Case Study: Zelle®

Enrollment Flow

Zelle enrollment with no pending paymentsfig. 6.1: Zelle enrollment flow (no pending payment) 


Onboarding is an important Brand moment for Zelle, as it represents the entry point for engagement with the product experience. Satisfying the requirement to clearly answer the user’s question “What is Zelle?”, the user is then guided through the enrollment process.

From EWS: The enrollment flow appears the first time a user opens the “Send Money with Zelle®” CTA within Participant App. During this flow the user is educated about the service offerings of Zelle and how it is a fully integrated experience within the Participant App, followed by setting up preferences. The Enrollment flows and steps are required use cases. Each Participant has flexibility to add additional information needed for compliance, security and verification from the user.

The EWS-identified enrollment use cases include:

  • Organic enrollment
  • Organic enrollment with pending payment
  • Organic enrollment with multiple pending payments – multiple tokens
  • Organic enrollment with pending payment request
  • Organic enrollment with multiple pending payment requests – multiple tokens

As Capital One has elected to not surface pending requests, the final two EWS-identified use cases do not apply. So the organic enrollment flow covers only the pending payment use cases.

Zelle enrollment with single pending paymentfig. 6.2: Zelle enrollment flow (single pending payment) 

Problem Statement

As a Capital One customer, I want to be able to easily enroll with Zelle.

Understanding User (Empathize & Design)

The existing enrollment flow required significant iteration on multiple use cases to bring it into compliance with EWS UX guidelines, while adhering to Capital One design principles.

Low Fidelity

Enrollment was already in production and changes were made largely to bring the Capital One’s Zelle experience into compliance. Explorations were made at mid- and high-fidelity using Capital One’s enterprise-level One Design UI kits. Informal testing was conducted internally for flow and messaging clarity.

Zelle enrollment with multiple pending paymentsfig. 6.3: Zelle enrollment flow (multiple pending payments) 


Improvements included:

  • Replacing the previously-mandated “Welcome to Zelle®” ‘chat’ bubbles (ostensibly to emphasize the ‘money with friends’ brand asset) with the onboarding screen
  • Clear page titles that describe the action(s) to be taken in the enrollment flow
  • Clearer Terms & Conditions
  • Clarity around selecting a contact point (email address or mobile number) from the customer’s Capital One profile to register with Zelle OR registering a different [manually-entered] contact point
  • Elimination of multiple modal windows (per EWS guidelines)
  • Clarity around the OTP security measure in enrollment
  • Clarity around Zelle-eligible account selection
  • Clarity around pending payment(s), including sender, date, and amount, to help the customer make the best-informed decisions around prioritizing payments
Zelle chat and onboardingfig. 6.4: Zelle landing screen update 

Final Result

Providing the customer with a better enrollment flow leads to greater clarity throughout the enrollment process, leading to significant gains in completion rates.


While Zelle is easy to use and provides great feature value to the customer, the Zelle enrollment process is complex, containing multiple steps and options. The ‘one screen, one action’ mandate for enrollment provides clarity at each step, but creates multiple steps, increasing the cognitive load on the customer and leading to lower completion rates.

A simplification of the enrollment process that is single-screen and use case specific (ex: limiting enrollment to the originating account, surfacing latest- or most-used token as default) would yield much higher completion rates.