How to Receive Money From Zelle

All you need is your debit card number

What to Know

  • The Zelle app lets you receive money through a debit card.
  • It runs on Android and iPhone.
  • Another method is through your bank app (if it's supported).

This article details how to accept money that someone has sent you through Zelle, including how to link your debit card to the app and how to request money from another user.

The Zelle app works on Android and iPhone. Some banks have the service built-in to their own apps; general directions for that are below as well.

How to Accept Money From Zelle

If you already have an account, money sent to you is received instantly; you'll get a text or email notification when it happens. Learn how Zelle works for more information.

Zelle money received confirmation email.

You'll need an account in order to accept money in your bank. Your bank might provide built-in support for Zelle. To find out, or to sign up if it doesn't, start with the official app:

  1. Install Zelle.

  2. Tap Get Started on the first screen and read and accept any requests for permissions.

    You must accept access to your phone so that the app can detect unusual login activity, but the prompt for your location details can be denied if you want.

  3. Enter your phone number and then select Continue.

  4. Read the privacy and security page, check the box at the bottom to confirm that you agree to those terms, and then tap Continue.

    Most used buttons in the Zelle app on Android.
  5. Search for the bank that your preferred debit card is from. If you find it, select it, choose Go To Your Banking App on the following screen, and complete the process there. Every bank works a little differently; there are some general directions further down this page if you need help.

    If your bank isn’t listed, choose Don’t See Your Bank?, and then continue with these steps.

    Using the Zelle app to look for a compatible bank on Android.
  6. The next screen is called "Add Debit Card". Enter the card’s details (number, expiration date, etc.) and then tap Continue.

  7. Enter your billing address on the following page and then select Continue. Your account is now set up, and you can accept money and view money already sent to you.

How to Request Money With Zelle

You can also receive money through Zelle by requesting it from one of your contacts.

  1. After logging in, choose Request on the main screen.

  2. Pick a contact who uses Zelle. If they don't, you'll have to invite them first.

    You might need to first tap Access Contacts if you see that button, and then follow the prompt to let the app search through your contacts.

  3. Enter an amount and then select Review.

    Zelle Android app requesting money from another user.
  4. Optionally include a memo, and then tap Request. When the recipient accepts it, you'll receive the money shortly after.

You can check to see if your bank has built-in support for Zelle. That’s another way you can receive money, but the process is different for every bank.

Here’s a look at how it usually works, with Bank of America as our example:

  1. Find a section of the bank app called something like Transfer or Zelle.

  2. Tap Request.

  3. Choose a contact or enter their phone number or email address.

  4. Pick how much money to request.

    Requesting money over Zelle through Bank of America's app
    Zelle functionality built into the Bank of America app.
  5. Choose where you want the money deposited.

  6. Confirm by selecting Send or Request.

Important Facts About Zelle

  • Some cards aren't eligible, so if you're getting an error during setup, make sure it's not a business debit card, credit card, gift card, or prepaid card. It also can't be linked to an international account or an account based in a US territory like Guam or Puerto Rico.
    Similarly, you'll receive an error if the other details you enter, like the ZIP code and address, don't match the information that your bank or credit union has on file for that card.
  • There aren't fees associated with Zelle itself, so you don't have to worry about paying anything to receive money.
  • If you don't complete your Zelle profile (sign up and add your debit card) within 14 days, the money that was sent to you will expire and the sender will be refunded.
  • You can't request more than the recipient is allowed to send. The limit could be imposed by the person's bank, but if they're not using Zelle through their bank and instead with their debit card, the weekly spend limit (and therefore, request limit) is $500.
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