Immigrants struggle with access to the financial system. Often, they cobble together piecemeal solutions to help with their specific needs. They turn to payment firms like Zelle and Venmo to help them move money around to friends and family.
Stilt analyzed more than 2.5 million transactions between 5/12/14 and 5/19/20 from 15,368 loan applicants to learn more about how immigrants are using Venmo and Zelle.
Bigger share of the pie
Zelle has around double the number of immigrants using its P2P payment service. That makes sense, given its distribution model of partnering with incumbent banks. That also means that Zelle functionality is built in to existing banking apps, so customers don’t need to download another standalone app, like they do with Venmo.
According to the data, 41.60% of immigrants exclusively use Zelle compared to 23.10% for Venmo. The remaining population uses both services.
Zelle users send more money per transaction
Zelle users also typically send more money ($340) through the payment service compared to Venmo ($150). This difference could be due to the fact that many Zelle users use it to pay rent, according to Stilt’s research.
Immigrants use Zelle more frequently, too
After one month, Venmo’s immigrant users averaged 3.64 transactions while Zelle users averaged 5.91 transactions. And after two years, Venmo’s immigrant users averaged 7.27 transactions each and Zelle’s users averaged 17 transactions each.
Immigration status affects usage
Stilt wanted to compare how immigrants in the U.S. use Zelle and Venmo compared to citizens. And there was a difference. Venmo was more popular with U.S. citizens than Zelle.
For citizens, Venmo captured 53% of users while Zelle captured 47%, a 6% difference. For immigrants, though, Venmo captured only 31% of users while Zelle captured 69% of users, a 38% difference.