Zelle vs PayPal: Which Digital Payment Platform Is Best?

Zelle vs PayPal? Both Zelle and PayPal allow you to send and receive money, but they work differently. Zelle is often linked directly to your bank account, so you can send money instantly to friends and family if they have Zelle as well. 

Alternatively, PayPal is an online wallet that you can use to make payments or send money. You can use your balance or link it to your bank or credit cards. They are both useful, but each has its own unique features.

The purpose of this blog post is to help you decide which service is best for you by comparing Zelle and PayPal across various key factors. Let’s begin!

Also take a look at Zelle vs Venmo.

Zelle vs PayPal: Overview

Zelle is a service that is directly linked to your bank account. It means that you can quickly and easily send money to friends who also use Zelle. Since the transfer is linked directly to your bank account, it is usually very fast and efficient.

On the other hand, PayPal functions more like a digital wallet. You can keep your money in your PayPal balance or link it to a bank account or credit/debit card for payments and transfers. It gives you more flexibility in how you use your funds.

Primary FunctionP2P Money Transfers (US only)P2P Money Transfers, Online Payments, Shopping
Owned ByA group of US banksPayPal Holdings Inc.
Bank ConnectionIntegrates directly with US bank accountsSeparate account, can link to bank accounts and credit/debit cards
FeesGenerally free (some banks may charge small fees)Varies depending on transaction type and funding source
Transfer SpeedImmediateStandard transfers 3-5 business days, instant transfers for a fee
International TransfersNoYes
Digital WalletNoYes
Bill PayNoYes
ShoppingNot directlyYes, through integrated checkout systems
Buyer/Seller ProtectionLimitedBoth buyer and seller protection programs
Social FeaturesNoneSplit bills, add comments to transactions
Platform AccessibilityMobile app onlyMobile app, website, desktop app

Zelle vs PayPal: Fees & Charges

Zelle is often free to use through many banks and credit unions. When you send money with Zelle, there’s typically no fee involved.

PayPal, however, may charge fees based on your activity. Sending money within the US using a bank account or PayPal balance is usually free. 

But, PayPal may charge a small fee if you use a credit or debit card or if you send money internationally. This fee depends on the amount and the country.

Suggested: How To Send Money With Zelle.

Zelle vs PayPal: Features & Functionality

Both Zelle and PayPal provide various features and functionalities to improve the user experience. 

PayPal is a well-established platform that offers additional services such as PayPal Credit for financing purchases. Users can also link multiple bank accounts and credit cards to their PayPal accounts.

Zelle, however, focuses primarily on person-to-person transactions and may have a more simplified interface for sending and receiving money.

Read also: PayPal Refer A Friend.

Zelle vs PayPal: Speed Of Transfer

Zelle is a very fast way to send money. When you use Zelle to send money, it is transferred from your bank account to the recipient’s account almost instantly, especially if both of you use Zelle.

PayPal is a quick payment method, but the processing time may vary. If you choose to make a direct payment from your PayPal or bank account, it should be processed fast. 

However, if you decide to use a credit or debit card or are making an international transfer, the process may take a little longer, sometimes even up to a day.

Also read: The Easy Way To Get Free PayPal Money.

Zelle vs PayPal: Ease Of Use

When choosing a payment platform, ease of use must be considered. In addition to offering a user-friendly experience, Zelle and PayPal support multiple payment options. 

The Zelle app integrates directly into many banking apps, so users who want to keep their finances in one place can easily do so. Compared to other payment services offered by the company, PayPal has a more challenging interface for new users. 

However, it offers a variety of payment options, including credit card payments and international transfers. Additionally to being secure, both platforms are widely used by businesses and individuals.

Also Know About How To Receive Money From Zelle.

Zelle vs PayPal: Pros & Cons

Zelle Pros:

  • Instant transfers between participating banks.
  • Integrated into many banking apps for easy access.
  • Typically no fees for standard transactions.

Zelle Cons:

  • Limited functionality compared to PayPal.
  • Money transfers that are irreversible require caution.

PayPal Pros:

  • Wide range of features and services.
  • Buyer and seller protection programs for added security.
  • Accepted by many online merchants.

PayPal Cons:

  • Transaction fees for certain types of transfers.
  • Transfer times can vary depending on the recipient’s location.


When choosing between Zelle and PayPal, it’s important to consider your specific needs. If you’re looking for a quick and straightforward way to transfer money between individuals, Zelle may be the right choice for you. 

However, if you require extra features, such as buyer/seller protection and a wider range of payment options, PayPal may be the better option.

We hope that in this article you have got a lot of information about Zelle vs PayPal.

Suggested: How To Send Money From Zelle To CashApp.


Is Zelle owned by PayPal?

No, Zelle is not owned by PayPal. Zelle is actually owned by a group of major U.S. banks, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and others.

Does PayPal work with Zelle?

Unfortunately, PayPal and Zelle do not directly work with each other.

Does Zelle charge a fee?

Zelle itself does not charge any fees for personal transactions between bank accounts within the US.