Financial Tips

When to choose Zelle® and when to write a check

Some people want to go into the branch or prefer the convenience of depositing a check from their couch. Others don’t have checks or want to transfer money in minutes. 

We’re always searching for ways to empower you to bank the way you want. Convenience, speed, security – your priorities and preferences are important to us. That’s why we work to ensure you have options for sending and receiving funds for your Fremont Bank accounts.

Two such ways? Paper checks and Zelle®. 

Ever wonder why your checking account is called a checking account? For centuries, paper checks were the only game in town that served as an alternative to carrying cash. Money would move in and out of checking accounts because people wrote checks for just about everything when they didn’t have cash on hand – to pay for utilities, send a gift, and everything in between.

The first ATMs came on the scene in the late 1960s, and debit cards gained popularity by the 80s. Then came electronic and mobile banking. And, today, there are payment apps a-plenty that let you send and receive money using your mobile device or computer. 

One such app, Zelle, launched in 2017. Since then, it’s become a popular option for bank-based, peer-to-peer transactions.

Both checks and Zelle are available with Fremont Bank, and you can opt to use a check or Zelle for a wide range of transactions from and to your checking account. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of grabbing a pen to write a check or grabbing your phone for a Zelle transaction? We put together some pros and cons to using both Zelle and checks. We also offer a few use cases of when each might be better.

  • Free to use in the Fremont Bank mobile app or online banking. 

  • Money sent to enrolled recipients can be in their account in minutes.1

  • Can send or request funds.2

  • Your account details are not visible and stay safe with your bank.

  • You can use it at more than one bank – enroll your U.S. mobile number at Fremont Bank and your email address at another bank.3

  • No risk of overdrawing on your account.

  • Once sent and received, funds cannot be reclaimed.

  • Neither Fremont Bank nor Zelle offers a protection program for any authorized payments using Zelle.

  • For your security, we limit the number of transactions and the dollar amount you can send.

  • Only available for U.S. financial institutions.

  • Payments can be delayed for your protection, if Zelle or Fremont Bank suspects fraudulent activity.

  • More secure than using cash.

  • If you prefer in-person deposits at your bank – opt for a check.

  • No receiving limits or sending limits

  • Mobile check deposit available from Fremont Bank.

  • Some transactions require or are best suited for checks.

  • Can get lost or stolen in the mail.

  • Not instant.

  • It costs money to buy checks.

  • Potential for overdrawing on your account if someone doesn’t deposit the check immediately.

  • You can run out of checks or realize you are out and need one.

Here are a few scenarios that help show the use cases of both checks and Zelle.

A down payment to buy a home. —> Check!

Paying your teenage dogsitter. —> Zelle!

Tipping the hairstylist at a salon and you don’t have cash.  —> Zelle!

Selling your car to someone you don’t know. —> Check!

You’re at brunch with friends and one person offers to put the tab on their card assuming everyone else will quickly pay them back. —> Zelle!

You’re helping a relative manage their accounts and they don’t use a smart phone. —> Check!

The good news is that you can use both checks and Zelle with your Fremont Bank checking accounts. That empowers you to determine which use cases call for each tool. 

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Zelle and the Zelle related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.

1 Transactions typically occur in minutes when the recipient's email address or U.S. mobile number is already enrolled with Zelle.

2 Must have a bank account in the U.S. to use Zelle.

3 Zelle should only be used to send money to friends, family or other people you trust. If you are unsure of a recipient’s email address or U.S. mobile phone number, before using Zelle to send money to that person, you should contact the recipient to confirm the information.