Are you looking to make Canada-to-Canada money transfers and thinking Zelle’s fantastic mobile payment platform is what you need? Unfortunately, Zelle is a U.S.-based service that does not work across the border. Therefore, Canucks need an alternative.
Thankfully, Canadians can access several apps and services that serve the same purpose as Zelle, so they no longer have to carry any cash or cards.
Keep on reading to learn about these fantastic payment options.
Is Zelle Available in Canada?
Does Canada have Zelle? No, it does not. In order to provide the full suite of features, transfer money within minutes, and offer a free-to-use service, Zelle has been designed to only work in the U.S. between U.S.-based bank accounts. Users must also have a valid U.S. mobile number so that Zelle verifies they are U.S. citizens.
The main reason why a service such as Zelle does not work outside the U.S. is the difficulty and cost of conducting foreign transactions. After all, Zelle markets itself as a user-friendly, cost-free, and lightning-fast money transfer platform. On the other hand, international transfers take time, money, and effort to implement and use.
What Makes Zelle So Popular?
Zelle makes transferring money between users as simple as pressing a few buttons—it doesn’t even matter where they bank! Best of all, the money arrives literally within minutes. Here are the other features making Zelle a must-have app:
- Instant account-to-account transfers—the amount sent via Zelle typically arrives at its destination in a couple of minutes if both users are already enrolled with the service; if not, the recipient will first have to set up their account;
- Integrated with most mobile banking apps—most U.S. banks integrate Zelle in their mobile banking applications, so you may not even need the Zelle, and you’ll complete cross-bank transfers without any hassles;
- Cost-free money transfers—sending and receiving money from friends, family, and other users comes at no additional costs; that said, you should still confirm the fact with your banking provider;
- Describing your payment—when sending money to a recipient, you can also send a memo describing the payment;
- Splitting bills between friends—Zelle also includes a ‘Split’ option that allows you to divide the cost of a transaction among several users;
- Disbursements with Zelle—you can arrange for your regular payments, such as paychecks, rebates, benefits, and refunds, to be sent directly to your bank account via Zelle; you only have to provide your mobile number or email.
Considering all these benefits, you surely see how Zelle makes life that much more convenient. Also, while 1,800 banks across the U.S. have partnered with Zelle, you can still use it if your bank is yet to adopt it. You just need to get the mobile app!
Note: Since Zelle does not offer purchase protection, you should think twice before sending money anywhere, as it’s immediately deposited into the recipient’s account.
Zelle Alternatives in Canada
With Zelle and Venmo not extending their services to Canada, Canucks are forced to seek аlternatives. Luckily, there are many. Here are our top picks!
With over 10 million users, Wise makes a solid Zelle substitute for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s incredibly safe and super simple to use. In fact, users across the globe make transactions with only a few clicks! Plus, they can access over 50 currencies with no hidden fees.
Wise allows Canadians to send CAD to any registered bank account in Canada. And the bank transfer comes with no limits. The recipient will get the money in just a day once Wise gets the designated amount (which usually takes 1–3 business days).
Though all transfers come with fees, Wise allows new users to transfer up to $800 fee-free!
We can’t make a list of Zelle alternatives without mentioning Paysend! The platform seems to have it all: fast international transfers, low fees and great exchange rates.
Paysend allows its users to transfer money to 170+ countries for a fixed fee of $3. And transfers to banks are fee-free. Paysend also offers 24/7 support!
All users have to do is download the app from the Google PlayStore or the Apple App Store, install it, create an account, and start transferring. Easy peasy.
PayPal needs no introduction. The robust platform operates in almost every country in the world with 25+ currencies, offering secure transfers and payments. It is by far the most popular platform in Canada, with more than 6 million active users.
What makes it a great Zelle substitute and a great money-transfer tool overall is its versatility. With PayPal, you can split bills, send money quickly, and pay securely at Canada’s top retailers like Walmart, PetSmart, Roots, Leeloodles, etc.
Wealthsimple Cash is more than just a great Zelle alternative! Canadians use it to send money quickly, earn various cash-back rewards, and pay and split bills.
The best part? A Wealthsimple Cash account comes with no monthly fees, minimum deposit restrictions, and overdraft penalties. And, of course, sending and receiving money from a friend is free of charge when using your cash account.
KOHO’s reloadable prepaid Mastercard has taken Canada by storm, and it’s not hard to see why. It offers an unlimited number of e-transfers with a generous cap of $3,000 and up to 2% cashbacks on day-to-day purchases—something that Zelle doesn’t have.
KOHO offers different plans to suit everyone’s needs (some plans are free). With 1 million Canadian users, excellent peer-to-peer money transfer services, and a no-interest-added card, KOHO is undoubtedly a great Zelle alternative to keep in mind!
Despite being unable to access Zelle’s fantastic services in Canada, you can still find several alternatives with just as good offerings. For instance, Paysend, PayPal, KOHO, Wise, and Wealthsimple offer free or low-cost money transfers between users, so you don’t have to worry about paying back your friends or family when you buy something together. Also, once you check out their other features, you’ll forget Zelle even exists!
Unfortunately, no. Zelle only supports transfers between U.S. bank accounts. On top of that, users must have a U.S. phone number. However, if you are a U.S. citizen living in Canada, you may be able to open a Zelle account if you meet all requirements.
Yes, but TD Bank is the U.S. subsidiary of the Toronto-based TD Bank Group. Therefore, you cannot open a TD Bank account as a Canadian. To become a TD Bank user in Canada, you must open an account with the separate TD Canada Trust.