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Novo Business Checking account review

A digital business account offering free ACH and payment processing, and a wealth of accounting integrations to make work easier.

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Our verdict

Novo's business checking account offers free invoicing and payment processing, few fees, and discounts on business services like Quickbooks and other app integrations. It also allows small businesses send out personalized invoices without paying for ACH or check deposits and accept card payments by connecting Novo to Stripe, Square, Venmo and more.

You can get up to $5,000 in Stripe payments for free, though you'll pay normal processing fees with other apps. The main caveats: You must be OK with email-only support, and Novo doesn't support recurring bill payments.

Best for: Small businesses looking for accounting, invoicing and payment processing integrations.

Pros
  • Free invoicing with multiple payment options, including ACH and card payments
  • Unlimited ATM reimbursements
  • 15+ integrations with business services like Quickbooks
  • Up to 10 Reserve savings accounts
Cons
  • Outgoing wire transfers are only available through its Wise integration
  • No recurring bill payments
  • Email-only customer support
4.4

★★★★★

Finder rating

APY

N/A

Fee

$0 per month

Minimum deposit to open

$0

Novo is a fintech company; not a bank. Deposit account services provided by Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A., Member FDIC. Physical debit cards issued by Middlesex Federal Savings or Patriot Bank, N.A., Member FDIC; virtual cards issued by Patriot Bank, pursuant to licenses from Mastercard® International Incorporated. Mastercard can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
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Novo Business

Learn more and sign up on Novo's secure site

Who is Novo best for?

Novo Business works best for small, online-based companies looking to avoid fees on invoicing and payment processing. Specifically, it doesn’t charge fees on incoming or outgoing ACH transfers, incoming wires and check deposits. And you can create personalized invoices that accept ACH, card or check payments from clients.
Novo is also known for its software integrations, including accounting software like Quickbooks and Xero, and its free and unlimited invoicing feature, making it ideal for accountants and bookkeepers. Its integrations allow for a seamless workflow, giving you access to multiple accounts from Novo‘s handy dashboard.
Novo also works well for businesses that like to keep finances in separate accounts for categorizing. You can create up to 10 Reserve subaccounts for this purpose. However, Novo Business isn’t ideal for cash businesses since it doesn’t have an ATM network or physical locations.

Novo is an independent tech company

Novo offers intuitive tools to support small businesses as they merge into the world of digital banking. It isn’t a bank, nor is it owned or operated by a bank: Novo is a fintech that partners with FDIC-insured Middlesex Federal Savings to handle its banking services. Middlesex Federal Savings is a solid financial institution bringing a wide array of banking services to its customers for over 130 years.

What we like about Novo

Novo takes its integrations with external business services to make your workflow easier. It also offers free invoicing and payment processing that you don’t get with most business bank accounts.

Novo offers merchant cash advances (MCAs) as well, which are only available if you have the Novo business checking account. Novo’s MCAs can be up to $75,000, with monthly rates starting at 1.5%, and funds could be in your Novo account immediately if you’re approved.

Few bank fees

Novo charges nothing for monthly maintenance, so you won’t need to worry about keeping a minimum balance to avoid a fee. It also doesn’t charge for using any ATM or for foreign transactions, incoming wires or debit card replacements.

These are all common bank fees that you’d find with other digital bank accounts.
Fee typeFee amount
Wire transfer fee
  • $0 for incoming wires — domestic or international
  • Outgoing wires available through Wise integration
Other fees
  • $0 for account closure
  • $0 paper statements

      Software integrations and connections

      Novo is on a mission to make your workflow simple by connecting as many apps and services to your Novo account as possible. Its integrations help you incorporate data, transfer money and more from your dashboard. Thousands of other connections let you access services through Novo, helping you manage accounts in one place.

      The account can currently integrate with:

      • Amazon
      • Apple Pay
      • eBay
      • Etsy
      • Google Pay
      • PayPal
      • Quickbooks
      • Shopify
      • Slack
      • Stripe
      • Square
      • Venmo
      • Wise
      • WooCommerce
      • Xero
      • Zapier

      Reserves savings accounts

      Fans of Profit First accounting will like that Novo Business offers up to 10 Reserve savings accounts making it easy to categorize finances for work expenses, taxes and more.

      This account lets you set up deposits that automatically divide among your Reserves, a feature that’s especially helpful for taxes. Plus, make one-time or recurring payments directly from your Reserve accounts. That way you don’t have to transfer money repeatedly from savings to checking for bills.

      Typically, you’d have to open multiple checking, savings and money market accounts with a bank to get all of these features. The Reserves simplify categorizing your finances and paying directly from savings, but it doesn’t earn interest.

      If earning interest is a must-have, look into Bluevine which offers up to 4.25% APY with its paid plan Premier with no activity requirements. Bluevine also offers a free plan option, offering up to 2% APY with spend or earning requirements.

      Free invoices and payment processing

      Invoice your clients for free with unlimited one-off and recurring invoices that you can edit as needed. Get paid by card, mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Venmo, ACH or checks. And like most digital accounts, you can deposit checks remotely through mobile deposits.

      Card payments are accepted through external card processors like Stripe or Square, instead of being built into Novo. And by connecting platforms like Stripe, Square, Cash App, Paypal or Venmo to your Novo account for invoicing, you can make transfers seamlessly from your Novo dashboard.

      Novo also provides up to $5,000 in free card processing through Stripe, and you can receive Stripe funds within hours. Other digital bank accounts charge for accepting ACH or card payments.

      Free, unlimited ATM reimbursements

      Though Novo doesn’t come with its own ATM network, you can use any ATM in the US or internationally. If you’re charged an ATM owner fee, all fees will be reimbursed at the end of the month. Most digital bank accounts either charge for ATMs, don’t reimburse out-of-network fees.

      Upgrading business entity

      Novo partners with LegalZoom to help you change your company name or upgrade your entity to an LLC, corporation or nonprofit. If you upgrade your business entity through Novo‘s website, you’ll receive 20% off the cost of changing to a new entity. Using LegalZoom also makes the process convenient, rather than researching and filing all by yourself.

      Discounts on business services

      Novo offers a handful of discounts to help you save on common business services, including:
      ServiceWhat it doesDiscount
      Constant ContactThis platform helps you stay in touch with customers through email, SMS and social media marketing.50% off Constant Contact Plus for the first six months
      Google AdsBuy ads to promote your business on Google.$500 credit when you buy $500 worth of ads
      Google CloudStore all your files with Google Cloud and access Google’s other cloud computing and networking services.Up to $2,000 in Google Cloud credits if your business qualifies
      GustoRun payroll for your business and keep track of company benefits all in one place. This platform works well for accountants managing payroll for multiple clients.Free for the first month
      HubSpotManage your client relationships and analyze sales and marketing data with HubSpot’s powerful marketing software.30% off for your first year, 15% off after first year
      QuickbooksTrack and categorize transactions, get userfriendly reporting and grant access to your accountant to keep your financials in line.30% off for six months of Quickbooks Online
      StripeRun your client’s debit or credit card payments through this intuitive payment processing platform. You can also build checkout pages, send payment links and more.$5,000 in free card processing

      Where it falls short

      Novo‘s main downside is that it only offers email support, so you’ll have to be comfortable with email-only communication for your business. It also doesn’t let you set up recurring bill payments, an annoyance that may make or break your decision to go with Novo since most banks offer this feature.

      Finally, while you can receive wire transfers, you can only send them through Novo’s integration with Wise. Novo doesn’t tack on a surcharge for using Wise, but Wise charges a fee based on your transfer amount and whether it requires a currency conversion. So while there’s no way around a fee for sending international wire transfers from your Novo account, you can skip the domestic wire fee by opting for a free ACH transfer instead.

      Some business checking accounts like Lili and Bluevine don’t support outgoing international wires, but a few accounts, like Chase Business, let you send wires for a flat fee or for free. So if you need to send money overseas frequently, consider another business checking account to help you save on transfer fees.

      Compare Novo with other business checking accounts

      View other business accounts, looking at their monthly fees, opening deposits and APY to see how they stack up to Novo.

      Novo Business logo

      Novo Business

      ★★★★★

      Finder rating 4.4 / 5

      Go to site


      Fee

      $0


      Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

      N/A


      Minimum deposit to open

      $0

      Relay logo

      Relay

      ★★★★★

      Finder rating 4.3 / 5

      Go to site


      Fee

      $0


      Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

      Up to 3.00% on balances of $1,000,000+
      2.00% on balances of $250,000 to $999,999
      1.50% on balances of $50,000 to $249,999


      Minimum deposit to open

      $0

      Chase Business Complete Banking® logo

      Chase Business Complete Banking®

      ★★★★★

      Finder rating 2.8 / 5

      Go to site


      Fee

      $15 per month
      (can be waived)


      Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

      N/A


      Minimum deposit to open

      $0

      Customer experience

      Overall, Novo gets high praise from customers across review sites and app stores, based on thousands of customer reviews. Customers love the connectivity to different apps that they use for their business, and happy reviews say that customer service is responsive.

      However, some customers have trouble accessing their account or don’t like the generated answers from a Novo virtual assistant rather than human support.

      Novo earns a C+ rating with the Better Business Bureau due to several complaints and a government action against the business. The government action involves Novo‘s use of the term banking in its marketing when Novo isn’t legally a bank, but rather a technology service.

      Frequently asked questions

      Is Novo business banking legit?

      Yes, Novo is a legitimate business banking option. Novo is a fintech with deposit banking services provided by its partner Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A., member FDIC. Deposit accounts through Novo are insured up to $250,000 thanks to its bank partner.

      Does Novo check your credit when you apply?

      No, Novo states that it will not check your credit history when you apply for an account.

      Is Novo integrated with Zelle?

      No, Novo is not currently integrated with Zelle. However, it does offer direct account integration with Shopify, Stripe, Wise, Xero, Zapier and more. You can also connect your Novo business checking account to applications like PayPal, QuickBooks, Square and Wave.

      How do I deposit checks with Novo?

      You can do remote check deposits with the Novo business bank account via the Novo App. Simply open the app, select Move Money, then Add Money and then Deposit a check. Follow the prompts, take a picture of the check and that’s it. Novo states that check deposits, money orders and cashier’s checks typically are placed on a one to four day business day hold.

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