Cash App Vs. Zelle (A Quick Guide With Table)

cash app vs zelle

The banking industry has evolved a lot over the last couple of decades. Today you can download payment apps that make peer-to-peer payments fast and easy. Paying your babysitter or your part of a bar tab has never been easier. I compared two of the most popular payment apps to help inform myself and others of the most suitable app to use.

The Zelle app’s primary focus is to allow for fast payments between bank accounts (Zelle-backed banks) free of charge. Cash App allows for payments, even without a banking account, via a digital wallet (debit card issued) and charges fees for early withdrawal, credit card, and forex transactions.

Zelle has the public backing of most banking institutions in the U.S., and more are integrating Zelle into their online banking systems as we speak. Cash App allows its users to receive money, even if they do not have a bank account. They will be using the app’s personally created debit card to utilize the funds received in a digital wallet. 

Cash App vs. Zelle

Comparing two products, and finding the most suitable one, will always come down to what the product can do for you, how safe it is to use, and the cost of using the product. Answering these questions will enable us to compare apples with apples, if they are indeed comparable apples, and which apple type is the one for you!

How Do The Apps Work?

When comparing the two apps, there are notable differences in how they function regarding the type of accounts that can link to the app, forex trading, fees involved with certain transactions, and so forth.

Although both apps are geared up to make, receive, and request payments, they work differently. Let us delve into this:

ZelleCash App
Bank Account RequiredYesNo
Instant PaymentYes, If Receiver’s Bank Is Zelle Registered.
Payments To Debit Cards Without Zelle
Integration Will Take 1-3 Business Days To Clear.
No, Instant Payment Fee Of 1.5% Will Be Charged.
Standard Payment Clearing Time Is 1-3 Business Days.
Methods Used To PayPrimary Bank Account
App Does Not Allow To Make Payments From A Credit Card, Prepaid Card, or International Debit Card.
Bank Account
Credit Card (3% Fee Applicable)
Debit Card
Google Pay
Apple Pay
Methods To Recieve PaymentBank AccountBank Account
Debit Card
Mobile Wallet
ATM
Digital WalletNo, Money Is Transferred Directly Between Banking Accounts.Yes, Option Of Linking A Cash App Cash Card Allows User To Draw/Spend Money Without It Going To A Bank Account First.
Free To RegisterYesYes
Service FeesNoYes
Additional ServicesNoYes
Buying/Selling Bitcoin (Estimated Charge Of 1.75%)
Buying/Selling Shares (No Charge)
Wrong Payment MadeNo Reversal OptionsNo Reversal Options
Safety Face And Fingerprint Biometrics To Log In. Face And Fingerprint Biometrics To Log In.
Business Account PaymentsYesYes
International TransfersNoYes, Can Send Money To Cash App Users In The U.K.
Banking Institutions App IntegrationYes, Over 800 Banks Has The App Integrated Into Their Respective Online Banking Platforms.No

Zelle

zelle

Zelle is a payment app that is free to download (on IOS or Android) and free to use. Zelle directly transfers money from one bank account to another bank account, and there is no escrow or waiting period where Zelle holds on to the funds. 

All you will need from your recipient is their email address or telephone number to make a payment through either your bank’s mobile app, the internet, or the Zelle mobile app. If the intended recipient’s bank supports Zelle, they can accept the payment through their banking app. 

If their bank is not integrated with the Zelle app, Zelle will send them a link to accept payment to their debit card, with a clearing period of 1-3 business days. Zelle supports payment transactions between users and small businesses as long as the small business account is a registered Zelle partner.

Cash App

cash app

Cash App is a payment app ( Square Cash) and is free to download (Android and IOS). You can set up your Cash App to make payments from either your bank account, credit card, debit card, Google Pay, or Apple Pay. All you need to pay another person is their telephone number, email address, or a $Cashtag.  If they aren’t a Cash App user, Cash App will send a link to claim the payment.

Cash App allows their users to create a personalized debit card ( Cash App Cash Card) for the account that users can use to purchase goods, draw funds from ATMs, directly from their Cash App balance without involving their bank account or credit card.

Cash App allows for payments to and from your business account. There are some limitations in place regarding monthly limits that can be uplifted by providing more personal information regarding the validation of your account. 

Be aware of the most common Cash App scams.

What Are The Fees For Using The Apps?

Even though the apps are marketed as being free to download and free to use, there are some costs involved:

Zelle

zelle

Zelle is free to use, but since it is linked to your bank’s online banking app, we suggest that you confirm with your bank that you don’t pay withdrawal or transfer fees when using Zelle. Zelle does not charge any fees when sending or receiving money, but your bank may charge a fee. 

Cash App

cash app

Cash App is free to use when sending money; however, when you receive money and want it to be cleared instantly, you will be charged a fee of 1.5% (minimum fee of $0.25), or you will have to wait between 1-3 days for the funds to clear.

Sending money via a credit card will incur a 3% charge, while paying via debit card/bank account will be free. If you are using your Cash App Cash Card, then the following fees will apply:

  • Cash App will charge you for using any ATM (by default), and the ATM (The bank that owns the ATM) may also charge you additional fees.
  • As a standard, you will be charged $2.00 per transaction (Max $310 per withdrawal and the maximum amount in 7 days is $1,000)
  • Direct deposits to your Cash App account that total more than $300 per month will result in a maximum reimbursement amount of $7 per ATM withdrawal ( cap of $21 per month).

What Are The Limits On The Apps?

The apps are not designed to function as out-and-out banking apps, only to make payments between peers easier, so certain limits are in place to safeguard users.

Zelle

zelle

Seeing that most central banks back Zelle in the U.S., the payment limits are usually enforced by each respective bank. The daily limit varies from $500-$5,000 per day, while monthly limits may vary from $10,000-$40,000, depending on where you bank, the type of account you have, and the account’s status. 

There is no limit with regards to receiving money via Zelle. It is recommended that you contact your bank regarding your limits and inquire with them on how to change these if you are not satisfied with the limits you are given. 

Cash App

cash app

The following limits  apply to users using the Cash App:

  • Unverified accounts can send $250 per 7-day period and receive $1,000 per 30-day period.
  • Verified accounts can send $7,500 per 7-day period and receive unlimited funds.

To change the status from unverified to verified, do the following:

  • Open Cash App.
  • Attempt to make a payment of more than $250.
  • Cash App will prompt you to verify your account: Full name, date of birth, and your social security number’s last four digits.
  • Complete the remaining steps and finish the process by submitting the verification form.

Conclusion

Suppose you want a simple peer-to-peer payment app offered by most banks in the U.S. (and counting). If this is the case, Zelle is free of charge and clears funds instantly (if the receiver has a bank account directly linked to Zelle on their online banking platform), Zelle may be the app you are looking for. Payments among people you trust are made simple and easy.

Should you be looking for more than just a payment app that transfers money, then Cash App could be the one for you. Cash App features a personalized debit card, the ability to do forex transactions, access to a digital wallet, and ATM cash withdrawals. Just be sure to factor in the fees when making your choice.

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As a Current mobile banking app affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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As a Current mobile banking app affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.