Zelle Pay lets users send money to family and friends, even when they use a different bank account than yours. But can the popular payment method be used to buy Bitcoin? The adoption of cryptocurrencies has seen exchanges and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) marketplaces accelerate their adoption of Zelle as a way to deposit funds and buy Bitcoin. This article explains how to buy Bitcoin with Zelle and what cryptocurrency exchanges and marketplaces support this payment method at the present time.
Several crypto exchanges and P2P marketplaces allow users to deposit funds to buy Bitcoin and other digital coins using Zelle Pay. The most widely used marketplaces for buying crypto with Zelle are Binance P2P, Paxful and LocalBitcoins. These platforms can be a little more difficult for beginners to use and find a matching seller that accepts Zelle for payment.
To buy Bitcoin with Zelle, follow these simple steps:
- Create an account with Zelle. Download the Zelle Application and create an account. Some online banks already support Zelle and can be accessed by logging into the account.
- Open an account with a crypto exchange. Browse cryptocurrency exchanges, P2P marketplaces, and trading platforms. Select a platform that supports Zelle Pay and create an account.
- Confirm identity. After signing up with an exchange, users must complete a Know Your Customer (KYC) procedure to authenticate their accounts. Authentication often requires users to provide proof of identity and proof of address.
- Search for advertisements. Choose a seller with a good reputation and proven track record with several Bitcoin trades completed.
- Buy Bitcoin. Search for Bitcoin from the list of supported coins. Click on 'buy', enter the amount of BTC to purchase, review the order and complete the purchase with Zelle.
1. Binance – Best for Low Transaction Fees
Binance was founded in 2017 and currency sits as the best crypto exchange for its security, reputation, and immense trading volume. Through the Binance app, users can trade and invest in over 500 cryptocurrency assets, including stablecoins, altcoins, and DeFi tokens. Binance serves as a cryptocurrency exchange and P2P marketplace that lets users swap between cryptos. All buy and sell transactions for cryptocurrencies are fulfilled using an automated matching engine.
As a P2P marketplace, Binance connects crypto buyers and sellers who can transact using 49 fiat currencies and any of 300+ payment methods available including Zelle Pay. To use Zelle, users will need to add it as a payment method for P2P trading. Log into the Binance App and click on “P2P Trading” to go to the P2P page. Choose your fiat currency and select “Payment Methods” to choose Zelle as the preferred payment method. Click ‘Confirm’ to complete adding Zelle as the payment method.
To buy Bitcoin with Zelle Pay on Binance, users need to initiate a transaction with a seller who accepts Zelle as a payment method. Users must also understand the seller’s terms and conditions before initiating anything. When one initiates a buy transaction, the funds are held temporarily in the Binance P2P escrow service until the user confirms that BTC has been deposited to their exchange wallet.
Binance users enjoy low-cost transactions and little overhead costs. Binance P2P trading has a zero fee while order makers only incur a small transaction fee once the order is fulfilled. Transactions are also secure since the Binance platform doesn’t collect any user information.
BTC buyers won’t have to transfer it to different wallets since all coins are sent directly to their exchange wallet. The advantage with Binance is the broad range of other products and features offered that are unmatched by competitors in this list. For instance, users can trade Bitcoin for altcoins on the spot market, speculate using leverage on the Futures platform or take advantage of the financial services such as earning interest on Bitcoin or staking. To find out more about the features offered that can be used after purchasing Bitcoin, read our full review on Binance.
2. Paxful – Best Peer-to-Peer Marketplace
Like Binance, Paxful provides Bitcoin buyers with a P2P marketplace where they can connect with more than 3 million users with whom they can buy Bitcoin directly. There are diverse payment methods available, including bank transfers, cash payments, prepaid cards, and online wallets like Neteller and Zelle Pay. There are zero fees to buy cryptocurrency.
Users must first register an account and complete the KYC process to start buying Bitcoin. They will receive a free BTC wallet where they can deposit their coins. To buy Bitcoin using Zelle Pay on Paxful, users must find traders who accept Zelle as a payment method.
Log into the Paxful account and set ‘Zelle Pay’ as the payment option. Paxful will provide a list of all relevant offers from other sellers. Users must consider factors like vendor availability, reputation score, and offer terms to settle on the best offer. Vendors may not have similar terms, so read carefully to ensure their requirements. Check their trade history and KYC verification to assess their credibility. To prevent fraudulent transactions, some vendors require that buyers provide their photo ID and proof of payment.
If the offer is good, accept the seller’s terms and initiate a trade. Users may also open a live chat where they can speak with the vendor and receive further clarification or instructions. After completing the payment, the transaction will be performed and the Bitcoin held in escrow will be transferred to the buyer's Paxful wallet.
Users who can’t find suitable offers may create their own offers to attract sellers and work by their terms. Create an offer by going to the home page and clicking ‘Create an Offer’ then set the preferences, including the amount of Bitcoin to buy and Zelle Pay as the payment method to use. Proceed to customize an offer by including offer time limits, offer margin, and trade instructions. Trades on Paxful have an expiry period, so transactions to purchase Bitcoin must be fulfilled within a specific timeframe. Overall, Paxful is a great place to buy Bitcoin with Zelle Pay.
3. Bisq – Best Desktop Application
Bisq, commonly known as Bitsquare was founded in 2014 by an Austrian crypto wizard Manfred Karrer. It is a top-performing decentralized Bitcoin exchange network best known for its three main features. First, it serves as a cross-platform desktop application that lets users swap Bitcoin for other cryptocurrencies or their fiat currencies. It is also a trading protocol that lets users exchange directly with each other over the internet, which eliminates the need for third-party exchanges. It is also a peer-to-peer network that supports most Bitcoin and blockchain technology features.
Bisq isn’t web-based, so users must download the desktop application to buy Bitcoin. Bisq doesn’t automatically match orders. Instead, the exchange lets users manually search and choose specific orders they’d like to get from other users. This facilitates true P2P settlement and ensures users control which counterparties they transact with.
Bisq supports 20+ payment methods to buy Bitcoin using different fiat currencies. These methods vary in regional availability, chargeback risk, fees, transaction size, privacy, and verifiability. Some of the fiat payment methods supported include Cash deposit, MoneyGram, Revolut, SEPA, Western Union, and Zelle Pay. Payment methods have different limits per trade. The limit for using Zelle is 0.25 BTC per trade.
Bisq doesn’t integrate directly with bank accounts or other fiat currency payment systems. Instead, it coordinates out-of-band transactions where buyers and sellers can settle fiat payments outside of the Bisq application. Follow these steps to buy Bitcoin with Zelle Pay on Bisq:
- Open Bisq and select Zelle. Download and run the Bisq desktop app. Choose Zelle as the fiat currency payment method and search for users looking to sell Bitcoin in a preferred fiat currency.
- Choose a suitable offer. In the ‘Buy BTC’ screen, click the green ‘Take Offer’ button and choose the offer to take.
- Send the fiat currency using Zelle. When taking the offer, Bisq will create a special trade wallet to hold the security deposit and fees. Upon completion of the trade, a user receives their BTC plus the security deposit. As of this writing, users need about 0.0061 BTC to get an offer to purchase 0.01 BTC that requires a security deposit.
- Confirm offer. After funding a trading wallet, a ‘Review: Take offer to buy Bitcoin’ screen will appear. Review the details of the offer to ensure they are accurate. Hit ‘Confirm: Take offer to buy Bitcoin’ to initiate the transaction.
- Send payment. It’s now time to pay the seller for the accepted offer. Bisq will provide the seller details after the Bitcoin network confirms the trade’s transactions. Proceed to pay the seller through Zelle Pay.
- Mark payment as sent. Click the ‘Payment started’ button to mark the payment as sent. This is an important step since there’s no way for Bisq to know the payment has been sent since it doesn’t integrate with fiat currency payment methods. The seller receives a notification that payment is on its way.
- Complete trade. The seller marks the payment as received in Bisq. Bisq then completes the trade by releasing the BTC alongside the security deposit. Click ‘Move Funds to Bisq Wallet’ to store the BTC in the build-in Bisq wallet or click ‘Withdraw to External Wallet’ to send it elsewhere.
Bisq provides several security features that help keep user funds secure. First, the exchange is non-custodial, so users have total control of their fiat and Bitcoin funds. Transactions between buyers and sellers are protected with security deposits to prevent fraud. Bitcoin for sale and BTC security deposits are also held in a 2-of-2 multi-sig escrow until users mark their respective receipts.
4. LocalBitcoins – Best for Escrow Service
LocalBitcoins is a P2P (person-to-person) trading platform with many payment methods such as Zelle Pay. It connects crypto buyers and sellers while doubling up as an escrow service for transactions. Users can create advertisements that let them specify the payment method and exchange rate for buying BTC from other users. With all transactions, LocalBitcoins holds the Bitcoin in an escrow. Once the seller confirms receipt of the funds, the platform releases the BTC from the escrow.
There are technically no fees for buying or selling Bitcoin on LocalBitcoins. Instead, the platform charges a 1% escrow fee for every trade completed. Users can avoid this fee by responding to ads rather than posting their own. LocalBitcoin users have an array of payment options available to them. Most buy and sell advertisements will list the accepted payment methods, so users can search for offers with their preferred payment method.
All profiles on LocalBitcoins have information about a user’s trading history, including their feedback score, confirmed trades, and user comments. Use this information to find reputable users with whom to trade.
To buy Bitcoin on LocalBitcoins with Zelle Pay App, users must register an account on the platform. They will receive a free online wallet to store their cryptos. Follow these next steps to buy BTC.
- Search for advertisements. Open the main page and in the search box, fill the amount to buy in your fiat currency, and location, and select a payment method. Choose ‘All online offers’ to receive offers in a wide range of payment methods. The user will receive a list of BTC traders in their region.
- Select an advertisement. Choose an advertisement whose trader has high trades and a good reputation score. Check the user’s response time indicator. Green indicated a response time of fewer than five minutes. Click the ‘Buy’ button to view more information about the advertisement, including the terms. Read through them to make sure to agree and submit a trade request.
- Start the trade. Hit the ‘Buy’ button and enter the dollar amount to buy. Enter a message for the seller and accept the terms to initiate the trade request. Be ready to pay since the transaction will automatically cancel when the window times out.
- Mark payment complete. After making the payment, click “I have paid’. The seller should verify the Zelle payment and release the BTC from the escrow. The Bitcoins will be instantly available in a LocalBitcoins wallet.
Paying for Bitcoin purchases with Zelle Pay provides some advantages over other payment methods which include:
- Quick transactions. Buying Bitcoin with Zelle on a P2P provider has rapid transaction speeds. A seller receives payment almost instantly and the Bitcoins are released from an escrow instantly after confirming the transaction.
- High security. By using Zelle, users don’t have to provide any of their credit card or debit card information. Also, Zelle is largely accepted on peer-to-peer exchanges that don’t require users to share most of their personal information.
- Relatively low fees. Paying for Bitcoin purchases with Zelle is incredibly low-cost. Most P2P platforms will only charge an escrow fee if you create an advertisement to buy BTC.
Despite the benefits listed above, buyers should also consider these downsides before using Zelle Pay to obtain Bitcoin:
- Not widely accepted. While Zelle is a popular payment method, it is currently not supported on most cryptocurrency exchanges. This leaves users with limited options to choose from when buying BTC.
- No fraud protection. Unlike payment methods like PayPal, Zelle doesn’t provide fraud protection.
- Not beginner-friendly. Using a P2P exchange is more complicated that a centralized crypto exchange or fiat-to-crypto platform which is generally designed for beginners. There are a lot more steps involved with P2P platforms which can become confusing.
Step 1. Enroll With Zelle
Create an account with Zelle Pay through the mobile bank account or the Zelle app by providing a valid email address or U.S. mobile number. Zelle already partners with multiple banks and credit unions. Users can still send money even if their bank account doesn’t partner with Zelle.
Step 2. Register an Account on LocalBitcoins
Start by registering a new account on the LocalBitcoins sign-up page. First provide a username, which will be visible to other platform users. Then provide an email address and choose a password. Users must confirm whether they are opening a company account and verify that they are human using a captcha. Hit ‘Register’ to complete signing up.
Step 3. Verify The Account
As part of LocalBitcoin's AML/CTF policies, users must verify their accounts. The LocalBitcoins verification system works progressively in four account verification Tiers: T0, T1, T2, and T3. T0 users have completed basic onboarding while T3 users must complete a physical address check, ID verification, KYC info, and proof of residence.
Step 4. Search for Advertisements
On the main page, select ‘Quick Buy’ and fill in the amount of Bitcoin to purchase in a preferred fiat currency, location and Zelle Pay as the payment method. A list of advertisements will appear in the search results. Choose a trader with a good reputation and proven track record with several trades completed. Check more information about the advertisement, including the terms.
Step 5. Buy Bitcoin
Once the seller’s terms have been agreed, press the ‘Buy’ button to start a trade. Enter the amount of BTC to buy and drop the seller a message. Accept the terms and send the trade request. Ensure the Zelle Pay account is connected before hitting ‘Send trade request’.
Make payment and click ‘I have paid’ to mark it as complete. The seller will verify receipt of the payment from the Zelle balance. The Bitcoin will be released from escrow into the LocalBitcoins wallet.
Yes, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be bought quickly from vendors who place BTC for sale using Zelle. The overall process includes entering the amount of Bitcoin to buy, choosing a fiat currency and selecting Zelle as a payment method.
Unfortunately, Zelle users cannot buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptos in their electronic wallets.
Zelle Pay is an available payment option that certain crypto traders may prefer to buy Bitcoin. At the time of writing, P2P and a marketplace platform mainly accept Zelle Pay. There is not huge support from the top crypto exchanges for this payment method. Using a P2P service to buy Bitcoin using Zelle, a user must trade with a seller who accepts payment via Zelle Pay app. If a match can be found, Bitcoin can be purchased relatively quickly with reasonable costs.
Kevin started in the cryptocurrency space in 2016 and began investing in Bitcoin before exclusively trading digital currencies on various brokers, exchanges and trading platforms. In 2019, he started HedgewithCrypto to publish informative guides about Bitcoin and share his experiences with using a variety of crypto exchanges around the world.