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Bad first experience with Zelle

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I went to pay someone who banks with one of the participating banks using Zelle. I entered their mobile number and name for the transfer figuring they would get notified how to claim their payment if they didn't have the mobile number associated with their account.

I checked in with the recipient a couple of days later and they said they never got any notification that I had sent a payment.

The payment status in my account was listed as on hold, so I was able to cancel it.

My assumption was that if I paid to a number that wasn't registered that Zelle would work like PayPal and notify them that they have a payment and allow them to claim it.

Has anyone else attempted this scenario (pay to a mobile number that wasn't yet registered to an  account) and did it work properly?

NB: I looked for Zelle FAQs online and it appears that they are supposed to be notified, but it's not 100% clear. I didn't contact my bank's customer service because I have low confidence they would know what's supposed to happen.

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This is what happened to me also. I even called the local bank and the 800 number. Both groups have no idea how to fix and no one they can transfer me to. I assumed it was user error but it looked pretty straight forward.

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Use venmo

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It kind of happened to me - someone was sending us money. But they used an email address, and technically this was just a few weeks before our bank started advertising its rebranding as Zelle. I think we did get an email, but had to register it with our bank's payment service to have it available there. And then it still took a while - at least a few days before it showed with that bank, and I think we had to take action to 'accept' it to finally get the money moved to our account.

That was our first and so far only use of the system. Not great, but I'd give it a try again for a similar p2p use if it comes around again.

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SlimTim said:   It kind of happened to me - someone was sending us money. But they used an email address, and technically this was just a few weeks before our bank started advertising its rebranding as Zelle. I think we did get an email, but had to register it with our bank's payment service to have it available there. And then it still took a while - at least a few days before it showed with that bank, and I think we had to take action to 'accept' it to finally get the money moved to our account.

That was our first and so far only use of the system. Not great, but I'd give it a try again for a similar p2p use if it comes around again.

  Wondering if it works ok if you use an email address, but not if you use just a mobile number.

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BostonOne said:   
SlimTim said:   It kind of happened to me - someone was sending us money. But they used an email address, and technically this was just a few weeks before our bank started advertising its rebranding as Zelle. I think we did get an email, but had to register it with our bank's payment service to have it available there. And then it still took a while - at least a few days before it showed with that bank, and I think we had to take action to 'accept' it to finally get the money moved to our account.

That was our first and so far only use of the system. Not great, but I'd give it a try again for a similar p2p use if it comes around again.

  Wondering if it works ok if you use an email address, but not if you use just a mobile number.

  If the mobile number you send money to isnt on file, can they notify the recipient?  Or would that be considered illegal spam, since they have no existing relationship/permission to send texts to that number? 

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Glitch99 said:   
BostonOne said:   
SlimTim said:   It kind of happened to me - someone was sending us money. But they used an email address, and technically this was just a few weeks before our bank started advertising its rebranding as Zelle. I think we did get an email, but had to register it with our bank's payment service to have it available there. And then it still took a while - at least a few days before it showed with that bank, and I think we had to take action to 'accept' it to finally get the money moved to our account.

That was our first and so far only use of the system. Not great, but I'd give it a try again for a similar p2p use if it comes around again.

  Wondering if it works ok if you use an email address, but not if you use just a mobile number.

  If the mobile number you send money to isnt on file, can they notify the recipient?  Or would that be considered illegal spam, since they have no existing relationship/permission to send texts to that number? 

Interesting point. But then it seems strange that they wouldn't notify you when they realized that mobile number wasn't associated with an account.
In any case, they certainly advertise paying to a mobile number and this has to be a case they've considered. They don't seem to handle it very well.

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Is there any chance the number belongs to Google Voice or a similar forwarding service? I have a rather poor success rate with text notifications or 2 factor auth with my GV number. Whatever service is sending the texts sometimes just can't send them to GV numbers.
A similar situation if it's a VOIP or landline number, Zelle could be firing off a notification text into a black hole if the receiving number simply doesn't support SMS.
I doubt they actually try to call anyone if the number isn't associated, they just assume everyone can receive SMS.

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plastrd said:   Is there any chance the number belongs to Google Voice or a similar forwarding service? I have a rather poor success rate with text notifications or 2 factor auth with my GV number. Whatever service is sending the texts sometimes just can't send them to GV numbers.
A similar situation if it's a VOIP or landline number, Zelle could be firing off a notification text into a black hole if the receiving number simply doesn't support SMS.
I doubt they actually try to call anyone if the number isn't associated, they just assume everyone can receive SMS.

It's a non-GV mobile phone using a traditional wireless carrier.

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I couldn't remember if we got a system notification or our friend forwarded that to us - I just checked and we got the system notification directly, marked as "Chase Quickpay" in the branding (the friend's bank was Chase). Our bank's online history already relabels it as a Zelle transaction.

So yeah, email may be more reliable especially if the recipient may not be registered with a bank yet. Our email was not registered, and the email was not known to any of our banks either, so they had no clue what to do with it. My bank's web pages to register were a mess at the time, I had to call to sort that out. The payment posted the day after I registered with my bank, though they didn't show anything about the incoming payment until then either.

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Yeah, I think it would be safer to use an email. I do agree the system never texts, but does send emails to signup unknown contacts.

Banks have been aggressive to get people to register mobiles and emails for Zelle as an interrupt when you login to your banking portal. But, it isn't mandatory.

I've also had someone cancel a mobile send as well because I didn't originally register the mobile used.

Rasheed

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I suspect the requirement to notify is controlled by the source bank, and not the Zelle system. Just a phone number they won't really know what bank you as the recipient deal with or even if you HAVE a compatible bank.

I know that I always had a text, but that was due to my number being registered to my account at Wells Fargo. So I would guess that if you are not registered that it won't prompt you to do so. (as someone mentioned the sending bank has no relationship with you at all)

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i tried sending a test with zelle pay from wells fargos to wells fargos accounts works perfect. i ran into the issue with i have the same number and email in one bank you cant use the same information in two banks is one or the other to register. Im testing zelle pay with transaction from Wells Fargo to Ally Bank. Lets if it goes thru ill keep guys posted.

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I am also having trouble with Zelle.

A Chase QuickPay user who sends money every month like clockwork had the most recent payment fail. Chase just converted to Zelle. I've gotten other payments OK but not this one, and they've tried it multiple times AND using my phone # and email.

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