Can You Use Zelle Or Venmo Internationally

can you use zelle or venmo internationally

In today's globalized world, the need to send money internationally has become increasingly common. Whether you are supporting family abroad, paying for overseas services, or conducting international business, understanding how international money transfers work is crucial.

An international money transfer is the electronic movement of funds from one account in one country to another. This process involves converting the sender's currency into the recipient's desired currency, often through a network of financial institutions.

For this reason, many people are curious to know if they can use Zelle or Venmo to make international money transfers, which you will see in this article.

Zelle is a domestic money transfer service in the United States specifically designed for quick and easy transactions between individuals. It enables users to send and receive money directly between bank accounts in the U.S. It also integrated within the mobile banking apps of numerous major banks and can be accessible through the Zelle app.

While on the other hand, Venmo is a mobile payment service in the United States primarily used for casual money transfers between friends and acquaintances through a mobile app and requires users to have U.S. bank accounts linked to their Venmo accounts. It also incorporates a social feed where users can include comments and emojis with their transfers.

Find out in this article if you can utilize Venmo or Zelle for international money transfer:

Can You Use Zelle Or Venmo Internationally

No, you cannot use Zelle or Venmo for international money transfers. These services are designed specifically for domestic transactions within the United States.

Here is a breakdown:

If you need to send money internationally, there are several alternative services available that specialize in global transfers. These services often offer competitive exchange rates and lower fees compared to traditional bank wire transfers.

How To Use Zelle?

Using Zelle is a convenient way to send and receive money within the United States. Here is a guide on how to use Zelle:

1. Set Up Zelle:

  • Choose Your Bank: Zelle is often integrated into major U.S. banks' mobile apps. Check if your bank offers Zelle.
  • Enroll: If your bank supports Zelle, enroll in the service through your bank's mobile app or online banking platform.

2. Sending Money:

  • Access Zelle: Open your bank's mobile app or online banking.
  • Choose Recipient: Select the option to send money using Zelle.
  • Add Recipient: Enter the recipient's email address or phone number.
  • Enter Amount: Specify the amount you want to send.
  • Confirm: Review the details and confirm the transaction.

3. Receiving Money:

  • Set Up: If someone sends you money via Zelle, you'll receive a notification or message.
  • Claim Money: Follow the instructions to claim the money. If it's your first time using Zelle, you may need to link your phone number or email with your bank account.

Some Basic Tips for Using Zelle:

  • Instant Transfers: Zelle typically offers near-instant transfers between banks that support the service.
  • Always Verify: Double-check recipient details before sending money.
  • Limits: Be aware of transaction limits set by your bank or Zelle for security reasons.
  • Security: Zelle is usually secure, but be cautious of scams or fraudulent requests for Zelle payments.

Zelle simplifies person-to-person payments in the U.S., making it easy to split bills, pay friends, or send money to family members. Remember to use Zelle within the intended scope of domestic transfers.

How To Use Venmo?

Here is a general overview of how to use Venmo for sending and requesting money within the United States:


  1. You must be a resident of the United States.
  2. You need a valid U.S. bank account or debit card linked to your Venmo account.

Downloading the App:

  1. Download the Venmo app from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android).

Setting Up Your Account:

  1. Open the app and follow the on-screen instructions to create a Venmo account.
  2. Link your U.S. bank account or debit card as a funding source.

Sending Money:

  1. Launch the Venmo app and tap the "Pay or Request" button (usually a blue button with a Venmo logo).
  2. Search for the recipient using their username, phone number, or scan their QR code.
  3. Enter the amount you want to send and add a note (optional).
  4. Tap "Pay" to confirm the transaction.

Requesting Money:

  1. Similar to sending money, tap the "Pay or Request" button.
  2. Search for the person you want to request money from.
  3. Enter the amount you're requesting and add a note (optional).
  4. Tap "Request" to send the request.

Important Reminders:

  • Venmo transactions are typically instant for friends and family with linked bank accounts.
  • Fees may apply: While sending money between friends using linked bank accounts is generally free, transactions involving credit cards or instant transfers might incur fees.
  • Only send money to people you know and trust. Venmo transactions can be difficult to reverse in case of scams.

Does Venmo Work Internationally?

No, Venmo does not work internationally. Its functionalities are strictly limited to the United States. Here is why:

  • Geographic Restriction: Venmo is only available for users residing within the U.S. and requires them to have U.S. bank accounts linked to their accounts.
  • Currency Limitation: Transactions are processed solely in US Dollars (USD).

Therefore, if you are looking to send or receive money internationally, you will need to explore alternative services designed for global transfers.

Venmo also offer a debit card called Venmo Debit Card, which is a physical debit card linked to your Venmo account. The Venmo Debit Card allows you to spend your Venmo balance in stores that accept Mastercard, withdraw cash at ATMs, and make purchases online. However, this card is designed to be use only within the united state.

If you are planning to travel internationally and need a card for transactions abroad, it's recommended to consider obtaining a credit card or debit card specifically designed for international use. Many financial institutions offer cards with features such as no foreign transaction fees, global acceptance, and travel benefits.

How To Send Money Internationally

Sending money internationally involves transferring funds from your account in one country to a recipient's account in another.

There are multiple ways to send money internationally, each with its own pros and cons:

  1. Bank Wire Transfer: This is the traditional method, often used for large sums. It's secure but can be slow and incur high fees due to exchange rates and intermediary banks involved (SWIFT network).
  2. Money Transfer Services: Companies like Western Union or MoneyGram offer fast and convenient money transfers, frequently with cash pickup options. However, their fees tend to be higher compared to other options.
  3. Online Money Transfer Services: Services like PayPal, Xoom, Wise or WorldRemit provide competitive exchange rates and lower fees compared to traditional banks. They often operate online and might have mobile apps for easy transfers.

Information Required: 

To initiate a transfer, you will typically need:

  • Recipient Details: Their full name, address, and bank account information (account number, bank identifier code - BIC/SWIFT).
  • Transfer Amount & Currency: Specify the amount you are sending and the recipient's desired currency.

Things to Consider:

  • Fees: Compare transfer fees associated with different services, including exchange rate margins.
  • Transfer Speed: Delivery times can vary depending on the chosen method. Bank transfers might take 1-5 business days, while money transfer services can be faster.
  • Transfer Limits: Some services may have limitations on the amount you can send at once.

Can I Use Zelle While Travelling Aboard?

Zelle is a digital payment network commonly used for transactions within the United States. Using Zelle while traveling abroad may not be possible due to its domestic focus.

Here are some points to consider regarding using Zelle while abroad:

Limitations of Using Zelle Abroad:

1. Domestic Use: Zelle is primarily designed for domestic transactions among U.S. banks and financial institutions.

2. International Transfers: Zelle does not typically support international transactions, so accessing or using the service while traveling abroad may be limited.

3. Bank Integration: Zelle is integrated into participating U.S. banks' mobile apps and online banking platforms, making it difficult to use outside the U.S. due to geographic restrictions.

4. Network Availability: Zelle's network is currently focused on facilitating instant payments between individuals and businesses within the United States.

Alternative Solutions for International Transactions:

1. International Money Transfer Services: Consider using dedicated international money transfer services like PayPal, Wise (formerly TransferWise), Xoom, or traditional wire transfers for cross-border payments.

2. Travel-Friendly Cards: Use credit cards or debit cards with international acceptance and travel benefits to manage your expenses while abroad.

3. Currency Exchange Services: Utilize foreign exchange services or apps to convert currency and manage your finances during international travel.

4. Local Payment Methods: When traveling, it's advisable to familiarize yourself with local payment methods and financial services in the destination country.

Before traveling abroad, inform your bank about your travel plans to prevent any account restrictions or potential issues with using your cards or digital payment services while overseas.

What Is Zelle Pay?

Zelle Pay, often shortened to Zelle, is a digital payment network in the United States designed for quick and easy money transfers between individuals.

Think of Zelle like sending an electronic version of cash to someone you know and trust within the U.S., but it's not suitable for international transfers.

Final Thoughts On Zelle and Venmo International Money Transfer

Zelle and Venmo are not suitable for International Money Transfers. Both Zelle and Venmo are designed solely for domestic transactions within the United States. Their functionalities are restricted to users with U.S. bank accounts and U.S. registered mobile numbers.

Their systems are not built to handle international transfers. Transactions require both sender and receiver to be enrolled within the U.S. financial system.

Therefore, attempting to use Zelle or Venmo for international money transfers will not be successful.

However, international Money Transfer Services like Wise, WorldRemit, or Xoom, that are specialize in global transfers and offer competitive exchange rates can help you do this.

Also, many debit cards can be used internationally for purchases and ATM withdrawals. Be sure to inquire about any associated international transaction fees.

While less common nowadays, traveler's cheques can be a secure option for carrying cash abroad. However, encashing them can involve fees and may not be convenient in all locations.