Blog Zelle International: Why It’s Not Available, and How To Save Money With Alternatives in 2023


5 months ago

Zelle International: Why It’s Not Available, and How To Save Money With Alternatives in 2023

Who hasn’t faced the need to transfer money across borders quickly and securely at least once? Zelle, a popular peer-to-peer payment platform in the United States, offers seamless domestic transactions with unmatched convenience.

Is Zelle international available at the moment? Can Zelle send money internationally? Unfortunately, despite its widespread popularity within the US market, Zelle international availability remains limited. We are going to shed light on why Zelle is not yet available internationally and explore alternative solutions that can help you save money while conducting global transactions in 2023.

Zelle: Insanely Popular

Before we proceed to answer the common question “does Zelle work internationally?”, let’s learn a bit more about the service.

Zelle has revolutionized how Americans send and receive money domestically since its launch back in 2017. With over 118 million users, it has rapidly gained nationwide traction among banks and financial institutions. The platform allows users to directly link their bank accounts or debit cards to make instant payments without additional fees.

Zelle Benefits Description
Speedy Transactions Zelle enables near-instantaneous money transfers between enrolled users, often within minutes, even on weekends and holidays.
Ease of Use The platform is user-friendly, allowing seamless money transfers using just an email address or phone number, simplifying the payment process.
Security Zelle implements robust security measures, including encryption and authentication protocols, ensuring safe and protected transactions.
Wide Availability Many major banks and financial institutions in the United States integrate Zelle into their mobile banking apps, providing widespread accessibility.
No Fees Zelle typically doesn’t charge fees for standard bank-to-bank transfers, making it a cost-effective option for many users.
Split Payments Users can easily split bills or expenses among friends or family members by dividing payments directly through the app.
Flexibility Zelle allows transfers of various amounts, from small everyday payments to more significant transactions, catering to diverse needs.
Integration Zelle seamlessly integrates with banking apps, making it convenient for users who already use these platforms for their financial needs.
Trackable Transactions Users can track their payment history within the app, providing visibility and records of past transactions.
Customer Support Zelle offers customer support services to assist users with any queries or issues they may encounter during transactions.

Can Zelle Be Used Internationally?

Indeed, it can be frustrating when financial services don’t extend beyond national boundaries. Many individuals have been left wondering why Zelle international isn’t available.

The reason behind Zelle’s unavailability for international money transfers lies in its infrastructure and requirements. To use Zelle, both the sender and recipient must have a US-based bank account as well as a mobile phone number registered with a participating US bank or credit union.

Zelle operates through partnerships with major American banks rather than having direct access to global banking networks like SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) or SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area). This limits their ability to facilitate cross-border transactions effectively.

Alternatives to Zelle for International Money Transfers

As you can see, while Zelle has gained popularity as a domestic peer-to-peer payment service in the United States, it does not currently offer an international transfer feature. But there is also good news: while Zelle international is not available, there are plenty of other helpful options!

Alternative #1: Remitly

Remitly is one of the leading digital platforms designed specifically for affordable international money transfers. With competitive exchange rates and low fees across various destination countries globally – including Mexico, India, and the Philippines – Remitly offers convenience without compromising security. Through their user-friendly mobile app or website interface, you can easily send funds directly from your bank account at any time. It makes this option one of the best Zelle international transfer alternatives.

Additionally, you have options such as express delivery if you need immediate remittance or economy delivery if saving costs take priority over speed.

Alternative #2: Wise (Formerly Transferwise)

Wise provides another efficient alternative when it comes to global fund transfers.

Renowned for its transparency regarding fees upfront, Wise boasts incredibly low transaction costs compared to traditional banks. Instead of charging hidden markup fees as many other providers do, Wise applies mid-market exchange rates when converting currencies.

This ensures that customers receive fair conversion rates, resulting in considerable savings over time. Furthermore, Wise offers a multi-currency account that allows you to hold and manage funds in various currencies, making it especially useful for frequent international transactions.

Alternative #3: WorldRemit

WorldRemit Zelle international money transfer alternative is an established player in the realm of international money transfers. With coverage extending to more than 150 countries worldwide, this platform enables users to send money conveniently from their bank accounts or debit/credit cards.

Competitive exchange rates ensure value for your hard-earned cash, while low transaction fees make every penny count. WorldRemit also provides multiple payout options, such as bank deposits, cash pickups, and even mobile wallet top-ups, depending on the recipient’s location. Given its extensive network and user-friendly interface, this Zelle international money transfer alternative can be an excellent alternative when Zelle is not available for cross-border transfers.

Another Option: Banks and PayPal

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital payments, Zelle has become a popular choice for transferring money between friends and family in the United States. Nevertheless, there are alternative options available that can help you save money while still facilitating cross-border transfers.

Traditional Banks

While traditional banks may not offer the same convenience as Zelle, they do provide reliable international transfer services. Most major banks have partnerships with correspondent financial institutions around the globe, allowing them to process international wire transfers securely and efficiently.

When using this method, keep in mind that fees can vary significantly depending on your bank’s policies and destination country regulations. It’s essential to inquire about any associated charges before initiating a transfer so you can evaluate if it aligns with your budgeting goals.


PayPal has been revolutionizing online payments since its inception by enabling fast and secure transactions globally – making it an excellent alternative when Zelle isn’t an option for international transfers.

To use PayPal effectively:

  1. Link your bank account or debit card: By connecting these accounts to your PayPal profile, you ensure seamless fund transfers between different currencies without having to pay excessive conversion fees.
  2. Verify recipient details: Always double-check recipient information, such as email addresses or mobile numbers, before sending funds through PayPal.
  3. Evaluate transaction costs: While some domestic peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions within countries might incur minimal or no fees at all on both ends of the transaction via personal accounts, business-related activities typically involve nominal service charges based on specific criteria set forth by each country’s jurisdiction.
  4. Consider currency conversions wisely: When converting currencies during overseas purchases or receiving foreign payments into local currency via PayPal’s exchange rates feature known as “PayPal Currency Conversion,” be aware of the conversion rate being applied and compare it with other reliable sources to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

By leveraging these Zelle alternatives, you can overcome the limitations imposed by Zelle’s unavailability for international transactions. While they may require a bit more effort and research upfront, utilizing traditional banks or online payment platforms like PayPal will help you save money while ensuring your cross-border transfers are completed securely and efficiently.

Saving Money with Alternatives to Zelle

While these Zelle alternatives offer convenient ways to transfer funds internationally when Zelle is unavailable, it’s also important to consider cost-saving strategies. Here are some tips:

Compare Exchange Rates

When selecting a provider, always compare exchange rates across different platforms before finalizing your transfer. This ensures that you receive the best possible conversion rate without sacrificing security or convenience.

Consider Timing

Fluctuations in currency values occur daily. Timing your transfer strategically during periods where the exchange rate favors your destination country can save you significant sums of money. Be mindful of market trends and use them to your advantage whenever possible.

Bulk Transfers

If you frequently need to send larger amounts overseas, it may be beneficial to explore bulk transfer options. Some providers offer reduced fees or preferential rates for high-volume transactions. Consider consolidating smaller payments into one larger remittance when feasible – this could result in substantial savings over time.

Wrapping Up

So, is Zelle international available for now? Unfortunately, Zelle International may not be available yet in 2023, but plenty of Zelle international transfer alternatives can help you save money and make secure international transfers.

By exploring options such as TransferWise, PayPal, or even cryptocurrency platforms like Bitcoin or Ethereum, you can continue to send and receive funds globally without breaking the bank on high fees and unfavorable exchange rates. Remember to do your research before choosing an alternative service provider to ensure they align with your financial goals and needs.

With a little bit of planning and smart decision-making when it comes to international transactions, you can navigate this ever-changing landscape successfully while keeping more money in your pocket.