Novo Bank Review – 2021

Novo Bank is an online bank dedicated specifically to the needs of small business owners. It aims to offer “powerfully simple business banking”, with innovative yet intuitive online tools. 

Novo certainly focuses on digital banking, helping entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners to modernize their financial accounts. But they also offer useful tools for everyday banking, like unlimited ATM fee refunds for withdrawals. 

One of the key benefits of Novo Bank is its low-cost structure. The company offers free business checking accounts, with no monthly fees and no hidden fees. All of Novo’s fees are clearly listed on their website, so you’ll never be surprised by a hidden cost. 

Novo doesn’t have physical branches, unlike competitors like Chase and Bank of America. What they do have is an optimized suite of low-cost and no-cost services, which are perfect for business owners seeking a simple banking solution. Novo is similar to Bluevine, as well as Azlo, a service that shut down recently. 

Novo Bank is a good choice for business owners, startup founders, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and more. It’s best for those who do most of their banking online and don’t necessarily need in-person banking services. It’s also great for those looking for a fee-free, basic checking account for their business. 

On the other hand, if your business needs to do a lot of in-person cash deposits, going with a traditional bank may make more sense.

In this Novo Bank review, we will cover all the details that you need to know about this service. We will cover costs, features, and the pros and cons of this popular business banking service. 

Check out our roundup of the Best Small Business Checking Accounts

Novo Bank pros and cons

Like any product or service, Novo has both advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind. In this case, the pros outweigh the cons; but it’s still wise to have all the information before choosing a business banking account. 

Pros

  • Free business checking account
  • Applying takes just 10 minutes
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Low minimum opening deposit of just $50
  • Free business debit card
  • Powerful mobile app
  • Mobile check deposit
  • No hidden fees – costs are clearly listed
  • FDIC insured via Middlesex Federal Savings
  • Free bill pay with mailed checks
  • Simple online banking tools
  • Powerful digital apps for mobile banking
  • Easy and free transfers
  • Refunds for all ATM fees
  • Free ETF transfers, incoming wires, and mailed checks
  • Invoicing tools
  • Exclusive perks
  • Integrates with other small business tools (Xero, Stripe, QuickBooks, etc.)

Cons

  • No physical bank branches
  • Does not pay interest on deposits (0% APY)
  • Does not have Zelle integration yet
  • Difficult to deposit cash
  • Only available for US-based businesses

Novo Bank features

Novo Bank is a provider of online business banking checking accounts. As such, they offer all the standard features that you would expect from a bank. You can send and receive payments, add funds, deposit checks via mobile deposit, and withdraw cash from an ATM. 

Rather than cover all the generic features that any bank will offer, let’s instead focus on what is unique from Novo.

No fees

The main Novo Business Banking account from Novo has no fees. That means no monthly/annual fees, but also no transaction fees, or charges for incoming wire transfers. There are also no fees for ACH transfers, debit card replacements, or even paper statements, should you prefer. The fees that are charged, such as a charge for insufficient funds, are clearly listed on Novo’s website. 

Free bill pay

Novo offers a unique feature: Free bill-pay via physical mailed check. You can select a recipient and schedule a check to be mailed, straight from the Novo app. This is a very useful feature for paying vendors, who may prefer checks. 

Free ATM withdrawals, anywhere

Novo lets you use any ATM machine worldwide, on any ATM network, at no cost. Not only does Novo not charge you anything, but if the ATM machine itself charges you a fee, Novo will automatically refund the cost for you (at the end of the month). 

Powerful mobile banking

Novo is a mobile-first bank, meaning that they focus on having an intuitive and highly useful mobile banking experience. From the app (Android and Apple iOS), you can deposit checks, monitor balances, send money, mail paper checks to vendors, and more. There’s even a Novo Reserves feature, which lets you set aside money for certain expenses, kind of like a savings account. 

Invoicing

Most businesses will need to send invoices, but many business bank accounts don’t offer the feature directly. Novo does, offering an integrated invoicing feature to send unlimited invoices. Payments can be accepted via ACH, straight to your Novo account. Or, you can integrate Novo with Stripe to accept credit card payments. 

Powerful integrations

Novo is a modern bank, and as such, they recognize the value of having native integrations with other common tools. So, the Novo system integrates seamlessly with tools like Paypal, Zapier, Shopify, Xero, QuickBooks, Transferwise (for international wires), and even Slack. 

Exclusive discounts

Novo Bank offers perks for account holders, many of which come in the form of discounts on relevant products and services. For example, entrepreneurs can score discounts on QuickBooks accounting software, Google advertising, or GoDaddy web hosting. 

Novo Bank pricing

As discussed above, most basic services from Novo are free. Here’s a full list of the costs and fees from Novo:

  • All basic business checking features ($0)
  • ATM withdrawal – any ATM, worldwide ($0)
  • Monthly fees ($0)
  • Early account closing fee ($0)
  • ACH transfer ($0)
  • Incoming wires ($0)
  • Stop payment ($0)
  • Debit card replacement ($0)
  • Physical check bill payment ($0)
  • Bank check ($0)
  • Paper statement ($0)
  • Insufficient funds fee ($27)
  • Uncollected funds return fee ($27)

Essentially, everything is free with Novo Bank, with the exception of situations where a payment is made and there are insufficient funds to cover the charge. In this case, there is a $27 overdraft fee. 

Clearly, Novo has extremely competitive pricing. They have no fees for many of the services that traditional banks charge a lot for. Novo’s cost structure can definitely help your business save money. 

On the other hand, remember that Novo doesn’t pay interest on your deposits. Right now, with interest rates hovering around 0, this isn’t a big deal. But in the future, this could make a difference to your bottom line, should rates rise. 

Novo Bank customer support

Novo Bank has high-quality customer service, available 5 days a week from 9 am through 6 pm, EST. 

Existing customers can contact Novo via the Novo app, or by emailing in. You can also find a support phone number on the back of the Novo debit card. Novo does not publicly list a phone number, out of security concerns. 

Novo customer support is also available via email. Users can email [email protected] 

Currently, users who are not yet members of Novo cannot contact Novo via phone or chat. Instead, they can only email support at this time. 

As for customer reviews, Novo is rated well, with a 3.9/5 average rating on TrustPilot, and no open complaints on the Better Business Bureau (BBB). 

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