SoFi and Zelle have both shaken up the financial world by offering much more than a traditional bank account. Your SoFi account is your checking, savings, and investment account all in one. One feature that has been sorely missing with SoFi is integration with Zelle. But now that SoFi is officially a bank, can you use Zelle with SoFi?
SoFi does not natively support Zelle. However, you can still send payment via the Zelle app by adding your debit card with a weekly limit of $500. Alternatively, you can use SoFi’s instant peer-to-peer transactions to send money to other SoFi users.
In this article, we’ll explore if and how you can use Zelle with SoFi and whether SoFi will be fully compatible with Zelle in the future. I’ll also go over the reasons why SoFi does not currently work with Zelle and what your alternatives are. Let’s get into it!
Does SoFi work with Zelle?
SoFi is not officially integrated with any third-party payments system such as Zelle. According to the SoFi team, the main reason behind this lack of integration is their incompatibility with SoFi’s two-factor authentication system:
However, even without an official integration the Zelle app still works with any regular debit card, including SoFi’s. The downside of using Zelle with banks that are not officially supported is that you are limited to outgoing transfers of $500 per week.
To use SoFi with Zelle:
- Open the Zelle app
- Add your SoFi debit card
- Send transfers up to $500 per week
There are many other reasons – besides the technical ones mentioned above – why SoFi does not integrate directly with Zelle. I’ll highlight the main hindrances in the following paragraphs.
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Why does SoFi not work with Zelle?
With SoFi becoming a larger and larger bank competitor and Zelle being one of the most used services to send money instantly, it seems incomprehensible that they have not already partnered up.
After some hours of researching online, here are the main reasons I found why Zelle does not work with SoFi:
- Technical Integration: One of the factors frequently cited by SoFi is the complex technical integration with the Zelle app. Apparently, Zelle’s API is incompatible with SoFi’s 2FA system – a limitation that should be easily overcome.
- Bank Competition: Another major reason may be that Zelle is owned by the largest banks in the US and can pick and choose which services to work with. If the big banks decide that SoFi has become a threat to their market dominance they may simply deny access to Zelle or demand outrageous terms.
- Security Concerns: While the previous two reasons seem to be the main issue, there have been creeping security concerns with regard to the Zelle service as it functions as an unsecured payment network out-of-the-box.
Whether it’s that or the other reason does not really matter to the average SoFi user. What it comes down to is that SoFi is not fully compatible with Zelle (or vice versa) and that SoFi users can only use Zelle to a very limited extent.
But what about the future? Perhaps SoFi will work with Zelle some day, especially now that they have officially become a bank.
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Will SoFi be compatible with Zelle?
The main source of information regarding SoFi/Zelle updates has been their subreddit at: https://www.reddit.com/r/sofi. Here, the SoFi team has shared some of their thoughts regarding a potential Zelle integration.
In response to one user inquiring about the use of Zelle SoFi has replied the following:
“Hi there, thanks for bringing this up! We know that fast money movement is critical to our members, and we’re actively exploring additional capabilities. We appreciate your patience in the meantime.”
While this answer may sound good at first, it is nothing more than general customer support talk without any inherent value. The fact remains that there is no concrete plan in place to integrate Zelle with SoFi any time soon.
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How to send money on SoFi
Since an integration between these two major service providers seems unlikely, let’s look at some ways you can send money peer-to-peer today using SoFi and Zelle. You essentially have two options:
- Use Zelle (Limited): You can add your SoFi debit card to the Zelle app to send payments instantly. However, this feature comes with a big limitation, only $500 per week of outgoing transactions are allowed with non-integrated banks such as SoFi.
- Use SoFi’s Native P2P Feature: SoFi has its own instant transfer system which is available to all SoFi Money users. While there are no inherent limitations on transaction value here, the system only works if the recipient is also a SoFi Money user.
So, whether you choose one or the other, your options are clearly limited. For now, the unfortunate bottom line is that SoFi and Zelle are simply not compatible.
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SoFi does not have an official Zelle integration. Transactions on Zelle using the SoFi debit card are thus limited. Better integration in the future seems unlikely due to security concerns, technical problems, and a big bank cartel that owns and controls the Zele service.
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