Banks suck. At least the ones we usually think of when we hear the word “bank.” The archaic institutions built over a hundred years ago don’t quite fit the mold for what we look for as small business owners. Having over a literal century to do something different and better and not hitting the mark has opened the door for newer, leaner, more agile services to take the top spot when it comes to filling small business financial needs.
I’ve been a Novo customer for a few years, and they remain one of my favorite small business banking options. In this post, we will dive deeper into the banking solution, see what makes it unique, and discuss how it may be a good fit for your small business.
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What is Novo?
Novo is a financial technology company offering free small-business banking services backed by Middlesex Federal Savings F.A., member FDIC. All that means is they’ve offloaded the hard part of bank stuff to a third party that’s good at banking and added their unique twist. All you see and have to deal with are the features and tools Novo has built.
Because of that traditional bank layer underneath, you’ll find all the usual banking trimmings: unlimited transactions, a Mastercard debit card with an EMV chip, ACH and wire capability, and more. We’re still not even at the best layer of this money management cake, though. To get there, we need to talk about integrations and perks.
Novo is a compelling small business checking solution for an online business that can take advantage of fee-free Stripe transactions and $3,000 worth of additional discounts. Get unlimited transactions and integrations with all the popular e-commerce services like Stripe, Shopify, and more.
- Almost entirely free-free
- Thousands of dollars in perks and freebies for services you may already use
- Deposit checks through the Novo app
- 100% Free ATM Access (incurred ATM fees are refunded)
- Invoice your customers directly through Novo
- An in-depth list of integrations with other business tools
- No cash deposit
- No recurring payments using bill pay
- No support for unique sub-accounts
- No support for multiple businesses under a single login
One of Novo’s powerhouse features is its massive integration catalog. You’ll find integrations with Stripe, Shopify, Venmo, PayPal, Quickbooks, and more, in addition to the deep catalog of ways to tie your business together in one spot. Some of Novo’s integrations include connections to:
- Stripe (for credit card processing)
- Square (for point-of-sale)
- Shopify (for e-commerce)
- PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App (to accept money)
- Accounting platforms like Xero, Wave, FreshBooks, Bench
- Budgeting tools like Mint and YNAB
- Payroll services like Gusto, Paychex, ADP, and Zenefits
Novo Benefits, Perks, and Freebies
This was one of the big things that brought me into Novo in the first place: the thousands of dollars of discounted and free services I suddenly had access to. I’ve only used a handful of these myself, but a business with employees or larger sales volume has the potential to save tens of thousands of dollars. Here are some of the most significant benefits Novo gives its businesses:
- $5,000 in waived Stripe processing fees (save $350)
- 6 months of free payroll through Gusto (save up to $5,100)
- Up to 30% off Hubspot (save up to $7,000)
- 20% off the first six months of OpenPhone (save up to $300)
- Six months of Notion for free, including AI (save up to $6,000)
- 20% off contractor and employee hires (save up to $1,440)
- Up to 50% off for three months from Radish Health (save up to $22,500)
- 30% off from Remote.com (save up to $2,200)
- 25% off Slack Pro and Business+ (save up to $4,000)
- Get six months of Zendesk free (save up to $25,000)
- 20% off net new annual Zoom licenses (save up to $2,500)
This list is less than a quarter of all the perks available to businesses that bank with novo. From this list alone, a business using Novo can save up to $76,000 on service expenses. That assumes the business would take advantage of all of these options, but even if you only grab a couple, saving hundreds or even a few thousand dollars thanks exclusively to the banking platform you use is still huge.
Putting the copious amount of free stuff to the side for a moment, Novo’s feature set is also quite impressive.
Generate invoices to send to clients from within your Novo account, allowing your customers to pay you directly without needing to manage a third-party payment portal, credit card processing system, or deal with physical checks.
Reserves & Cash Flow
In addition, Novo’s Reserves feature lets you stash money away for rainy days, ensuring you’ll always have some capital on hand, just in case. Create multiple virtual envelopes and transfer funds into them, removing those funds from your available balance. If you ever need to tap into that money, transfer the funds out of reserves, and they’re immediately available again.
Cash Flow Insights tells you where your spending is at its highest and other helpful details about your cash flow.
Bluevine offers one of the highest interest rates on business checking balances of any banking platform. Earn 2.00% APY on up to $250,000, pay zero fees or minimums to open or maintain an account, tap into a Line of Credit*, and get two free checkbooks yearly. Integrate with Quickbooks and sign up in as little as 90 seconds.
As I said at this review’s beginning, I’ve been a Novo customer for several years. I have three businesses with them and am incredibly happy. Their service kicks butt, and I’m always willing to recommend them to anyone that needs to open a new bank account for their small business. I wish I could manage those three accounts under one login, though, or at least have the option to operate one master account with multiple subaccounts like Bluevine. Nevertheless, my experience has been pretty good, and I don’t envision myself changing any time soon.
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