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Syracuse Fire Department Employees FCU offers Zelle digital-payment network

By Eric Reinhardt (


Syracuse Fire Department Employees Federal Credit Union at 211 Wilkinson St. in Syracuse is now offering the Zelle digital money-transfer service to its members. Pictured wearing shirts with Zelle branding include (from left to right) Brian McGinnis, VP of customer implementation & support at Early Warning Services, LLC (EWS), the Zelle network operator; Meghan Fintland, director of influencer relations at EWS; Donna Turner, COO of EWS; Tonia McDonald, marketing director at Syracuse Fire Department Employees FCU; and Valerie Wilder, marketing specialist, Syracuse Fire Department Employees FCU. (PHOTO CREDIT: SYRACUSE FIRE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES FEDERAL CREDIT UNION)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse Fire Department Employees Federal Credit Union announced it is offering its members a “fast, safe and easy” way to send money digitally with Zelle.

More than 6,000 of its members now have access to Zelle via online banking or in the credit union’s mobile app. The credit union is the 1,000th financial institution nationally to offer Zelle, per its June 17 news release.

To mark the milestone, the credit union on May 28 hosted an onsite, member-exclusive launch party at its office at 211 Wilkinson St. in Syracuse.

The credit union said the convenience of the new service appeals to its members.

“Our members have jobs that are anything but 9 to 5 and need to be able to send money quickly and easily, at the time and place that is most convenient for them,” said Andrea Thune, CEO of Syracuse Fire Department Employees Federal Credit Union. 

Money sent with Zelle goes directly from one bank account in the U.S. to another, using only a recipient’s email address or U.S. mobile number. Funds are “typically available within minutes” when both parties are already enrolled with Zelle.

“Zelle turned four years [old] in June, and what better way to celebrate than welcoming our 1,000th financial institution to the network,” said Al Ko, CEO at Early Warning Services, LLC, the network operator of Zelle. “For more than 70 years, Syracuse Fire Department Employees Federal Credit Union has served local first responders with financial services, and it is an honor for Zelle to now be a part of that experience.”

Early Warning Services is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Syracuse Fire Department Employees Federal Credit Union is offering Zelle via a turnkey service for Zelle offered by Brookfield, Wisconsin–based Fiserv (NASDAQ: FISV). It “optimizes” the path to go live so that banks and credit unions can get their customers and members using Zelle “faster than ever before.” Fiserv enables Zelle for more than 600 financial institutions, the local credit union said.

“Consumers are embracing the speed, convenience and security of real-time payments, and financial institutions are ready to deliver,” Matt Wilcox, president, digital payments and data aggregation at Fiserv, said. “We’re proud to be part of this milestone as Syracuse Fire Department Employees Federal Credit Union enables their hard-working members to take the next step in their digital payments journey.” 

The Zelle network includes financial institutions of all sizes. Consumers who are not enrolled and receive a payment notification or a request for payment can enroll through their financial institution or by downloading the Zelle app if their financial institution does not offer Zelle. Consumers should only use Zelle to send and receive money with friends, family, and people they know and trust, the credit union said. 

The Syracuse Fire Department Employees Federal Credit Union was chartered on March 24, 1950.

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