Zelle by Early Warning


To obtain information on Zelle’s business model, marketing practices, current advertising strategy, growth opportunities, target demographic, ads released over the last year, and marketing challenges. The informative piece will be used for purposes of a business pitch.

Early Findings

  • Zelle is a new innovative payment system that seeks to transform the way money moves. The network is operated by Early Warning, 'the industry leader in faster payments, authentication, and fraud mitigation'.
  • Through Zelle, Early Warning hopes to revolutionize how U.S. consumers and businesses transact (send and receive money).
  • According to an article on Reuters, "Big U.S. banks are spending millions of dollars on promoting Zelle, their digital payment service, by running commercials on major sports games and entertainment shows, as well as a YouTube campaign painting the app as simple and ubiquitous."
  • Since its launch, Zelle has caught the attention of millennials, boomers and Gen X. However, a survey conducted during Q3 2018 among 2,436 US consumers, shows that Baby Boomers (54-72) made the most mobile P2P transactions via Zelle, followed by Gen Xers. Older and younger millennials also transacted via Zelle but are still more inclined towards competitors like Venmo.
  • Experts say that one reason for Zelle's success when compared to competitors like Venmo, is the fact that it is not only a standalone app, but also integrates with a user's existing banking app.
  • According to reports, "Zelle processed $35 billion in P2P (person-to-person) payments in Q4 2018 versus $19 billion for Venmo. For the full year, Zelle's total was $122 billion, almost double Venmo's $62 billion."
  • According to eMarketer, the market opportunity for Zelle is huge, and the network is on its way to roughly 56 million users in 2022.
  • Financial institutions that are involved with Zelle initiated awareness campaigns and used direct mails to create awareness campaigns at the same time, utilizing a variety of approaches. An example is the Bank of America, which used an email featuring "reasons to use Zelle".
  • In terms of advertising strategies for Zelle, Chase and Wells Fargo in 2018 initiated 15- and 30-second commercials advertising Zelle.
  • Zelle has also been able to leverage celebrity endorsements as part of its marketing strategies. In 2018, the company featured Hamilton star Daveed Diggs in some of its commercial spots.

Proposed next steps:

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The first hour of research indicates that there is a wealth of information on Zelle by Early Warning. As such, we suggest further research to provide an overview of Zelle and Early Warning. The analysis will aim to provide 5-7 insights on their business models , current usage status, and also discuss the Zelle and Early Warning relationship (i.e., Early Warning built Zelle and its operator).
We further propose an analysis of the marketing around Zelle. Here, the focus will be on the marketing practices, current advertising strategy, ads released over the last year, and marketing challenges. Further, we suggest a demographic analysis (age, gender, income levels, education, employment, etc.) and determine the uptake of Zelle among various generations (Millenials, Gen Xers, Baby boomers, etc.). To be spelled out is the target demographic for Zelle.
Alternatively, we could provide SWOT analysis of Zelle to determine its strengths, weaknesses, growth opportunities, and threats (competitors to be highlighted) in the market.