Hi, I’m Quinn Askeland. In 2016, I started Transumo after experiencing expensive, slow, and frustrating international transfers and payments through banks. My mission is simple: to help others simplify and reduce the cost of transfers and payments. Fortunately, today, there are excellent alternatives for international money transfers and payments. See My Full Bio.
Find which app is for you!
Yes, Cash App and Zelle are two of the most popular options to send money within the US but don’t be fooled – these two apps have some major differences.
If you’re looking for a transfer service that’s lightning-fast and free, then Zelle maybe best for you.
But if you’re looking for a service that can do that and more, then Cash App is the app might be the best choice for you.
With Cash App you can send money to other Cash App users instantly as well as send money to other bank accounts using a slower (but free) option or instantly (with a small fee).
With Cash App you can also hold actual account balances and access a wide range of financial tools. This means you can do far more with CashApp like pay friends back for dinner or manage your personal finances.
Let’s get stuck into it!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which may save you and do not cost any more. For more information, see my disclaimers here.
1. Zelle vs CashApp: Quick Comparison
Zelle offers free bank transfers, while CashApp has instant transfers between users and offers additional financial goodness. Even though both apps have low ratings on Trustpilot, the ratings on Apple are both 4.8/5, and on Google Play, CashApp gets 4.6/5 with Zelle trailing at 3.8/5.
In terms of storing funds, with CashApp your Cash Card balance is safe even if something happens to the bank that holds it. That’s because it’s covered with the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) of up to $250,000 of your money through their partner bank, Wells Fargo Bank. Zelle on the other hand, according to Consumer Reports, is co-owned by seven of the largest U.S. banks, transfers funds directly between FDIC-insured bank accounts, and does not hold funds in-app as the others do, so funds are covered.)
It is important to note that although FDIC insurance protects your money if the bank fails, it does not cover fraud in individual transactions.
|🏛️ Trust||Owned by a collection of banks, Zelle can be trusted like a bank||Owned by Square, CashApp is a Nasdaq listed, reputable company.|
|🏛️ Origin||2017, Arizona (the US)||2013, California (the US)|
|💁🏼♂️ Clients||Personal and Business||Personal and Business|
|💱 Currencies||USD||USD and GBP|
|⚖️ Regulations||Regulated in the US||Regulated in the US and UK|
|🛡️ Security||High. Features security protocols such as PIN and requires US bank |
account authentication when you sign up.
|High. Deposit protection can be up to $250,000 by the FDIC for Cash card customers. Features security protocols Security PIN, Touch ID, or Face ID|
|⭐ Reviews||“Bad” – 1.1/5 on Trustpilot with |
over 600 reviews (March 2023)
|“Bad” – 1.3/5 on Trustpilot with |
over 3,600 reviews (March 2023)
|💰 Fees||No fees |
(participating banks may charge fees)
|Depends on funding method, market conditions, and withdrawal methods|
|⚙️ Processing days||Instant||2-3 days standard transfer to a bank account.|
Instant transfers available.
|🌐 Official Website||Visit Zelle||Visit CashApp|
2. What is Zelle?
Zelle (review) is a payment facilitator that’s built into the mobile apps of over 1,700 financial institutions (like banks and credit unions in the US) so you can send and receive money from friends, family, and trusted small businesses for free.
See whether your bank offers Zelle here.
ACH (Automated Clearing House) and wire payments for domestic payments in the US can be expensive – you’ll easily pay between $5-$15 USD.
Zelle is available for both personal and business users (small businesses) – and you can still use Zelle even if your bank or credit union doesn’t offer Zelle. Just create an account with them directly here.
- No fees charged by Zelle
- Both big and small transfers (banks may have limits)
- Instant payments
- Available with 1700 banks and credit unions in the US
- Available for personal and business
- One trick pony (not much more than transfers)
- Can’t add credit cards (bank-to-bank transfers only)
3. What is CashApp?
CashApp (review) is a digital wallet that lets users in the US send and receive money for free through standard transfers which take 1 to 3 days, or you have the option of paying a 0.5% -1.75% fee (with a minimum fee of $0.25) for instant transfers.
CashApp is available for personal use and businesses and you can also get a Visa debit “Cash Card” for both online and offline transactions.
CashApp works almost like a checking account and if you are Cash Card customer (it is free), you get deposit protection up to $250,000 by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) in the event that the bank holding your funds fails and all necessary deposit insurance requirements are met if you’re in the US. However, they don’t have a banking license.
You can also set up USD to GBP and GBP to USD transfers with CashApp.
CashApp Pros and Cons
- Can be free to send and receive money, stocks, or bitcoin
- Available for personal and business use
- Funds are FDIC-insured in the US up to $250,000 USD (for Cash Card customers)
- Offers a Visa debit card
- Allows for investing and trading in stocks and Bitcoin
- International transfers between US and UK
- Not a bank
- Small amounts only ($250 within any 7-day period and receive up to $1,000 within any 30-day period)
- Not free for instant transfers
4. Zelle vs CashApp: Which has the Cheaper Transfer Fees
Zelle is free to use for both personal and business users.
However, check with your bank to see if they charge sending and receiving fees.
Personal transfers (local)
- Standard transfers (3-days) – Free if sending from balance you hold
- Instant transfers – 1.5% of the amount
- Funding with a card – 3% of the amount
Business transfers (local)
- For every payment received – 2.75% of the amount
- Cash for Business accounts do not pay any fees for Instant Deposits, which means you get access to your funds instantly.
International transfers (personal and business)
- Transfers at the mid-market rate between UK and US
- Sending and receiving bank fees/card fees may be applicable
- At in-network ATMs – $2.50 per withdrawal
- Out-of-network ATMs – $2.50 + operator fees
- These fees can be waived if you deposit at least $300 USD in paychecks into your CashApp account every month
5. Zelle vs CashApp: Locations and Currencies (and Some Alternatives)
Zelle is available in the US and offers local transfers in USD.
CashApp is available in the US and UK.
You can do local transfers in USD and GBP as well as USD to GBP and GBP to USD international transfers.
Looking for a digital banking option in the US and UK that also offers international transfers? Check out Revolut (review).
Looking for a money transfer service for both local and international transfers from the US, UK, and beyond?
Check out Wise (review) for affordable bank-to-bank transfers from the US, UK, Canada, Europe, and Australia to 70+ countries in 40+ currencies.
Wise also offers a multi currency account (review) that’s great for frequent travelers and growing global businesses. You can hold, manage, and convert between 50+ currencies, get a MasterCard debit card that works in 200+ countries, and spend like a local with local receiving accounts.
6. Zelle vs CashApp: Real-time Transfer Speed
Instant transfers if you’re registered with Zelle for free – no instant deposit fees
Standard transfer to a bank account: 2-3 days
Instant transfer to a debit card also available by paying a rush fee (0.5% -1.75% fee with a minimum fee of $0.25).
7. Zelle vs CashApp: Which is more secure?
- Zelle is owned by 7 licensed banks in the US (including JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Chase, etc.) and your transactions are covered by the EFTA and Regulation E.
- US bank account authentication when you sign up for Zelle
- No bank account details are shared when you transfer money
- PIN and other security protocols of respective bank mobile apps
- Regulated in the US and the UK
- Deposit protection up to $250,000 by the FDIC in the US (for Cash Card customers)
- Security PIN, Touch ID, or Face ID for their app and website
- PCI-DSS level 1 certification that makes all CashApp debit card payments secure
- Push, email, and text notifications for all account activities
- Bitcoin is stored in offline servers
8. Zelle vs CashApp: Which app is best for your business?
- Available in the US
- Get paid through bank transfers
- Can receive any amount – big or small
- No fee for receiving payments
- Available in the US and UK
- Get paid by sharing your CashApp QR Code, $Cashtag, or email/phone number associated with their account.
- Fund payment by bank account or card
- Receive any amount once the account is verified
- Send USD to GBP and GBP to USD transfers
- A fee of 2.75% of the amount for every payment
9. Zelle vs CashApp: Third-party reviews – Can You Trust Them?
Zelle and Cash App both enjoy pretty strong reviews in the App Store (Apple) at 4.8/5 each and with Google Play, where Cash App gets 4.6/5 and Zelle gets 3.8/5.
However on Trustpilot, which for both these Apps show mostly negative reviews things get really interesting!
Zelle is rated 1.1/5 on Trustpilot with over 600 reviews – which is surprising since it’s backed by high street banks in the US.
Positive Reviews (2% of reviews)
The users who had a positive experience loved its convenience and zero transaction fees.
Negative Reviews (96% of reviews)
While Zelle’s instant payment feature is convenient, it can also lead to issues as highlighted below.
- Some people got scammed
Since Zelle transfers money instantly, people who sent money to businesses and other people they don’t know personally, couldn’t cancel the transfer and get their money back. Entering wrong emails and phone numbers of the recipients also led to payment issues where Zelle couldn’t help them get their money back.
- Poor customer service
Once people realized that they had been scammed, they naturally wanted robust fraud protection support, which Zelle wasn’t able to provide.
What they said
“There IS NO customer service. Two choices, all of which forces you through robot choices–NO humans, no real help. All I want to do is cancel my account so I can switch bank accounts…but there is no way to do that online, with the app, with a representative. What a nightmare. I guess I’ll be using Venmo…”Micki A
CashApp is rated 1.2/5 on Trustpilot with over 3,700 reviews.
Positive Reviews (6% of reviews)
The users who had a positive experience said that they loved the ease and simplicity CashApp offers – these were about 3% of the reviews on Trustpilot.
Negative Reviews (93% of reviews)
Despite CashApp’s attractive feature of a cross-border payments in USD and GBP, security breach and poor customer service are a few of users’ complaints with the app.
- Potential security breaches
Some CashApp users noticed unauthorized transactions in their CashApp accounts, while others noticed their accounts were flagged and canceled.
As a regulated financial service, CashApp regularly audits transfers on their platforms and also provides deposit guarantees up to $250,000 on their platform.
However, they were unable to prevent resolve some of these payment fraud cases.
We recommend using CashApp as a checking account only and sending money to people and businesses you know to avoid these issues.
- Poor customer service
Currently, you can only reach CashApp via a chatbot, which can be frustrating if you find money missing from your account or if your account is blocked.
CashApp provides low cost transfers, and a way to keep their costs low is to optimize how their customer service team resolves issues. However, that often affects the customer experience.
What they said
“I recently made a paper deposit of 65k USD to Cash App, but the funds were not available hours later. I reached out to customer support through the app and received no response. After calling customer support and waiting for a call back, my issue remained unresolved. I was eventually able to recoup my money after two weeks with the assistance of a cybersecurity attorney. This experience has led me to believe that Cash App’s customer service needs improvement.“Bruce Philip
Final Verdict – Which app is better?
With 1 win for Zelle, 1 for CashApp, and 3 ties, it’s pretty difficult to pick a clear winner.
If you’re in the US and already have an account with a high street bank (business or personal), Zelle can help you save a lot on fees for local transfers.
CashApp is great if you want to dip your toes into digital banking, investing in stocks, and buying bitcoin, while also enjoying low-cost local transfers to friends, family, and trusted businesses in the US and the UK.
You might also like Cash App Vs Venmo.
What are the main differences between Zelle and Cash App?
Cash App can do everything Zelle and much more. Zelle allows you to transfer between bank accounts instantly and for free. Meanwhile, with Cash App you have a to wait a few days for the free transfer option or you can pay a small fee for instant transfers. Cash App has online banking like cards, budgeting tools and you can also buy stocks and crypto.
Is Zelle safer than Cash App?
Technically both are safe, but Cash App has far greater flexibility and therefore is more likely to be used for scams.