Varo Adds Support for Zelle Payments
The neobank turned fully-fledged and nationally licensed bank Varo is once again expanding its platform. Now, customers will have access to the popular peer-to-peer (P2P) payment service Zelle from within the Varo app. Previously, while customers could use the Varo to Varo feature to send money to friends and could link their own external bank accounts, a universal P2P payment option wasn’t available natively.
To get started using Zelle within Varo, customers will need to verify their email or phone number with Zelle. Additionally, if that mode of communication is already registered to Zelle with another bank, customers will need to select whether or not they’d like to receive payments to Varo instead. Once this is set up, customers can simply tap the Zelle option under the Move Money tab of Varo to Send or Request funds.
In a statement, Varo Bank founder and CEO Colin Walsh declared, “Adding Zelle to our product lineup is our bank charter in action.” He added, “We are excited to welcome millions of Americans to access Varo’s full range of benefits on our modern, secure, digital banking platform that now includes the ability to quickly send and receive money.”
Additionally, the chief product officer for Early Warning Services (Zelle’s network operator) Kash Baghaei noted, “Today, more than 150 million people have access to Zelle directly through their banking app with no additional downloads necessary. Varo Bank customers will now have a way to send money to friends, family and others they trust, whether they need to pay back a friend for dinner, split the cost of rent with a roommate, or pitch in for a group gift.”
The addition of Zelle is the latest update to come from Varo since the bank obtained its national charter in 2020. Earlier this year, the company expanded its Perks program to bring debit card customers more cashback offers. Last year, Varo also launched its credit-building Believe product, which combines features of a debit card and a secured credit card. Varo has also continued to raise venture capital, most recently closing a $510 million round last fall.
On the one hand, the addition of Zelle to Varo’s app doesn’t seem as though it would be a big development given the ubiquity of third-party P2P apps such as PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App. However, anecdotally, the feature is an oft-requested one, as seen in online forums. Plus, the new addition does help Varo to further stand out from its FinTech brethren. Therefore, expect Zelle’s presence to further fuel Varo’s growth as it continues to seek neobank ascendency.