Novo is a banking platform that offers online business checking accounts with no monthly service fees and minimum balance requirements. Its streamlined online application requires no paperwork and allows you to open business checking accounts in minutes. Novo is best for freelancers, startup founders, and businesses that don’t handle cash.
Novo Pros & Cons
No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements
Does not offer other bank products, only business checking accounts
Apply in under 10 minutes
Operates online only
Backed with Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance
Your account will not earn interest
Who Novo Is Best For
- Independent entrepreneurs and freelancers: These include those who have not incorporated and are doing business as an independent entrepreneur as well as those who have registered the business as an independent with the state.
- Businesses that don’t handle cash: Novo does not have any physical branch locations, which means you won’t be able to visit the bank to deposit cash on hand. Businesses that don’t handle cash will find this account most useful.
Minimum Opening Deposit
Minimum Balance Requirement
Wire Transfer Fee
Cash Deposit Fee
None; cash is deposited through US Postal Service (USPS) money orders
Refunds all ATM fees
Novo offers a fee-free business checking account that does not charge monthly fees and has no maintaining balance requirements. It doesn’t charge for banking transactions, wire transfers, cash deposits, stop payments, early account closing, debit card replacement, paper statements, and physical check bill payments. Novo charges $27 for insufficient funds and $27 as uncollected funds returned fee. To open an account, Novo requires a $50 opening deposit.
Novo Features & Perks
Offers Several Business-related Integrations
Novo allows you to connect to a variety of point-of-sale (POS) and other business tools, such as Stripe, QuickBooks, Zapier, Slack, Xero, and TransferWise to help you manage and grow your business.
Cost Savings on Business Tools
Novo offers cost savings on the following business tools when you use your Novo debit card.
$20,000 in fee-free card processing and access to betas and events
6% cashback on all trips when you pay with your Novo debit card
$3,000 in credits
Free 6 months on any Zendesk Suite licenses
30% off first year subscription and 15% off for succeeding years
$50,000 in Segment credit for the first 2 years
50% off annual SalesForce Essentials plan
One month free on Homebase Plus
Free Business Debit Card Accepted Worldwide
Novo business checking accounts come with a free business debit card that is protected with a Europay, Mastercard, and Visa (EMV) chip and is accepted worldwide. You will receive instant notifications for every transaction whenever you use your debit card. You can also withdraw money anywhere and get refunded on any ATM fees.
Easy Transfers, Cash Deposits & Instant Check Deposits
With Novo business checking, you can make payments, send money, and deposit checks through online banking or via a mobile app. You can send electronic transfers or mail paper checks without any fees. Instant check deposits are made available by simply taking a photo of your check using the mobile app. You can also make cash deposits by United States Postal Service (USPS) money order or directly into Middlesex Federal’s ATM network.
Novo Alternatives 2020
First Internet Bank
Any business that handles cash transactions with convenient access to one of its branches or ATMs.
Business owners who want interest-bearing business checking with multiple high-yield business savings account options.
Primarily cashless businesses and owners who want a fee-free, online-only bank.
$15, waived if you have a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or you maintain a linked Chase Private Client Checking or Chase Sapphire Checking personal account;
or $12 if you opt for paperless statements
Minimum Opening Deposit
None, but you need to deposit $1,000 in new money in the first 20 business days
Minimum Balance Requirement
Maintain at least a $1,000 balance for 60 days
None to maintain the account; $10,000 to earn the APY
40 cents each transaction after 100 transactions per month
2.50 per transaction at any non-Chase ATM in addition to ATM operator fees
None. Reimburses up to $10 per month in ATM fees
None at 55,000 BBVA Compass or Allpoint ATMs
Most Helpful Novo Reviews
Novo reviews available online are a mix of positive and negative ratings. Customers who left positive reviews are happy with Novo’s fee-free account and send payment option. Clients who left negative reviews expressed disappointment because their accounts were closed without informing them why. Other customers encountered problems with their deposits and transfer transactions.
Sending payment is easy
A reviewer on MoneyUnder30.com is happy with Novo’s send payment option. This feature allows her to pay her vendors and workers directly from the app. The automated clearing house (ACH) sends the money directly from her bank to the other party’s bank. Novo also allows her to wire the money, either domestically or internationally, at no additional cost. She added that Novo integrates with TransferWise, which is great for those who prefer to send money to your international vendors using that app.
Mobile deposit rarely works
A client who left a negative review on Trustpilot said that 80% of the time, Novo’s mobile check deposit does not work and that Novo advised him to try depositing at another bank. He mentioned that he has been having this problem for months and is still waiting for Novo to fix it.
Novo Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Novo accept foreign checks?
You can deposit a foreign check by mailing it to Middlesex Federal Savings c/o Edite Bettencourt, 53 Riverside Avenue, Medford, MA 02155. Include your account number for quick processing. A foreign check processing fee applies, which varies per country. There will be up to a 90-day hold while Novo contacts the check issuer’s bank and waits for them to release the funds.
What if I need checks to run my business?
Through the Novo app, Novo offers free check mailing so you can mail checks directly to your vendors. The Mobile Deposit feature is available if you receive checks as payments. Additionally, you can ask your vendors if they accept direct deposits through ACH as Novo offers free ACH payments within the Novo app.
Can I send money internationally with a Novo account?
As of the moment, you cannot send money internationally from the Novo app. However, Novo is currently working on integrating with a service that will be able to provide a wire transfer functionality.
How do I mail a check to Novo?
If you would rather mail a check than deposit it through the Novo app, you can mail it to Middlesex Federal Savings c/o Edite Bettencourt, 53 Riverside Ave, Medford, MA 02155 with your account number. You will not be charged with any fees for mailing a check.
What if I do not have enough money in my account to cover my transactions?
Novo pays in the order of smallest to largest items. Novo will do everything it can to prevent you from being charged with multiple overdraft fees. However, if there is not enough money in your account to pay for all of the items presented, an overdraft fee is usually necessary.
Novo is a good option for business owners who don’t handle cash transactions and are looking for an online-only bank that offers free ATM use. Novo offers an online business checking account with no monthly fees and maintaining balance requirements. It doesn’t offer other bank products aside from business checking accounts and has no physical branches, but it allows you to send checks directly through its mobile app and refunds all ATM fees.
In case you still aren’t sure if Novo is right for you, then this article on the best small business checking account is a review of our top choices. In this guide, we looked at a variety of providers and narrowed our recommendations down based on features like monthly fees and transaction fees, opportunities to earn an introductory offer, and the size of the banks’ network as well as additional services they offer.