Zelle to Cash App: How to Send Money (2023)

Written By Branson Knowles

Cash App and Zelle work in similar fashions but do it in two different ways. Cash App works as its own app while Zelle is integrated into a bank account, so users may wonder how you could send money from Zelle to Cash App.

Zelle and Cash App are two different fintech platforms, so you can’t send money directly between the two like you would two Cash App users. Instead, you can link a bank account to Cash App and use it as a middle-man for your transactions.

Zelle has its own app, but most users (like myself) use a version of Zelle located within my mobile banking app. I bank with Chase so I use their transfer system, appropriately dubbed “Quickpay with Zelle”.

Zelle is free to use through Chase or any other bank and transfers to other Zelle users are instant. Zelle does have its own app, but you have to link a bank account in order to use it.

Cash App is different. It can exist and operate without a bank account connected to it. You can fund Cash App without a bank account fairly easily, using the Cash App debit card or even just the app itself.

Unfortunately, you can’t link your Cash App’s account and routing numbers to Zelle.

Maybe one day we’ll see a little more compatibility from our fintech money apps, but until then, we’ll have to be creative and find workarounds.

The easiest way to send money from Zelle to Cash App, as previously mentioned, is to link a bank account to Zelle and to Cash App and use it as a middleman.

How to Send Money from Zelle to Cash App (Step-by-Step)

Sending money from Zelle to Cash App is easy once you have a bank account you can use.

Most banks come with Zelle integrated into their mobile apps or online banking anyways, so setting up your account with Zelle is easy. 

To set up your account with Zelle, open your bank’s mobile app and head to the transfer section.

I bank with Chase, and with them, it’s called Pay and Transfer.

Once you’re in your bank’s transfer section, click on either sending or receiving with Zelle, it shouldn’t matter which.

Clicking on them for the first time should bring up a prompt from Zelle asking for you to sign up to use their transfer service.

They don’t need much information that your bank doesn’t already have. They mainly just ask for permission to use your device.

After you’ve given it to them, you can then select how you’d like to receive Zelle payments, either by your email or phone number. 

Zelle doesn’t have usernames, $cashtags, or $chimesigns to find other users; instead, they rely on a connected phone number or email address.

This can be really handy when you have a lot of different banking apps with different usernames as I do.

Whenever I want to accept payment by Zelle, I just give my payee my email address, and the transfer is sent. 

Once you’ve clicked through the Zelle onboarding process, you’re in.

You should be able to send and receive transfers for free all from your bank’s mobile app. 

Connecting a bank account to Cash App works a little differently, so I’ll break down each step individually:

1. Download the Cash App

Cash App doesn’t come pre downloaded onto any other apps like Zelle does, so if you want to use the transfer app you’ll have to head to the app store and download it.

It’s free, so you have nothing to worry about there.

2. Open Cash App and Click on Your Profile

In the upper right hand corner of Cash App is a silhouette image, if you have a profile picture you should see that instead. Click on that to take you to the profile section of Cash App.

cash app my profile

3. Scroll Down and Click on Linked Banks

In the Account and Settings area of the profile section there’s a button titled “Linked Banks” where you can see any banks or debit cards you have currently linked to Cash App.

cash app linked banks (for zelle)

You can also link new debit cards and bank accounts to Cash App on this screen. Click Link Bank to do so.

link bank or card

4. Use Plaid

Plaid is a way to connect your bank account to Cash App quickly and securely. It’s one of the most popular companies on the market and is used by Venmo, Paypal, and Chime alike.

cash app using plaid

Plaid will let you connect to your bank’s online platform and login like you would normally log into your bank’s app.

Plaid is free and secure. If you ever want to disconnect from Plaid or from Cash App, you should be able to do so within your bank’s online banking platform.

After you’re done connecting your bank account to Cash App you’re almost finished.

With your newly connected account, you can now send and receive funds from Cash App for free in just a couple of business days, or instantly for a small fee. 

You can send money from Zelle to Cash App now. Zelle does not hold any balances (it’s the only transfer service that doesn’t have to report you to the IRS because of it), so you can send money from Zelle to Cash App through your linked bank account.

Head to Cash App and click Add Cash. Enter how much you’d like to transfer and Cash App will then ask how long you’d like the transfer to take. Again, you can go the free route and get your funds in 1-3 business days or do an instant transfer, pay a small fee, and receive them instantly. 

How Do I Receive Money from Zelle Without a Bank Account?

As Zelle works very heavily with bank accounts, it’s no surprise that a lot of prospective customers wonder if they can use the fintech service without having one. 

I’ll admit, it’s a lot easier to use Zelle if you have a bank account connected to it.

You can get the full spectrum of what Zelle can do, making your experience transferring money a lot better. 

But if you don’t have a bank account and are still looking to receive funds through Zelle, don’t panic, you still have options. 

If you don’t have a bank account and still want to receive funds from Zelle, you can always download the Zelle app from the app store and enroll an eligible Visa or Mastercard debit card.

You would use your applicable Visa or Mastercard the same way you would in any other fintech app, like adding a card to your Paypal wallet. 

zelle app linking card

Once the card is linked to Zelle, you can use it to send and receive money from anyone on the platform.

Zelle users stretch from big bank customers to your local credit union’s favorite account holders as well.

Zelle does want their customers to know that if you don’t have an account with Zelle and use your debit card to complete your transactions, the other person in the transaction must have a bank account connected to the Zelle network. 

Can I Use Zelle to Send Money to My Other Bank Account?

Zelle is partnered with over 1,600 financial institutions, providing their service to over 100 million Americans nationwide.

Their network is vast, so vast that people with multiple bank accounts at different institutions have twice the Zelle coverage!

If you bank with both Chase Bank and Wells Fargo, you have access to Zelle on both ends.

Now, with two banks both connected to Zelle, the question is: can you Zelle yourself? Can you use Zelle to send money to your other bank account?

Yes and no. Zelle doesn’t have usernames, instead they connect to your account/profile through either your email address or phone number. If you link your phone number to your Chase account, you won’t be able to link it to your Wells Fargo account.

You can, however, link your Wells Fargo account to your email address, giving yourself the ability to Zelle yourself across different banks. 

That’s about as far as you can go with the connection though. You can only send money across two different accounts, as there are only two usernames Zelle will accept.

Can Zelle Send Money to Paypal?

Like Cash App, Paypal exists on its own without a bank. You can get account and routing numbers, a debit card, and even the ability to cash your checks on the go.

Again Like Cash App, you can’t send money directly from Zelle to Paypal. You would instead have to link a bank account to Paypal and to Zelle in order to conduct a transfer between the two.

Once the accounts are linked, though, you should be able to conduct transfers between the two as often as you like until you choose to disconnect them yourself. 

Can You Send Money from Zelle to Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is different from Paypal and Cash App.

It’s not a transfer app like they are; Apple Pay is a fintech service that acts as a payment platform over a fintech company.

Apple Pay is used to manage online payments as well as make payments contactlessly.

You can receive money in your Apple Cash account, but it has to come as a transfer from another Apple Pay user. 

If Zelle had a debit or credit card, it would be a lot easier and more likely to send money from the transfer company to Apple Pay. 

In short, no, you can’t send someone money from Zelle to their Apple Pay. 

More Useful Articles About Zelle

About the Author

Lead Researcher, Digital Banking in the U.S. at TopMobileBanks

Branson Knowles is a former banker and current writer at TopMobileBanks.com.

During his years banking, he helped his clients discover their financial freedom through smart savings and spending goals. He started as a teller before becoming a banker and obtaining his federal licenses, furthering his clients' on their financial journeys.

After becoming one of the top producing bankers in the state, Branson decided it was time to pursue his own financial freedom. He started writing freelance finance articles before joining TopMobileBanks.com, breaking down banking like only an ex-banker could.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured On:
forbes logo
usnews logo
wall street journal
yahoo finance
techcrunch logo
world finance
bbc logo
thestreet logo