Why Is My Zelle Payment Pending? (Quick Guide)

Zelle Payment Pending

Is your Zelle payment pending? While this kind of occurrence may be frustrating, keeping a cool head is crucial to weathering the storm. That’s because there should be a perfectly reasonable explanation for why the issue is happening. Moreover, there are some things you may be able to do even during this period of uncertainty.

For more digital banking platform guides, here is our article on how to check if your Venmo payment went through.


What Is Zelle?

Zelle is a financial platform that, instead of providing an online wallet, lets users send money directly to bank accounts. It works within the United States and can typically transfer funds almost immediately.

What distinguishes Zelle from other digital payment platforms is how easy it is to register. The platform only requires either an email address or a valid US phone number. Afterward, you should be able to create an account and securely send funds fast to other bank accounts.

Moreover, Zelle doesn’t have brand restrictions regarding which banks it allows to exchange funds with. So long as it’s a valid US bank, Zelle should be able to work with it. However, Zelle does have a caveat: the recipient must also have a Zelle account to receive money.

This means their email address or phone number must be registered with the platform. Otherwise, the money may be left in limbo, and the Zelle payment may become pending or on hold. It may also be refunded if the recipient does not enroll after a set period.


Why Is My Zelle Payment Pending?

Sending and receiving money through Zelle is fairly easy for the most part. All you require is a verified US phone number or email address. However, there are certain limitations to Zelle’s features. Apart from Zelle’s transfer limit, people may also sometimes find their Zelle payment pending.

With that said, why is a Zelle payment pending? Is there a clear reason for this occurrence? One of the biggest and most prominent ones is that the recipient hasn’t registered with Zelle. This is the most common reason behind a Zelle payment pending. However, it’s also the easiest to resolve: simply ask the recipient to create an account to complete the process.

However, many times when you find your Zelle payment pending, the reason is simply that it’s still processing. Why is my Zelle payment processing, you ask? Truthfully, there’s no clear reason why your Zelle payment may be pending. The best course of action here is to simply wait for Zelle to finish processing the transfer.

Remember that these things may happen regardless of the bank you’re using. Hence, it may occur if your Zelle payment is pending in Chase or if your Zelle payment pending is under Wells Fargo. It’s no use to search, “why is my Zelle payment pending in Bank of America (or insert any other bank name)?” individually.


How Long Will Zelle Be Pending?

So you’ve seen that your Zelle payment is pending, but how long will it take? Do you have to wait one month before the transaction will push through? Fortunately, your transaction isn’t kept pending indefinitely.

That’s because Zelle will typically be able to send the cash to the recipient within three business days. Of course, the timer will only start after they register for a Zelle account. However, if the receiver doesn’t register a Zelle account within 14 days of the initial payment, Zelle cancels the transaction.

Hence, the time limit is generally 14 days. Zelle payment pending preview will last 14 days in your list of transactions. Afterward, the transaction will fail and you must try again.


How to Know If Your Zelle Payment Is Pending?

You can easily check for a Zelle payment pending status through the mobile app. Simply launch it and navigate to the “Activity” tab. In this section, you’ll find your history of transactions as well as those that are pending.


What Are the Different Transaction Statuses in Zelle?

We’ve discussed what a Zelle payment pending status means in most of this article. However, are there other statuses you must know about? Moreover, if there are any, what do they mean for you and your transaction?

The short answer is yes. There are different transaction statuses within Zelle’s platform. Each transaction can have a different status depending on the processing. For example, a status can be on hold, pending, in progress, failed, and more. We’ll talk about each status and their descriptions below to help you decipher what they mean.


On Hold

The first status is “On hold.” These payments are usually on hold because the sender didn’t verify the transaction properly when they scheduled it. Meanwhile, a transaction labeled “In Progress” means that the payment is still processing. The recipient should have received a notification regarding the payment. Moreover, it means that the funds are on the way and should be credited within three business days.



On the other hand, a “Failed” transaction means, well, the transaction failed or didn’t push through. This could be because the receiver couldn’t validate their access to the number or email given by the sender. Alternatively, there could have been a problem with the bank, or the sender doesn’t have enough money in their account.



Can you cancel a pending Zelle payment? Yes, you may. That is what the “Stopped” status is. It indicates no technical problem on the part of Zelle, the bank, or the recipient. That’s because it simply means that the sender halted the payment after sending it, and Zelle has given the money back.



However, if your transaction status says “Expired,” this means the recipient failed to register with Zelle within 14 days of the payment. As a result, the payment expires, and the funds are given back to the sender.



Finally, a “Completed” transaction is a status that indicates the transaction was a success. The sender deposited the money to the recipient and they’ve received the money in their account.


How to Resolve Zelle Pending Payments


Ask the Recipient to Register

The fastest way to resolve the Zelle payment pending status is by asking the recipient to register an account. This is because unregistered accounts are the most common reason for a person’s payment to not push through.

Moreover, remember to let them register an account using the email or number you entered. Otherwise, you may have to learn how to cancel a pending Zelle payment and re-send the money to another number.


Double-Check the Number / Email Address

Now, what if the recipient tells you they already have an account and the transaction is pending? Or if, on the other way around, someone sent me money on Zelle but I don’t see it?

In this case, the previous solution isn’t applicable. The likely culprit for the pending payment now is that the email address or number that was indicated is incorrect. For example, the sender could have made a typo and so they’ve sent the funds to another number or email.

If you suspect this is the issue, we recommend going back to your list of transactions. Look for the one in question and double-check whether it’s the right address or number. If it’s not, cancel the payment and make another one.


Check FAQs of the Bank

The beauty of Zelle is that it works with any bank registered in the United States. However, this versatility also entails a few conditions. One is this: different banks have different policies and will have varying processing speeds.

Therefore, your Zelle payment pending may simply be due to the bank still taking its time processing. This is why we suggest looking into your bank’s FAQ page regarding Zelle payments. Each bank should indicate how long their processing times are on their respective websites.

For example, this page from Bank of America suggests that Zelle payments are instantaneous upon account enrollment. Hence, it shouldn’t even take three banking days for the transaction to push through.

However, other banks may have different policies and processing speeds, so it’s worth taking that into account. For instance, it will take three business days for U.S. Bank to process transactions that aren’t instantaneous.


Call Your Bank’s Customer Service

If the transaction’s details are correct but the payment still hasn’t been pushed through, it may be worth calling the bank. We recommend this especially if the bank’s indicated processing period on their FAQ page has passed. There may be a specific problem with the bank’s servers or your bank account itself.


Call Zelle Customer Service

If there are no problems on the bank’s end, then calling Zelle’s support team may be necessary. You can call the platform’s toll-free customer service hotline at 844-428-8542 if you’re using the app. Alternatively, you can also contact their team through if you prefer written reports.


Cancel the Payment

Finally, we also recommend learning how to cancel Zelle payments if it’s taking too long. Sometimes, the frustration and wait aren’t worth it — especially if your recipient needs the money as soon as possible.

In these instances, canceling the transaction and getting a refund is the better option. Then you can send the money through cash, other apps, or other financial services. However, remember that you may only cancel Zelle payments if the recipient hasn’t registered an account.


How Long Does a Zelle Refund Take?

Unfortunately, when you cancel your Zelle payment pending, how long it takes to receive the refund is unknown. Currently, Zelle doesn’t explicitly mention the period — just that they will return the money to you after a successful cancellation.

Of course, it would be concerning if Zelle didn’t return the payment for an unreasonably long time. For example, if a month has already passed and you haven’t gotten the funds, you should follow up with their team.


Effects of Zelle Pending Payments

There are many adverse effects whenever a payment is pending through Zelle. Apart from the frustration and anxiety that ensues, a Zelle payment pending could mean a loss of transaction. For example, you could be using Zelle as a means to pay a merchant to purchase a product or service.

This transaction may have a “pay first” arrangement, so you might not receive the item unless it’s paid. As a result, a pending payment can cause unnecessary delays (or even cancellations) in business dealings.

In addition, a Zelle payment pending means you might need to wait a long time before you can move on. While the 14-day grace period for enrollment seems generous, it causes the sender to wait a considerable amount of time. This can be taxing for the sender and receiver both mentally and financially.

Apart from these, pending payments may also mess up your financial plans. After all, a pending payment always has a chance of pushing through. Hence, even if you’d like to consider sending the money through different channels, it may be unwise.

That’s because you’d have to risk paying the recipient twice. If the recipient is a stranger, there’s no guarantee they’ll give the money back to you. You may also incur a negative balance if your bank account is deducted more than once.

Lastly, a Zelle payment pending may result in a loss. For example, let’s say you entered the wrong email address or phone number in the recipient field, but didn’t notice. Hence, the intended recipient doesn’t know you’re sending them any cash.

Instead, Zelle notified a stranger to enroll with the platform to receive what you’ve provided. They registered and successfully received the payment. In this scenario, unless the stranger is kindhearted enough, you’re unlikely to get your money back.


Alternatives to Zelle

Zelle may be fast and convenient, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only option available to you. That’s because many alternatives can do the job well and even offer additional features. Here are three you might like to check out.



CashApp is a free platform that can transfer to different accounts within one to three business days. If you want instantaneous transfers, you’ll need to pay a 0.5% to 1.5% fee. However, unlike Zelle, it doesn’t just facilitate transfers between accounts to make payments.

That’s because it offers unique features such as access to a Cash Card. This card is a Visa debit card that acts just like any other. With it, you can make payments and even avail of discounts on various services.

In addition, CashApp doesn’t require linked bank accounts for you to use it. Hence, it acts as a stand-alone digital wallet you can use to transfer cash and make payments. However, if you do opt to link your bank, you can transfer money from CashApp to your bank for free.

Apart from these, CashApp has many other unique features that distinguish it. For example, it allows you to withdraw money via ATMs and lets you invest in stocks or Bitcoin. On the other hand, it does include a few disadvantages. The most notable ones are the fees associated with instant transfers and credit card use.

Furthermore, CashApp isn’t FDIC-insured. Hence, if you were asking, “is Zelle safe?” and are more concerned about security, CashApp may not be a better alternative.

Try out Cash App today!



PayPal is one of the oldest financial platforms you can find that facilitates online purchases and transfers. With it, you can buy things online, link your bank, or transfer funds to peers all for free. However, like CashApp, PayPal transfers will take time. More specifically, it will take one business day to process transactions. For instant transfers, you must pay a 1% transfer fee.

Apart from this, PayPal also offers many unique features that its rivals don’t provide. For example, it lets you pay for purchases in six-month installments without interest if the transaction is over $99. Moreover, its transfer limits can go as high as $60,000.

Check out PayPal



Venmo is a service that lets users send money from Venmo accounts, bank accounts, and debit cards for free. Its transfers are instant if you use your Venmo balance. However, it will take one to three business days for direct deposits from other sources.

Meanwhile, instant transfers to bank accounts will have a 1% (or $10 maximum) transfer fee. Moreover, sending money using credit cards will incur a 3% processing fee. Nonetheless, despite Venmo’s fees, it has solid features that make it compelling.

For example, the app makes splitting bills with other users easier. It also integrates with third parties like Uber, Uber Eats, and online sellers. Moreover, it offers a free debit card and its credit card provides excellent rewards.

Transact with Venmo


Final Word

It may be frustrating to have your Zelle payment pending. However, there’s normally a good reason for this — and it’s not going to be forever. Usually, it simply means the recipient hasn’t registered with Zelle just yet. Though it may be wise to check the email address or phone number just in case.

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