Novo Bank Review: We Tried Novo Business Banking Digital Account
Novo is an online bank designed for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. The bank integrates with popular third-party tools, such as Slack and Shopify, to help make running your business easier. Customers also get access to discounts on popular services to help their business save money.
- Dedicated Account For: Small businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers
- Account Types: Checking
- Min Opening Deposit: $50
- Minimum Balance Required: None
- Monthly Fee: None
- ATM Access: Unlimited ATM fee refunds worldwide
- Availability: Online
- 3rd Party Integrations: Transferwise, Slack, Xero, Stripe Shopify
What We Like About Novo
Novo has a lot of benefits that may draw in customers.
- No monthly fees – Once you make your $50 opening deposit, Novo doesn’t have any minimum balance requirements or monthly fees, which means you don’t have to worry about fees eating away at your business’s money.
- Use any ATM – Novo doesn’t have its own ATM network. Instead, it offers unlimited ATM fee refunds. You can use any ATM in the world and Novo will foot the bill, so you’ll never be far from an ATM you can use.
- Third-party integrations – Novo integrates with popular business tools like Slack and Shopify so you can manage your business more easily.
- Discounts and perks – Novo customers get discounts on popular business services like Google Ads, Salesforce, and Quickbooks. The company claims to offer more than $5,000 in savings to its account holders.
- Send checks from your phone – If you want to pay someone and they don’t accept digital payments, you can use your phone to mail a physical check to them, free of charge.
What Could Be Improved With Novo
Before you open a Novo account, consider these drawbacks.
- No savings account – Novo offers one account: a business checking account. If you want a way for your business to set aside some extra money for a rainy day or to save toward goals, Novo doesn’t offer tools to help with that.
- No cash deposits – As an online bank, Novo doesn’t operate a network of branches. That means that customers can’t go to a bank in-person to make a cash deposit. If your business uses a lot of cash, Novo probably isn’t the best choice for you.
Novo offers just one type of account.
Novo’s business checking account is a standard online business checking account. It has a $50 minimum deposit to open but doesn’t have a minimum balance after that and charges no monthly fees.
The account’s greatest perk is its integrations with third-party apps. Lots of businesses rely on tools like Slack, Shopify, and Transferwise. Novo integrates with those kinds of apps so that you can keep track of more of your business in one place.
For example, by connecting your Novo account to your Shopify account you can see your sales metrics without leaving the Novo app and track the status of payments from Shopify to see when the money will be available to spend.
While there is no way to deposit cash, Novo does make it easy to use cash. Customers can withdraw money from any ATM on the planet and Novo will cover the ATM fees.
Novo has a lot of features that customers will appreciate.
One of Novo’s strongest points is how well it integrates with popular business tools. The bank’s website advertises integrations with Transferwise, Slack, Xero, Stripe, and Shopify, all popular tools for business owners.
These integrations can let you view things like sales stats and money transfer status without leaving the Novo app. That can make the administrative work of managing your business much easier. Integrating with Slack also means you can easily get updates about your business and discuss important financial details with your team through the chat app.
Discounts and perks
Running a business can be expensive. Small businesses and the self-employed often pay for services like card processing, payroll assistance, accounting help, and advertising.
Novo customers can get discounts on many popular services including Quickbooks, Google Ads, Gusto, Stripe, Salesforce, and more. These discounts can save you hundreds of dollars each year. Novo advertises that its customers can save more than $5,000 in their first year by taking advantage of these discounts.
Use any ATM worldwide
Sometimes, you have to use cash to buy something, even for your business. Finding an ATM that’s in your bank’s network can be a hassle and no one likes paying a fee just to access their own money.
Novo makes using cash easy by letting you use any ATM worldwide. The ATM’s owner may charge a fee but Novo will refund any ATM fees incurred, without limit.
Easy money transfers
If you want to send money to someone and don’t want to use cash, Novo also makes that easy. You can quickly and easily send money to someone electronically through the Novo app. If you’re paying someone who likes to do things the old-fashioned way, you can use the Novo app to have a physical check mailed to their address.
Novo keeps fees to a minimum. There are no monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, or fees for many other common services. The only fees that the bank lists on its fee schedule are $27 fees for insufficient funds and uncollected funds returned.
Is Novo FDIC Insured?
Yes, Novo’s checking account offers the full protection offered by the FDIC. Novo has partnered with Middlesex Federal Savings (Member FDIC) to offer its banking services. You can receive up to $250,000 in coverage for your business’s accounts.
Is Novo Safe?
When you’re doing your banking online, it’s normal to worry about whether your money will be safe.
Novo uses standard internet security tools and technologies to keep your personal information and money safe. The money you deposit is also insured by the FDIC. If Novo is unable to return your money, the FDIC will reimburse you for any money lost, up to a limit of $250,000.
Who is Novo Best For?
Novo is a good choice for business owners who run a primarily online business, or at least one that doesn’t use much cash. It offers relatively basic checking services with some useful integrations.
If you use the tools and services that Novo integrates with or offers discounts on, Novo can make running your business easier and save you a lot of money. If you don’t, other online business banks may be a better choice.
Alternatives to Novo
If you’re looking for a business checking account but don’t think Novo is right for you, consider these alternatives.
Azlo is an online business bank that focuses on helping you automate as much of your business’s finances as possible. Azlo’s basic service is free to use but signing up for Azlo Pro unlocks its full set of features for $10 per month.
With Azlo Pro, you can set up envelopes in your business checking account, letting you set funds aside for specific goals. This makes it easy to keep track of your business’s cash and progress toward different savings goals.
Azlo Pro also includes tools to automate invoicing and payments. That means you can let Azlo manage the administrative work of running your business and stay focused on other things.
Like Novo, Azlo offers integrations with popular business tools like Stripe and PayPal, which can make it easier to keep track of your business from one place.
Read our full Azlo bank review.
Novo only offers one type of account: a checking account. Notably, it doesn’t offer any lending services.
BlueVine has a business checking account but also offers financing options for your company in the form of invoice factoring and a line of credit. BlueVine has relatively low credit score requirements, instead focusing on your business’s finances to make a lending decision, which may be appealing to some business owners.
BlueVine’s checking account is a great choice even if you don’t want to use its financing. It offers 1% APY interest on balances up to $100,000 and doesn’t charge any monthly fees.
FAQ – What Users Want To Know About Novo
Here are some frequently asked questions about Novo.
Does Novo charge fees for international transactions?
No, Novo doesn’t charge any fees if you use your debit card overseas. You can use it to make purchases or withdraw cash from an ATM. If the ATM charges a fee, Novo will refund it.
Does Novo have transaction limits?
Novo does place some limits on certain types of transactions. The limits are:
ACH pull limit- $1,250
- ACH push limit- $5,000
- Mailed check limit- $5,000
- Check deposit limit per day- $20,000
- Check deposit limit per month- $40,000
- Check deposit transaction limit- 20 per month
- POS limit- $5,000, 30 POS transactions per day
- ATM withdraw limit- $1,000
You can sometimes exceed these limits by speaking with support through the Novo app.
Does Novo have Zelle?
Novo does not currently offer Zelle for making transfers to other people. The bank does have other options available in the app, including ACH transfers and the option to mail a check to someone.
Does Novo have invoicing tools?
No, Novo doesn’t have built-in invoicing tools. You’ll have to use a third-party service to handle your company’s invoicing. Novo does integrate with some tools that offer invoicing services.
Novo is a good choice of online bank if you only need a checking account and use the services it integrates with. If you use those services and can take advantage of the discounts the bank offers, your business can save hundreds of dollars each year.
If you don’t use the services that Novo integrates with or offer discounts on, Novo is still an alright choice. However, in that situation, other online business checking accounts may have more useful features for your business.