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Money transfers from your bank could get easier next week

The Zelle service on Tuesday will launch a free app for transferring money between many US banks, including Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

The Zelle mobile app lets you send money from one bank account to another.
The Zelle mobile app lets you send money from one bank account to another. 

Zelle, a big new force in whisking your money around, is about to get a notch more useful as the service launches its app for iPhones and Android phones on Tuesday.

Zelle lets people transfer money quickly from one checking account to another using many US banks. That's handy for splitting the bill at a restaurant or giving a college student a quick cash infusion.

Banks that have signed up for Zelle include Wells Fargo, US Bank, Citibank, Chase, CapitalOne and Bank of America.  Several more, like Citizens Bank, are on the way.

Zelle services are built into several banking apps from those partners, but Zelle will release its own free mobile app Tuesday, the company said. Money transfers typically take a few minutes.

That should make it easier for more of us to use the service -- and to modernize our money-handling habits beyond the era of cash and checks.

Zelle logo

You may not have heard of Zelle but you likely will. Banks have been pushing the service to their millions of customers, evidently with some success. More than 50,000 people enroll each day, and they made $33.6 billion in payments in 100 million transactions in the first half of 2017, Zelle said.

There are plenty of contenders for peer-to-peer (P2P) payment services, though, including PayPal's Venmo and Apple Pay.

Zelle is operated by a bank-owned company, Early Warning Services.

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