash App
Wealthsimple offers its own cash app which operates as a money transfer service and mobile bank.
It’s a convenient app that makes it easier to quickly send money, split a bill, pay someone back, or whatever other kind of transaction you need.
Deposited money in a Wealthsimple Cash App account generates interest of 0.5%.
There are no minimum deposits and sending or receiving money is free.
Wealthsimple Cash App can be considered the Canadian equivalent of Zelle.
It’s a Canadian service that is designed for Canada-to-Canada transfers.
Wise is a US-based international money transfer provider.
It is available in many countries, including Canada.
Users with more international transfer needs can use Wise for their international availability and many currencies.
Among international money transfer providers, Wise stands out for its transparency.
They don’t mark up currency conversion rates.
Wise is a fast service to use, making it comparable to Zelle and other fast money transfer options.
Wise is worth considering as an alternative to Zelle, especially if you’re planning on sending money to other countries.
3. Interac e-Transfer
Interac is a Canadian network that connects the many chartered banks in Canada.
It enables electronic transactions for other financial institutions as well.
For the average Canadian, they also offer e-transfers, a fast and (normally) free option for sending money.
The specific cost and transfer times of an e-transfer depend on the bank you send money from.
Some banks facilitate completely free e-transfers that are delivered in a matter of seconds.
Some other banks will charge a fee for an e-transfer.
Service times are also quite high with some banks and may take a couple of hours.
What is Zelle and Why is it so Popular?
Zelle is a free domestic money transfer service in the US.
It’s an app-based service, making it easy to use on the go.
Zelle’s rising popularity can be attributed partly to the overall rise in the popularity of peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfers.
But Zelle also offers a unique proposition in several ways.
Zelle integrates with many other banking apps, offering extensive interoperability with other financial services popular among Americans.
There are also no limits for how much money users can receive.
While there are limits on how much users can send, Zelle offers quite a lot of value for an app that is free to use.
With that in mind, it’s clear why Zelle is popular and expected to keep growing.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can you e-transfer from the US to Canada?
You cannot send an e-transfer from the US to Canada or vice-versa. First, you need a Canadian bank account to send an e-transfer. But even if you do have a Canadian bank account, your recipient can only deposit the money into another Canadian bank account.
- Why is Zelle not available in Canada?
Zelle is an American domestic company, and many P2P payment services are purely domestic. While there are plenty of international money transfer options, it’s normally larger, well-established companies that facilitate them. International money transfers are more complex and require a company to have the expertise and licencing to conduct them. Right now, Zelle isn’t one of those companies.
- How do you use Zelle in Canada?
Unfortunately, there is no way to use Zelle in Canada. But if you have a US bank account, you can use Zelle to send money to another US bank account.