Zelle® Blog
September 18, 2017

Pay Me, Maybe?

Taking the Awkward Out of Paying Another Parent Back

A new school year means reconnecting with old friends and making new ones – not just for the kids but even for parents, too. Back-to-school season means a return to packed lunches, carpools, field trips, after-school programs and team sports.

While we love that our kids get to participate in fun activities, these costs can start to add up. Whether it's pitching in for the cost of a few dozen cookies for a PTA meeting, filling up the gas tank for a field trip, or reimbursing an unexpected school supplies purchase, money can be a sore subject. However, minimizing the awkwardness of sending and requesting money with other parents is possible.

Below are tips for broaching the topic of payback with other parents and how using Zelle® can help make splitting costs fast, safe and easy.

Set the Expectation Up Front.

Introduce the money situation early on in the activity or event planning process. That way it’s wrapped up in positive discussions about what you’re going to purchase or contribute to, and no one makes any assumptions.

For example, keep it casual by saying, “The girls are going to have a great performance tonight! I’m happy to pick up the pizzas for the dance recital. We can just split the bill afterwards.”

Give the Other Parent a Heads-up the Payment Request is Coming.

After the dance recital, let the other parent know what the total cost was for the pizzas and how much he owes for his share. For example:

“Just a heads up, I’m going to shoot you a request for $25 through Zelle® to cover the cost of the pizzas like we talked about.”

Rather than the other parent trying to come up with the exact change using cash or trying to find a checkbook, you can simply send a payment request to him on your phone with Zelle® through your mobile banking app or through the Zelle® app if your bank or credit doesn’t offer a “Send Money with Zelle®” option yet.

Explain to the other parent that no one has to worry about having the right amount of cash on-hand and that the funds will typically transfer in minutes if they’ve already enrolled . If they haven’t enrolled with Zelle® yet, payments could take between one and three business days.

Pro tip: We recommend asking your recipient to enroll in advance of your first payment, if possible.

Send a Payment Request Through Zelle®.

All you need is the other parent’s U.S. mobile phone number or email address. Type in the amount of money the parent owes and add a detail in the memo field so they know what it’s for. Add a note like, “Thanks for splitting the pizza! Our kids did great tonight!”

That’s it! Sending money on your phone with Zelle® is a fast, safe and easy way to settle up with other parents this school year. I’ve been using it with other parents – most recently to pay another parent back for classroom art supplies – and it’s been incredibly convenient. I sent a request for the amount the other parent owed me, and after she sent the money to me from her phone, it was available in my account within a few minutes.

This school year is going to be an amazing one for our family. New school. New neighborhood. Paying parents back is one less thing to worry about. We’re looking forward to another fun-filled year!

Find out how to get started with Zelle®.