Zelle® Blog
August 30, 2017

Send Money, Mom!

A Parent’s Guide to Sending Money to College Kids

“You got everything?” I rolled the window down, and looked back as my not-so-little girl loaded her guitar case onto the truck bed.

There was her new life, packed neatly into boxes, sitting in the back of my F-150. Clank! went the lift gate as it slammed shut.

“That’s it, mom! We’re done,” she shouted as she slid into the front seat. Radio turned up. “Let’s go!”

I pressed the starter. The truck roared to life. She was talking about this and that. I looked away. I couldn’t help it. My eyes were filling up with tears. There she was, yesterday’s young lady, all grown up. It felt like only yesterday, I was making her breakfast and waving goodbye at the bus stop early in the morning.

A few weekends ago was college move-in day. Thousands of parents across the U.S. engaged in the ritual of moving their kids into dorms and housing around campus. And like them, I moved my little princess into a small apartment a few blocks from Arizona State University. She told me she wasn’t quite ready for the “communal bathroom” experience.

On the surface, she may look all grown up, but I know this little “Sun Devil” still needs money from mom - money for books, money for food, and money for music. You name it. I’m still glad to give it.

Woman painting.

Enter Zelle®

Today, when distance divides, person-to-person (P2P) payment services are the best option to get money to your student fast, safe and easy. P2P payments are quickly growing in the U.S. Aite Group estimates that by the year 2020, the digital P2P payments market will be valued at $316.6 billion. According to a recent Bank of America survey, 36% of Americans are already using P2P services to send money.

With Zelle® we allow you to move money between bank accounts typically within minutes. To make it easy, it will be available within the mobile banking apps of more than 30 U.S. banks and credit unions (and growing), or soon in a standalone Zelle® App.

So if your kid’s got her hand out, and is in a frenzy for funds, here’s how you get started with Zelle®:

  1. Visit Your Bank App/Website:
    You can find Zelle® in the mobile apps of our partners. If you already have Zelle® in your mobile banking app, you won’t need to download anything to start sending money.
  2. Find Your College Student:
    With Zelle®, you can send money to almost anyone with a bank account in the U.S. All you need to know is their email address or mobile number. To send money, look up your student by either her preferred email address or mobile phone number. Then, select her as the recipient. We recommend asking your student to enroll in Zelle® before sending your first payment. It may take between one and three business days for her to receive that initial payment in her bank account. This is a security feature of Zelle® designed to reduce risk and protect you whenever you’re sending or receiving money. Once your student is enrolled, future payments will go directly into her bank account typically in minutes – no extra steps needed.
  3. Choose the Amount:
    Enter the amount you want to send. They’ll get a notification explaining how to complete the payment, simply and quickly.


Bank doesn’t offer Zelle yet? No worries!

New banks and credit unions continue to partner with Zelle®, but if yours doesn’t yet offer the service in their mobile app or online banking, don’t worry. You will soon be able to send and receive money with Zelle® by using the new Zelle® standalone app. All you need is a debit card linked to a checking account in the U.S. and a U.S. mobile number. When the Zelle® app is available, you can easily download it in the App Store or Google Play.

For our family, Zelle® has become part of our life helping funds flow freely. As I left my daughter’s new apartment, coming to terms with being an empty nester, I knew I’d hear from my daughter soon.

Follow @Zelle on Twitter and let us know #HowMoneyMoves in your life using hashtag #Zelle.


1Aite Group, “Digital Person-to-Person Payments in the U.S. A Strong Growth Game,” March 2017.