The bottom line: With no monthly fees, unlimited refunds for ATM charges and a focus on digital banking, Novo business checking is a great option for small-business owners on the go. But Novo bank cannot accommodate cash deposits, an essential feature for many businesses.
Pros & Cons
- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirement.
- Unlimited fee-free transactions, no ACH transfer fees and no incoming wire fees.
- Refunds on all ATM fees worldwide.
- Online banking with unlimited invoicing and bill pay, which includes the option to send paper checks for free.
- Integration with top business tools like QuickBooks, Xero, Stripe and Shopify.
- Access discounts on business software and services through your account.
- Can’t deposit cash.
- Can’t send domestic or international wires (international wires available through TransferWise integration, however.)
- No recurring payments available with bill pay.
- $27 fees for insufficient funds/uncollected funds returned.
How does Novo compare?
Waived with $5,000 minimum balance
Waived with $2,000 minimum balance
With $5,000 minimum balance
Requirements to qualify
With no monthly fees, unlimited refunds for ATM charges and a focus on digital banking, Novo business checking is a great option for small-business owners on the go. Novo offers its own integrated invoicing tool as well as direct integration with top business tools, making it ideal for streamlining financial processes and managing multiple accounts in one place.
While Novo Bank has a strong online focus, it cannot accommodate cash deposits, an essential feature for many businesses. Many competitors, on the other hand, offer the ability to deposit cash with an online-based business checking account.
Novo business checking is best for small-business owners who:
Want a free business checking account with no minimum balance requirement.
Prefer to manage their finances online and do not need to deposit cash on a regular basis.
Want to be able to use any ATM in the U.S. or internationally without worrying about fees.
Want to connect their business checking account to financial tools they already use.
Novo business checking at a glance
How Novo business checking works
Novo is a mobile business banking platform that allows you to open a business checking account and manage your finances online. Novo Bank is completely digital, with no physical branch locations, and deposit account services are provided by Middlesex Federal Savings, Novo’s partner bank. Each account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. up to $250,000 through Middlesex Federal Savings.
How to apply: You can apply for Novo business checking by creating an account and submitting an application through the Novo website. To be eligible for a business checking account from Novo Bank, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have a U.S.-based business.
Required information: You will need to provide information about yourself, your business and any additional business owners, as well as personal identification and legal business documents. You’ll also need to provide a valid U.S. mailing address, Social Security number and mobile phone number.
Next steps: Once you’ve submitted your application, Novo will review it and reach out directly if it requires additional information or documentation. Generally, you’ll receive a decision within two to three business days.
After you’ve been approved by Novo, you’ll be able to fund your account, log in to online banking using the username and password you created during the application process and download the Novo mobile app for iOS or Android. You’ll also be able to integrate your account with business tools you already use; Novo offers direct integrations with QuickBooks, Xero, Stripe, TransferWise, Shopify, Zapier and Slack.
If you opted to receive a Novo business debit card when completing your application, your card will be delivered to your designated mailing address. Although you can only have one debit card per user with the Novo business checking account, you can use the mobile app to ask to add multiple users to your account and then order debit cards for those users. Added users will have full account access, including the ability to transfer and withdraw funds.
Where Novo business checking stands out
Fee-free: Novo Bank’s business checking account has no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, no transaction fees and no incoming wire fees. In addition, there are no fees for incoming or outgoing ACH transfers, stop payments, debit card replacements or paper statements.
Novo business checking also includes free mobile check deposit, free bill pay with physical checks (which are mailed out from the mobile app) and free bank checks. The only instances in which you’ll face fees with Novo are insufficient funds and uncollected funds returned, both of which will incur a $27 fee.
Free ATM access: Novo does not offer fee-free ATM access through a specific partner network, unlike most online business checking account competitors. Instead, Novo allows you to use any ATM in the U.S. or abroad, without charging you any fees. Additionally, Novo will reimburse all fees that you face from those banks for using their ATMs, depositing the refund directly into your account at the end of each month.
Online and mobile banking: Novo business checking is designed to make it easy for small-business owners to manage their finances regardless of location, focusing on mobile tools to avoid the hassle of visiting a physical bank. With the included online and mobile banking features, you can deposit checks, make payments, send money and even mail paper checks for payment.
In addition, you can perform transfers, track your account activity and contact Novo customer service for support. Plus, with the Novo Reserves budgeting tool, you can set aside funds within your checking account to budget for different types of expenses.
Invoicing: A particularly useful tool for freelancers and contractors, Novo’s integrated invoicing feature allows you to create, send and manage an unlimited number of invoices directly within your checking account. You can accept payments by ACH transfer, or — if you’re using the Novo Stripe integration — you can accept payments through your Stripe account. Invoicing is available through the Novo web app, but is not yet supported by the iOS or Android mobile app.
Integrations with business tools: Novo offers direct account integration with QuickBooks, Xero, Stripe, Shopify, TransferWise, Zapier and Slack. You can also connect your Novo business checking account to Square, PayPal and Wave, even though Novo doesn’t currently offer direct integration with these tools. Additionally, you have the option to connect Novo to Venmo, as well as Apple or Google Pay.
Although some online business checking account competitors offer proprietary financial tools or add-ons, Novo stands out with the ability to seamlessly connect to popular tools many small-business owners already use.
Discounts on software and services: Through the Novo Bank perks program, you can access discounts on certain business software and services with your checking account. Novo partners with providers including Stripe, QuickBooks, Gusto, Google, HubSpot and others to offer savings opportunities for account holders. For example, Novo account holders can access a 30% discount on all new GoDaddy purchases, as well as $150 in Snapchat ads credits.
Where Novo business checking falls short
Can’t deposit cash: Novo business checking cannot accommodate traditional cash deposits. If you have cash that you’d like to deposit, instead of simply depositing it at an ATM, you’ll have to purchase a money order and then use Novo’s mobile check deposit feature to deposit the check into your account.
Although this may not be problematic if you need to deposit cash once in a while, it’s less than ideal if your business needs to deposit cash on any regular basis. In comparison, many other online-based business checking accounts offer the ability to deposit cash through their partner ATM networks.
No recurring payments with bill pay: Novo allows you to pay bills, fee-free, with ACH transfers and mailed checks. Additionally, although you cannot send domestic or international wires using Novo business checking, you can send international wires using the TransferWise integration (with associated fees). Regardless of the method of the payment, however, Novo Bank’s business checking account does not offer recurring payments, a common feature included with online bill pay.
You can save your payee’s information within your Novo account for future payments, but you can’t set payments to automatically send — meaning you’ll need to actively monitor your bills and initiate payments before their due dates.
NerdWallet's business checking reviews look at multiple factors, including monthly fee, APY, ATM access, transaction limits, cash deposit allowance, customer service, additional features and incidental fees, such as overdraft, NSF and stop payment charges.