P2P payments make it easier to split the tab

Whether you are paying friends back for dinner or concert tickets, peer-to-peer payment services, such as Zelle®, can help alleviate the stress in social situations.

Tags: Online banking, Payments, Innovation
Published: April 21, 2020

Almost everyone has a system for how to split the check. There’s the person who splits it down the middle and the one who divides it evenly among the group. The more mathematically inclined might tally up each expense and arrive at a precise accounting of how to split the bill. Then there’s the person who throws caution to the wind and says, “It’s on me, you get the next one.”1

Whichever method you prefer, splitting the bill can be awkward. What if you don’t want to pay for those two glasses of wine your friend had? What if you’re dining with a friend who notoriously forgets to pay you back? As if splitting a restaurant tab isn’t awkward enough, modern life is full of situations like this. Ride sharing, paying for concert tickets or sporting events or splitting the cost of a birthday gift for a friend — all of these situations can add friction to a fun night out.

Technology makes payment easier

P2P — short for peer-to-peer — payment apps can alleviate this stress. One of the more popular P2P payment apps is Zelle because it has partnered with most major banks, including U.S. Bank, to allow you to transfer and receive money on the go. Zelle is available to more than 95 million people nationwide and counting, and it is becoming a go-to choice for splitting the tab.

When using a P2P payment app, such as Zelle, it’s useful to keep in mind a few guidelines. First and foremost, only send money to people you know. Similarly, you’ll want to make sure you’re entering new contacts’ information correctly, so if you’re adding them using their email address, be sure to double check that you’re using the correct spelling.

The do’s and don’ts of using P2P payment apps

Next, consider a few general etiquette tips. Sending a note along with your payments can help you keep track of what you’re spending your money on. The note could be as simple as “Thai dinner” or “baseball tickets.” Not only can this help with your budget, it can also help the recipient keep track of what the payment is for and what they’re still owed.

Because P2P apps make splitting payments simple, it can be easy to overlook tipping. Etiquette experts recommend that no matter how you decide to split the bill among your group, make sure you’ve planned to include an adequate service fee for your experience.

Finally, remember if you’re sending money through the app for a gift, as opposed to repayment, you want to make sure it doesn’t seem like an afterthought. Make sure to send a text (or even give a birthday card, for example) to let the recipient know what the gift is for. And you might even suggest what to spend it on. The important thing to remember is using a P2P payment app should be convenient, but thoughtfulness never goes out of style.

Easy, secure and free

Zelle is free to customers whose banks have partnered with the P2P service, including U.S. Bank customers, and  it’s simple to download. Install the app on your smartphone and enter your bank account information, and you’ll be able to send and receive money within minutes. All you need is your friend’s phone number or email address, which you can add directly from your phone’s contact list.2

As a U.S. Bank customer, each Zelle transaction is protected by the U.S. Bank Online Risk-Free Guarantee. That means U.S. Bank will refund 100 percent of your losses from any unauthorized transaction.

With P2P payment services, you can make sure a fun time with friends doesn’t turn into a not-so-fun conversation about paying a bill.

Learn more about how Zelle through U.S. Bank can help you transfer money quickly to friends and family.


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1.  Requests for money with Zelle (including Split requests) sent to a U.S. mobile number require that the mobile number be enrolled with Zelle
2. To send money in minutes with Zelle, you must have an eligible U.S. Bank account and have a mobile number registered in your online and mobile banking profile for at least three calendar days. Transactions typically occur in minutes when the recipient’s email address or U.S. mobile number is already enrolled with Zelle. Recipients must have an eligible bank account in the United States. Terms and conditions apply.