Last Updated: Mar 11, 2022 5 min read

Novo is the Best Free Banking Replacement for Azlo

Novo is the Best Free Banking Replacement for Azlo

Update June 28, 2021: Since Azlo has officially shut down, everyone that would migrate off the service to something else has done so. The content below isn't relevant anymore beyond curiosity.

If you’re like me, a small business owner and Azlo customer, you’ve already seen the email saying Azlo is shutting down. It’s unfortunate, and I feel for Azlo customers being left without a transition plan. With accounts closing soon, the next question is what bank you should be looking at as a replacement? Let’s dive in.

It’s in the title, so there’s no burying the lede. If you’re the kind that skips to the end, here it is: I, too, am/was an Azlo customer, and I thought they were good. When I discovered Novo and joined up, I quickly realized they were even better. So much so, they were worth putting on the top of my list of banks and fintechs suited for e-commerce businesses.

I was sad to hear they’re closing up shop thanks to the unfortunate move by BBVA. That motivated me to take the time to write out why I love Novo and think they should be your next banking partner. (Novo is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by Middlesex Federal Savings F.A.; Member FDIC.)

If all you were looking for was someone to tell you where to go, go to Novo. Trust me. You’ll be glad you did. The $20,000 in free Stipe transactions and the heavy Quickbooks discount were enough to sell me. Click here to see why Novo rocks, or read on if you’re interested in my day-to-day experiences and why I’ll be sticking around.

In general, I tend to think of banks as commodities. Overall, I care more about what value they provide over things like having a “relationship” (whatever that means) or hand-wavy feel-goods that really only equate to marketing fluff. These are the times.

Novo gets that, and instead of platitudes, they offer real functionality. A system that’s tailored to people like you and me. We have a business to run and don’t have a ton of time to deal with complicated systems and convoluted apps and interfaces.

Azlo and Novo Compared

This graphic is a good summary, but I feel like there’s so much more, like the beta Shopify integration and being able to see my Stripe balance on my dashboard quickly made Novo a fintech backed by Middlesex Federal Savings F.A., plus a heads-up display of everything that mattered when it came to money.

My dashboard on the mobile app (which you can customize, by the way, how cool is that!?) consists of just 4 things: my balance, recent transactions, what’s in stripe, and my Shopify heads-up for the month. In literally seconds, I can see where everything’s at and go back to other, probably more important things.

I’m a Quickbooks user–and the discount through Novo was sweet–but Xero is supported, too, all the same! If you use other accounting services, their Zapier support could be exactly what you need.

It might not be obvious why that’s such a big deal on the surface, so let me explain a bit more. Zapier is a service that connects services together. They’ve done the hard part of figuring out how to speak the “language of Novo” and make that data useful and available in just about anything else you can think of.

Literally, via Zapier, Novo can get your transaction info into Google Sheets, Asana, Wave, Microsoft Teams, Airtable, Twist, Freshbooks, and more. If you were wild and crazy, I suppose you could even post to Twitter whenever a new transaction came in. I don’t know why you’d want to, but that proves my point. The integrations are plentiful, and no coding knowledge is required.

Azlo had some integrations, but they weren’t very tight, and I found myself wishing for more. Though I’ll be honest, the free Stripe transactions were what sold me.

On super rare occasions, I need to mail checks. They’ve got that covered, too. The Move Money section of the app and Web dashboard has you covered. Enter the recipient’s info and the amount, and you’re done. If a physical book of checks is still more your speed, you can grab those through a third-party check printing company.

Novo's customer support has been awesome from day one. Even when I had a legal document issue that took a while to resolve, they were with me every step of the way, and we got it sorted out.

And while it may not seem like a huge deal on the surface, Novo is supported by Middlesex Federal Savings Bank. Azlo was supported by BBVA, an organization I was never really much of a fan of in the first place. I’m not surprised this is happening and that BBVA is clowning around like this. Middlesex FSB is a smaller operation, and you may have never heard of them unless you live in Massachusetts. It sounds crazy, but I like it that way.

Wrapping Up

Like I said at the beginning of this article, seeing Azlo being forced to shut down hurt. The team that built Azlo did a great thing and made banking accessible to small businesses. I’ve never been a BBVA fan in general, and this makes me dislike them even more.

Luckily, I have the great folks at Novo, and I’ve never been happier. So long as they’ll have me, Novo is where my business money shall stay. Their app and Web site are easy to use, the perks are outstanding, and the flexibility is unparalleled.

From one Azlo user to another, this is exactly where I would put my money if I were forced to make this change today.

Go sign up for Novo and take your business banking to the next level. Plus… all those perks! (I really can’t stop talking about them)

Sign up for Novo

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