If the name Early Warning Services doesn’t ring a bill, don’t be surprised.
Even though the company has kept its headquarters in Arizona for three decades, and even though you already might use its popular electronic-payment system, Zelle, the business has kept a low profile.
With the robust growth of Zelle – now available to 150 million consumers and thousands of businesses nationally – Early Warning is seeking more visibility.
“We have been based in Scottsdale for decades,” said Melissa Lowry, chief marketing officer at Early Warning. “We stayed under the radar until the launch of Zelle.”
New location for established company
Early Warning this month marked the grand opening of its new 125,000-square foot headquarters at 5801 N. Pima Rd. The company now employs 1,100 people, 70% of whom live in Arizona, and still has 180 unfilled positions.
Early Warning also has offices in San Francisco and Chicago.
Prior to Zelle, Early Warning developed other services including a quick identification-verification system.
“When you open a bank account, we can verify your ID in minutes,” Lowry said.
Other services include those geared to locating accounts and assessing customer risks.
Early Warning is a private company owned by seven large financial institutions – Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, PNC, Truist, US Bank and Wells Fargo. As such, it doesn’t disclose financial details such as revenue.
But small businesses are a growth area for Zelle, Lowry said, with companies able to handle payments including payroll through the system. Property managers, contractors, and health and beauty providers are among the users.
Many larger companies also use Zelle, such as to disburse money to consumers as a fast, safe alternative to writing checks.
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Popularity expands steadily
Combined, consumers and businesses sent 1.8 billion payments through the Zelle network in 2021, an increase of 49% from a year earlier. Those payments totaled $ 490 billion, up 59%.
Many banks and other financial companies offer the service for free to their customers. Payments typically are sent and received using smart phones or through a financial institution’s website.
The Zelle network, the market leader in this type of payment service, is available through nearly 10,000 financial institutions, roughly triple the number of a year ago.
As easy and convenient as Zelle is to send and receive payments, users should send money only to those friends, family members and businesses they know and trust.
Once a payment has been submitted, it can’t be retrieved or canceled (unless the recipient hasn’t yet enrolled in the service). Payments are typically sent and received within minutes.
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