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Banks Hire Rapping Broadway Star to Give Venmo Run for Its Money

  • Zelle, a bank-backed payment system, tries to lure millennials
  • In debut year, it showed some progress, handling $75 billion
Daveed Diggs, right, in Zelle’s marketing campaign.
Daveed Diggs, right, in Zelle’s marketing campaign.Source: Huge Inc.

To pitch their payments system of the future, U.S. banks hired an actor best known for playing Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette -- and he raps.

Zelle, the person-to-person payments network that went live last year, will make its Super Bowl debut this week as part of a national marketing campaign. The spot is one way Zelle’s backers -- such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. -- hope to woo millennials, who latched on early to alternatives, such as PayPal Holdings Inc.’s popular Venmo app.