Why is My Zelle Payment Pending? [Fixed]

By Jim Marous 18 Min Read

You’re waiting on a Zelle payment. You’ve got bills to pay, a pizza to order, and you’re refreshing your account page every five seconds. But there it is, mocking you: “Pending.” What does that even mean? Why is my Zelle payment pending? Is the money lost in the ether, or will it eventually show up? We’ll help you fix this in a matter of seconds.

What is Zelle?

Why Is my Zelle payment pending

First, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. Zelle is a digital payments network that allows users to send and receive money quickly and easily.

It’s sort of like Venmo but without the social media aspect. The service is available through most major US banks and credit unions and is free to use.

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 being said, why is my Zelle payment pending? Is there a clear reason for this occurrence?

Don’t fret, there are five probable reasons why a Zelle payment may be pending:

1. Verification process

If you are a first-time user, the payment may be pending while the system verifies your account information.

2. Processing time

Payments can take up to three business days to process, especially if it is your first time using the service.

3. Technical issues

There could be technical issues with the Zelle system or your bank’s system, causing the payment to be pending.

4. Insufficient funds

If the payment is sent from an account with insufficient funds, the payment will be pending until the account has enough funds.

5. Recipient isn’t a U.S. citizen or using a U.S. bank

Zelle is a money transfer service that is only available to U.S. citizens with a U.S. phone number and bank account. Transactions to non-U.S. citizens usually do not go through, even with a valid U.S. phone number. Also if the recipient is physically outside the U.S., the transaction may not go through.

Here’s something to keep in mind – In most cases, the most common reason behind a Zelle payment pending is that the recipient hasn’t registered with Zelle. However, it’s also the easiest to resolve: simply ask the recipient to create an account to complete the process.

In other cases, your Zelle payment may be processing, which can cause it to appear as pending. Unfortunately, there’s no clear explanation for why this happens. Your best bet is to sit tight and wait for Zelle to finish processing the transfer.

You must also remember that these things can happen regardless of the bank you’re using. So I’d advise you not to waste your time searching for a specific answer – instead, be patient and wait for the transfer to go through.

Read also: some untraceable transfer apps out there

How long will Zelle be pending?

Pending Zelle payments do not take a long time to resolve because most times Zelle will usually be able to send the funds to the recipient in around three business days.

However, keep in mind that this timeline only begins once the recipient has registered for a Zelle account. If the recipient fails to sign up for a Zelle account within 14 days of the initial payment, the transaction will be canceled by Zelle.

It’s also important to remember that the 14-day time limit is critical, and if the recipient doesn’t register for Zelle within this time frame, the transaction will be considered invalid.

This means that the Zelle payment pending preview will only last for 14 days in your transaction history. After that, the payment will be canceled, and you’ll need to initiate the payment process again.

So, if you’ve sent a payment through Zelle and it’s still pending, make sure the recipient has registered for an account and ensure that you’re still within the 14-day time limit.

How do I know if Zelle payment is pending?

Curious to know if your Zelle payment is still processing or if there’s been a delay? No worries, you can easily check for a Zelle payment pending status through the mobile app.

Just whip out your phone, launch the Zelle app, and navigate to the “Activity” tab.

In this section, you’ll find your history of transactions as well as those that are pending, so you can quickly determine if your payment is still processing or if there might be an issue that needs to be addressed. It’s that easy.

What are the different transaction statuses in Zelle?

In addition to the Zelle payment pending status, there are other transaction statuses you should be aware of when using Zelle. These different statuses may affect your transaction differently. Some of these statuses include on hold, in progress, failed, and more. Understanding these statuses and their meanings is important to ensure your transactions go smoothly. Let’s take a closer look at each status and what they mean.

1. On hold

When a payment is “On hold,” it typically means that the sender did not complete the necessary verification steps when scheduling the transaction. This status indicates that the payment is not yet in progress and cannot be processed until the verification is complete.

On the other hand, a transaction marked as “In progress” means that the payment is currently being processed and should arrive at the recipient’s account within three business days. The recipient should have received a notification about the payment, and the funds should be on the way.

2. Failed

Now, let’s talk about the “Failed” status. Unfortunately, this status means that the transaction didn’t go through. There could be several reasons why a transaction fails.

One possible reason is that the recipient wasn’t able to validate their access to the number or email provided by the sender.

Another possible reason could be that there was an issue with the bank or that the sender didn’t have enough funds in their account to complete the payment.

3. Stopped

Yes, you can cancel a pending Zelle payment. If you change your mind or made a mistake, you have the option of stopping the payment.

The status for this is “Stopped”, which means that the sender has halted the payment after initiating it, and the money has been returned to the sender’s account. This status doesn’t indicate any technical issues with Zelle, the recipient, or the bank. So, it’s always good to double-check before you send a payment to avoid having to stop it later.

4. Expired

If you see the status of your Zelle transaction as “Expired,” it indicates that the recipient didn’t register with Zelle within the given timeframe of 14 days. As a result, the payment expires, and the funds are returned to the sender.

In other words, you can think of the expiration as the clock running out on the transaction. After the time limit is up, the transaction becomes null and void.

Keep in mind that if you’re the recipient of a Zelle payment, you’ll need to register with Zelle within 14 days to receive the funds.

5. Completed

The “Completed” status- This is what we all hope to see after sending money to someone through Zelle. It means that the transaction was successful, and the recipient has received the money in their account.

What do I do if my Zelle payment is pending?

If your Zelle payment is pending, there’s not much you can do but wait. In most cases, the payment will be processed within a few minutes or hours. However, there are a few things you can try to speed up the process:

Contact the recipient to check or to register: If the payment is still pending after a few hours, it’s worth reaching out to the person you sent it to. They may be able to check on the status of the payment on their end.

But as previously mentioned, the quickest and most efficient way to resolve this issue is to ask the recipient to register for a Zelle account. This is because unregistered accounts are the most common reason for payments to be held up.

To ensure that the process runs smoothly, make sure that the recipient registers using the same email address or phone number that you entered. Otherwise, you may have to go through the hassle of learning how to cancel a pending Zelle payment and resend the money to another number.

1. Check your payment status

If you’re the recipient of a Zelle payment and it’s still pending, you can check the payment status through your bank or credit union’s online or mobile banking portal.

2. Check the phone number or email address again

In cases where the recipient didn’t see the transaction from their end at all and the transaction still indicates “pending”, it’s more than likely that the email or phone number provided is incorrect.

Double-check your list of transactions and cancel the payment if necessary to ensure that the correct information is used.

3. Contact Zelle support

If the payment is still pending after a significant amount of time (say, 24 hours), you can contact Zelle support for assistance (844-428-8542 if you’re using the app). They may be able to help you track down the payment and get it processed.

4. Check your bank’s FAQ page

Zelle’s versatility is a great advantage as it works with any bank registered in the United States. However, it’s important to note that different banks have different policies and processing times which may result in a Zelle payment pending.

To avoid any confusion, we recommend checking your bank’s FAQ page to know its processing times or if your payment was bounced with this code.. While some banks like Bank of America have instantaneous processing times upon enrollment, others may take longer.

So it’s worth taking into account that different banks will have different policies and processing speeds

5. Call your bank’s customer service

So, you’ve made sure that the transaction details are correct, but the payment is still pending? It’s probably time to give your bank a call.

If the indicated processing period on the bank’s FAQ page has already passed, there may be an issue with the bank’s servers or your bank account.

Don’t worry, though, a simple phone call can help resolve this issue. The bank’s customer service representative can provide more information on the status of your payment and assist you in finding a solution.

6. Cancel the payment

If you find yourself waiting too long for a Zelle payment to go through, it may be best to cancel the transaction and send the money through another method.

This is especially important if your recipient needs the funds urgently. However, keep in mind that you can only cancel the payment if the recipient hasn’t registered an account.

How long does a Zelle refund take?

The duration of a Zelle refund is not explicitly mentioned by the company. Zelle only states that the money will be returned to the sender after a successful cancellation.

If it takes an unreasonably long time to receive the refund, it’s advisable to follow up with their team.

What are the effects of Zelle pending payments?

Zelle pending payments can be a real headache for both the sender and recipient. The delay can cause frustration, stress, and even financial loss.

Imagine accidentally entering the wrong email address or phone number for the recipient, and a stranger enrolls with Zelle and receives the payment instead. Unless the stranger is generous enough to return the funds, you might be out of luck.

For the sender, the delay in the transaction can be inconvenient and time-consuming. Canceling the transaction and finding an alternative payment method is not only frustrating but can also cause further delays.

For the recipient, the delay can result in unexpected stress and the inconvenience of waiting longer for the payment to come through.

Therefore, to prevent these negative effects, it’s essential to ensure that all the transaction details are accurate and that the recipient has registered their account. This way, you can avoid unnecessary delays and potential financial loss.

Read also: transferring cash from Direct Express to PayPal possible


How long does it take to receive money with Zelle?

Zelle money transfers are supposed to be available to enrolled recipients within minutes. If it takes more than three days to receive the funds, it’s recommended to check whether you have fully enrolled your Zelle profile and that you provided the correct email address or US mobile number to the sender.

Can you cancel Zelle pending?

If the person you sent money to hasn’t yet enrolled with Zelle, you can still cancel a payment. To do this, go to your Activity page and select the payment you want to cancel. If the payment is still pending because the recipient hasn’t enrolled yet, you’ll be able to cancel it. But you must keep in mind that you can only cancel the payment if the recipient hasn’t registered an account.

Does Zelle block payments?

If Zelle cannot verify your identity with the information you provide, or if there are concerns about fraud or security, then Zelle may cancel, suspend your enrollment, or even block payments to and from you.


Zelle payment pending can be a frustrating and anxiety-inducing experience for both the sender and the recipient. Whether it’s because of inaccurate transaction details, a lack of account registration, or other issues, pending payments can cause inconvenience and delay in receiving or sending money.

But with the right knowledge and precautionary measures, such as double-checking the transaction details, ensuring the recipient has a registered account, and contacting customer support when necessary, you can minimize the chances of experiencing pending payments on Zelle.

And if all else fails, don’t forget to stay positive and keep your sense of humor intact. After all, laughter is still the best medicine, even when dealing with payment mishaps.

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Jim Marous is a Top 5 Retail Banking Influencer, Global Speaker, Podcast Host and Co-Publisher at The Financial Brand. I am a co-author here at Finance and Pay, writing on a lot of topics regarding payments, banking software, cards, and investing.
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