Small businesses, especially startups, are often managing many responsibilities and requirements at once. This includes financial management and choosing the business bank account that is best for them.
Mercury seeks to be this bank account, designed specifically for startups and small tech companies who need business bank accounts, both checking and savings. If your business is in need of a free, simple, and powerful bank account for your business, keep reading to see if Mercury is the right fit.
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What is Mercury?
Mercury is an online bank account that has been designed specifically for small companies, startups, and angel investors to manage their cash flow more effectively. Unlike many of its competitors, Mercury boasts a fee-free model along with all of the traditional banking capabilities.
The company is based in Silicon Valley and has a deep knowledge of the technology industry and startups. Their goal is to use this to provide all the banking services these companies may need, starting with checking and savings accounts. In addition to these base offerings, the tools Mercury offers focus on being customizable and applicable to many industries and users.
Mercury is not a bank itself but is backed by Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust. Both of these financial institutions are Members FDIC based in the United States.
Who is Mercury best for?
Mercury was specifically designed for small businesses, especially startups. However, they do place some limitations on these businesses. To sign up, you must provide formation paperwork and an Employer Identification Number for your business, and sole proprietors cannot have a Mercury account.
Entrepreneurs may be interested in Mercury if they:
- Need a free platform with no transaction fees or hidden costs.
- Want an entirely online platform.
- Do not need to deposit cash into their bank account.
- Like to customize their banking through digital tools and integrations.
The advanced digital tools and integrations available mean Mercury often attracts companies with a technology focus and a savvy team who can help with the management of the tool. But it is available for businesses in any industry who are interested in the platform.
While there is no eligibility for Mercury based on assets, some perks are only available to businesses with a certain amount in their account. Mercury only offers corporate cards to businesses with $50,000 or more available, and the Mercury Tea Room is for companies with $250,000 or more in their accounts.
- Mercury has no monthly fees, transaction fees, or minimum opening deposit required.
- All domestic and international wire transfers are free.
- Cash withdrawals are available fee-free at over 55,000 ATMs in the Allpoint network.
- Both physical and digital debit cards are available.
- VC-funded businesses can apply for venture debt through Mercury.
- Integration is available with payment providers, including Shopify, Stripe, and Paypal.
- Bookkeeping services like Quickbooks can be integrated.
- API access allows for custom solutions and integrations.
- Security features include two-factor authentication, role-based access, and activity logs.
- A user-friendly mobile app is available.
- Sole proprietors cannot use Mercury.
- No cash deposits are available, even for a fee.
- The savings account APY is relatively low compared to competitors.
- There are no checkbooks or paper checks available.
- Business checking accounts do not offer interest.
- After applying, it can take 5 to 7 business days to be approved for a Mercury account.
How much does Mercury cost?
.One of the biggest assets Mercury offers is the low cost of banking with them. There are no setup fees or minimum deposits required when opening an account, and there is no monthly fee for maintenance.
Mercury also has no transaction fees and no limit on checking transactions, no wire transfer fees, and no ACH fees. ATMs within the Allpoint network also have no fees. The only fee charged is a 1% currency exchange fee.
Some add-on functionality does include a cost, such as mass payments through the API, Treasury account management, and premium processing on international transfers. Additional perks are also available for the Mercury Tea Room, which does not cost anything but requires at least $250,000 of funds to be in the account.
How is Mercury’s customer support?
Mercury offers limited support options, which are all completed online. There is no phone line for support, and all tickets are submitted through either email or an online chat agent. The agent is automated, however, rather than a live support employee. Because it is an online-only company, there is also no physical branch support available.
Their website does offer a help center with a number of articles to help navigate common questions. But for more advanced needs, support can be difficult to reach or may have a delayed response.
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Companies with at least $50,000 in their Mercury accounts are eligible for an IO Mastercard as a corporate credit card. This offers no annual fees, no credit check, and 1.5% automatic cashback.
VC-funded companies can obtain a business loan. Loans are not available for other companies. These term loans have an interest-only period of 18 months.
To use Mercury, a business can be any entity type except a sole proprietorship or trust. During the application process, Mercury will request the formation paperwork and Employer Identification Number of the business. There are no minimum deposit or size restrictions for how large or small a business may be.
Businesses that aren’t physically in the United States can open a Mercury account, with some restrictions. The following countries are not eligible: Belarus, Burundi, Central African Republic, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.
Yes, Mercury is available for free to all businesses. There are no monthly or setup fees, as well as almost no fees for any banking activity. Premium perks are available based on the amount of money in each account, rather than a payment structure. The only fee charged is a 1% currency exchange fee.
Mercury itself is not a bank, but works is supported by Evolve Bank & Trust and Choice Financial Group, both of whom are Members FDIC and offer full asset protection up to $250,000.
Mercury is connected to the Allpoint ATM network, which offers fee-free withdrawals at over 55,000 locations. Out-of-network ATMs can charge fees. However, Mercury does not allow cash deposits at any ATM, only withdrawals.