What would you do if you were told you couldn’t use cash?
A year ago, Senior Planet member Lawrence Lucido (aka “Cousin Larry”) was told that he must pay someone without cash – and thus started his journey learning about Person-to-Person (P2P) payments.
“I had never heard of Person-to-Person payments, but early last spring my landscaper told me, ‘I’m not accepting cash. And no checks.’ I asked him, ‘What do you accept?’ And he said, ‘Zelle®.’ I told him, ‘I don’t know what that is!’”
Lucido’s kids suggested he log into his bank online to learn how it partners with Zelle. “‘If you do that,’ my kids said, ‘we’re going to send you money with Zelle as a reward – like 10 bucks.’ They’re the ones who opened my mind to it.”
Another way to bank
A few months later, Lucido started taking classes at Senior Planet and learned more about Zelle, a P2P payment service used to send and receive money with people you know and trust.
Interest in P2P has been growing during the COVID-19 pandemic because transactions are contact-free and can be done from home, which is where most people are spending their time these days. When using P2P, you have ease, safety, and speed on your side, and there are typically no fees* for sending or receiving money.
Lucido isn’t the only one joining Senior Planet’s Zelle classes.
“We’ve had over 400 participants join the lectures and workshops since May 19, 2020,” notes Zoe Johnson, OATS Program Manager. “Person-to-Person payments can be intimidating when you first jump in.”
Trust is a critical issue, Johnson explains, because once you hit the send button, the money leaves your bank and goes directly to the account of the person whose U.S. mobile phone number or email address you sent it to. “You want to be sure it is going to the right person,” Johnson says. “The money arrives in minutes** when both parties are already enrolled, not hours or days, and once the transaction is done, it’s not reversible.”
Senior Planet steps up
Senior Planet’s P2P classes provide demonstrations and learning at a flexible pace. “In the case of Zelle,” Johnson continues, “we offer a lecture and a workshop.” When the pandemic started, workshops transitioned from in-person to online – all free.
Nadine Dubuche, OATS Technology Trainer, says the structure of the courses contributes to participants’ success because a Monday lecture is followed by a Wednesday hands-on workshop, encouraging people to learn at their own pace.
Another benefit of P2P payments is helping others. Dubuche points out that, “if someone has an emergency, you can send them money in minutes. That’s gotten people’s attention.” To send money via P2P, you don’t have to visit a bank branch or ATM; you can use your mobile phone or computer to access your financial institution’s online or mobile banking
Dubuche appreciates Lucido’s commitment to using P2P and dubs him a mascot and promoter of Zelle. “In just a year, he went from knowing nothing about Zelle to mastering it, and he is always reassuring his classmates that it is useful, easy, and safe. He’ll say he ‘really tried it and there’s no problem.’ That’s really good to hear from a fellow peer.” She recommends that other seniors who are new to P2P “come and experience it.”
Like Lucido, once you sign up for a class, you may find you’ve simplified your life with this handy way to pay lots of trusted people in your life.
*Payments made between consumers enrolled with Zelle® do not typically incur transaction fees. Check with your financial institution to determine any fees
** Transactions typically occur in minutes when the recipient’s email address or U.S. mobile number is already enrolled with Zelle.