Novo Bank Review for 2022

Novo Bank offers premium banking services through its partner bank, Middlesex Federal Savings.

Novo stood out to us because of its low cost — having no account fees, free ACH transfers, free mailed checks, free mobile banking deposits, and free international incoming wires.

In this Novo Bank Review for 2022, we examine the perks, hidden costs, and benefits of using a Novo account as a small business owner.

Recommended Service: Check out Novo’s small business digital banking features.

Novo is a fintech, not a bank. Banking services are provided by Middlesex Federal Savings F.A.; Member FDIC.

Is Novo Right for You?

As a business checking account, Novo offers a variety of discounts, third-party integrations, and financial solutions that are tailored toward supplementing the growth and development of small businesses. 

PROS

  • Very secure — includes EMV chip, bank-grade encryption, and a disposable virtual card
  • FDIC insured up to $250,000
  • $20,000 in fee-free card processing with Stripe
  • 6% cashback on all Booking.com trips when you pay with your Novo debit card
  • $3,000 in Google Cloud credits
  • 100% discount on the first three months of any Gusto package
  • 40% discount on the first six months of any QuickBooks Online package
  • 30% discount off first year HubSpot subscription, as well as 15% for all the following years
  • $25,000 in segment credit for the first two years
  • No monthly fees for six months on any Zendesk Suite licenses
  • $150 in Snapchat ads credits 
  • Online banking check deposits
  • ATM fee refunds in and outside the US

CONS

  • Only US residents are eligible for a Novo business checking account
  • Limited industries — if you work with cryptocurrencies, privately-owned ATMs, or gambling, you will be unable to use a Novo account
  • Some Novo account apps' advanced functionalities may incur fees charged by Novo's partners (e.g., Wise integration, etc.)
The Truic Flame Logo

Recommended Service: Novo's business checking account premium integrations make it an ideal service for ecommerce businesses. 

Novo Pricing and Features

Novo Business Checking Account Features

  • Free ACH transfers
  • Free mailed checks
  • Free incoming wires
  • Application submitted within 10 minutes
  • No hidden fees
  • FDIC Insured through Middlesex Federal Savings
  • No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements
  • Refunds all ATM fees
  • Thousands of dollars in exclusive perks
  • One virtual card for immediate and secure spending
  • High number of integrations, including QuickBooks, Shopify, Stripe, Xero, Slack, Wise, eBay, Etsy, and more
  • No early closing fee
  • No monthly fees for maintaining a Novo account
  • Can contact Novo customer service directly through the Novo mobile app.

Novo Business Checking Account Perks

  • $20,000 in fee-free card processing with Stripe
  • 6% cashback on all Booking.com trips when you pay with your Novo debit card
  • $3,000 in Google Cloud credits
  • 100% discount on the first three months of any Gusto package
  • 40% discount on the first six months of any QuickBooks Online package
  • 30% discount off first year HubSpot subscription, as well as 15% for all the following years
  • $25,000 in segment credit for the first two years
  • Free six months on any Zendesk Suite licenses
  • $150 in Snapchat ads credits

Novo Business Checking Account Security Features

  • FDIC insured up to $250,000
  • EMV Chip
  • Bank-grade encryption service
  • Novo Virtual Card that can be frozen and unfrozen instantly and at any time

Schedule of Fees

  • Minimum amount to open: $50
  • Minimum balance required: $0
  • Annual Percentage Yield: 0%
  • Monthly service charge: $0
  • Early account closing fee: $0
  • Incoming and outgoing ACH transfers: $0
  • Incoming domestic wire: $0
  • Incoming international wire: $0
  • Stop payments: $0
  • Insufficient funds charge: $27
  • Uncollected funds returned fee: $27
  • Debit card replacement: $0
  • Physical check bill payment: $0
  • Bank check: $0
  • Paper statement fee: $0

Are You Eligible for Novo?

Small business owners will need to be able to provide the following information in order to be eligible for a Novo account:

  • A copy of your signed personal identification
  • A mobile phone number that uses one of the major US carriers
  • Your Social Security number (SSN)
  • Your US address

Additional information may be required depending on your business type: 

  • Sole Proprietorships: Generally speaking, you will need a copy of your ID, proof of your physical US address (e.g., utility bill, mortgage, lease, etc.), and your DBA certificate, if applicable. You will also need an SSN and a cell phone number from a “major” US carrier. You need to be a US citizen in order to apply for a sole proprietorship account with Novo. 
  • LLCs: You will need to provide your LLC’s business documents (e.g., operating agreement, Articles of Organization, etc.) that prove that you are registered with your state. Moreover, these documents will need to have your name and signature on them. 
  • Partnerships: Any partner with a membership of 25% or more will need to sign in on your business’s application. Additionally, you may be required to provide your partnership agreement or your certificate of partnership, if applicable.
  • Corporations: You may be required to provide your Articles of Incorporation or your corporate bylaws

Your eligibility status may also depend on your business’s industry. Novo's business banking services do not work with businesses that relate to the following industries:

  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Privately-owned ATMs
  • Marijuana/Cannabis
  • Gambling
  • Crowdfunding 
  • Money services
  • Businesses affiliated with the adult entertainment industry

Novo Alternatives

Relay

Relay is a great online banking and money management platform for small business owners for many reasons, including its low fees, free subscription plan service, and a plethora of digital banking solutions.

Relay offers its users two subscription packages:

Relay Standard: $0 per Month

  • No monthly checking account fees
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • $0 bounced checks
  • No ATM fees in 32,000 AllPoint ATMs
  • Great customer service, available 24/7
  • Up to 20 no-fee checking accounts
  • Up to 50 virtual or physical debit MasterCards
  • Payments via ACH, wire, or check
  • Ability to invite team members to Relay
  • Automated spending limits for team members
  • Third-party integrations, including Xero and Quickbooks Online
  • iOS, Android, and Web app availability
  • Third-party integrations (e.g., Expensify, Gusto, Plaid, Wise, etc.)
  • Online and mobile banking check deposits
  • One to two-day ACH delivery time
  • Domestic wires available for $5
  • Partner Program
  • Client Portal

Relay Pro: $30 per Month

  • Automatic importation of bills from Quickbooks Online and Xero
  • Ability to view, approve, and pay all bills from a single dashboard
  • Ability to set up and automate multi-stage approval workflows for bills
  • Ability to pay bills in batches
  • Free domestic and international wires
  • Free same-day ACH transfers
  • Same-day ACH delivery time
  • Auto-import bills from QuickBooks Online and Xero
  • Multi-step approval rules for bill payments to increase security

Schedule of Fees Summary

  • Direct deposits or ACH Transfers initiated from an outside financial institution: Limited to $1 million per day
  • Wires initiated from an outside financial institution: Limited to $1 million per day
  • ACH Transfers: Limited to $100,000 per day
  • Wires: Limited to $200,000 per day
  • Bill Pay Checks: Limited to $40,000 per day
  • Internal Transfers: Limited to $1 million per day

PROS

  • 4.5 stars on Trustpilot
  • Free Relay Demo offered with live Q&A
  • Relay Partner Program, with which you can earn very generous revenue share and discounts by adding clients (e.g., 17% revenue share by adding 10 clients, etc.)
  • Collect payments from PayPal, Stripe, Square, and much more
  • No account fees
  • No withdrawal fees
  • No overdraft fees
  • No account minimums
  • High security — accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000, cards are covered by Mastercard’s Zero Liability Policy, and two-factor authentication for logins is provided. 
  • As an accountant, you can log in to multiple clients’ Relay accounts by using one set of credentials. This means you do not need to share client passwords and 2FA codes.
  • Extremely scalable — very high transaction limits on wires, direct deposits, and ACH transfers.

CONS

  • Not as many integrations and free rewards as other providers
  • Relatively high monthly fee, although this is made up through the no-fee financial transactions.
The Truic Flame Logo

Recommended: Try Relay’s premium business banking solution for small businesses.

Brex

Brex offers a no-fee business account, including domestic and international transactions, minimum balance fees, and account fees. 

Moreover, Brex offers a high number of third-party integrations, some of which are ideal for ecommerce and online businesses.

Brex's Main Features

  • No account fees
  • No transaction fees
  • No hidden fees
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Live chat, phone, and email support
  • Can create up to eight different accounts in Brex mobile banking app or dashboard to separate operational expenses
  • Can schedule payments to and from any account
  • Unlimited transactions when it comes to ACH and wire transfers
  • Fee-free international transfers 
  • Can deposit checks for free
  • FDIC insured up to $250,000

Schedule of Fees Summary

  • Domestic ACH: $0
  • International ACH: $0
  • Checks: $0, serving and receiving
  • Domestic wire transfers: $0, incoming and outgoing
  • International wire transfers: $0, incoming and outgoing
  • Account maintenance fees: None
  • New account fees: None

PROS

  • Expedited payments for ecommerce platforms, including Amazon, PayPal, Shopify, Square, and Stripe.
  • High number of small business software integrations, including Rippling, Gusto, Expensify, QuickBooks, Xero, and Slack
  • Partner perks worth over $150,000
  • Up to $100 K credits via AWS Activate
  • 3x back on eligible Apple purchases, including hardware purchases
  • 40% off your first 12 months of QuickBooks
  • 50% discount every time you ship with UPS
  • Up to 150% in Google Ads
  • FDIC insured up to $250,000 per account
  • No domestic transaction fees
  • No account fees
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No monthly fee
  • Credit cards available

CONS

  • Needs a pre-existing business bank account — you must connect at least one Linked Account to your Brex business checking account (this must be a business account)
  • Must be in business for six months and be venture-backed to be considered for an account
  • Cannot be used to withdraw money from an ATM
  • Cannot deposit cash into your Brex account
The Truic Flame Logo

Recommended: Brex is a great no-fee business account for small business owners. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are my Novo deposits insured?

Yes. All users with a Novo checking account are insured up to the FDIC standard insurance amount, which is currently $250,000 per account. 

This insurance is provided through Novo’s partner bank, Middlesex Federal Savings.

How long do ACH transfers take with Novo?

According to Novo, transfers generally take between two and three business days to be completed. 

How do I deposit checks with Novo?

You can deposit checks through the Novo app. This can be done through the “mobile deposit” feature. 

Keep in mind these are limited to $20,000 per day and $40,000 per month unless you contact Novo support and request a higher limit.

Is Novo available for business owners outside the US?

No, Novo applicants are required to have a Social Security number, as well as proof of a physical US address (e.g., utility bill, lease agreement, etc.).

As of 2022, Novo’s banking platform services remain available to US residents only.

Is Novo an online bank?

No. Novo is technically a fintech business, not a traditional bank.

Having said that, Novo partners with Middlesex Federal Savings, an FDIC-insured bank, to offer a lot of what would be considered “traditional” banking services.

Related Articles