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Novo Bank Review

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We maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments. This post contains links from our advertisers, and we may receive compensation when you click these links. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone. | Advertiser Disclosure
We maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments. This post contains links from our advertisers, and we may receive compensation when you click these links. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone. | Advertiser Disclosure
Novo Business Checking
0.00% APY

Novo is an online- and mobile-based financial institution that offers banking services to small business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers and other self-employed people.

Currently Novo’s only account is its Business Checking Account. You’ll need $50 to open the account, but once you become an account holder, you won’t be subject to a minimum balance or monthly fees. The bank also doesn’t charge ATM fees, and it will refund fees charged by ATM operators.

You can manage your Novo account through its online banking website as well as its Apple and Android mobile apps. Through these platforms, you can track your account’s balance and transaction history, initiate check deposits, make and accept payments, view current and past statements, contact Novo’s customer service and more. Novo is an online-only bank, however, and does not have physical branches that account holders can visit.

In an effort to make its Business Checking Account more user-friendly for small business owners, Novo offers integrates its services with a variety of third-party services. Novo account holders can receive live account updates on Slack; conduct cheap and easy international payments through TransferWise; and manage their accounting through Xero, a cloud-based accounting service for small business owners.

Products Offered

Product Key Details
Business Checking Account
  • No monthly fees
  • No ATM fees
  • No minimum balances
  • $50 to open
  • Integration with Slack, TransferWise and other small business services
  • No interest-earning potential

Novo Bank Overview

Novo is an online- and mobile-only banking institution that’s based out of New York City. However, because of the bank’s online nature, it has no branch locations. Technically speaking, Novo is a technology company that leaves its banking services to its partner, Middlesex Federal Savings. 

Novo Business Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Account Online, mobile and ATMs
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees No monthly maintenance or ATM fees
Current Terms and Rates Not interest-bearing

Novo’s sole account offering is its Business Checking Account, which is not an interest-earning product. The money in your account will not grow or keep pace with inflation. While it takes at least a $50 deposit to open this account, there are no minimum balances once you become an account holder. 

There are also no monthly maintenance fees, ensuring that your business’ money stays in your pocket. In fact, there are very few fees at all with this account. Account holders will not pay fees for incoming and outgoing ACH money transfers, incoming domestic and foreign wire transfers, physical checks, paper statements, debit card replacements and more. The only fees you’ll be responsible for are a $27 insufficient funds charge and a $27 uncollected funds returned fee.

This account is paired with a Novo Mastercard debit card that you can use all over the U.S. and the world. It comes with an EMV chip that enhances security wherever you charge your card. Additionally, you can set up automatic notifications on a per transaction basis so you know when your card was used.

The debit card can also be used to withdraw cash from ATMs. Although the bank doesn’t have a network of fee-free ATMs that it subscribes to, it won’t charge customers any ATM fees, and will refund such fees charged by ATM owners.

Compare Novo to Other Competitive Offers

Where Can I Find Novo?

The entirety of Novo’s services are available through its website and Apple and Android mobile apps. As an online-only bank, Novo does not own or operate any branch locations.

What Can You Do Online With Novo?

When you open a Business Checking Account with Novo, you’ll gain access to its online banking website and mobile banking app. Both of these platforms feature the same services, giving you equal flexibility regardless of which one you prefer. Both Apple and Android users appear to be happy with Novo’s mobile offerings, as reviewers on these two app stores have given it an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.

By utilizing Novo’s mobile and online account management services, you’ll be able to view your current and available balances, as well as your transaction history. If you need to send money to or transfer money from a non-Novo account, you can do so through these other accounts. Other features include the ability to pay bills, receive domestic and international wire transfers, reach out to customer service directly, order checks or a new debit card, look through past account statements and more.

How Do I Access My Money?

Every Novo Business Checking Account comes with a Mastercard debit card that can be used anywhere. But if you need to get your hands on some cash, stop by any ATM and make a withdrawal. Novo does not charge ATM fees, though you may incur separate fees from ATM operators themselves. However, Novo will refund ATM operator fees, so keep your receipts.

Novo lets customers send and receive ACH money transfers and domestic and foreign wire transfers for free. You can also deposit checks through Novo’s mobile app. If you need to write checks, the bank can send you physical checks for your account.

How Can I Save More Money With a Novo Bank Account?

The Novo Business Checking Account is not an interest-bearing product, so it does not come with an APY. That's not unusual for a checking account. However, Novo does help you save money more than other comparable business checking accounts by having a generous fee schedule.

While banks often charge many different fees in relation to their small business accounts, Novo offers no monthly maintenance, wire transfer, ACH transfer, debit card replacement or paper statement fees, among others. Outside of these, the bank’s sole fees are an insufficient funds charge and an uncollected funds returned charge, both of which are $27.

Banks often belong to a fee-free set of ATMs, such as the Allpoint® ATM network. Although Novo doesn’t have such a network, it has eliminated all in-house ATM fees, regardless of whose machine you use. If an ATM operator charges you a separate fee, Novo will refund you for it.

What’s the Process For Opening an Account With Novo?

To become a Novo account holder, you’ll need to apply online through the bank’s website. The business documents needed to apply vary on a state to state basis. As far as personal requirements go, Novo asks that each applicant enter their Social Security number (SSN), a U.S. address and a U.S. mobile phone number. Novo states that it will not run or check your credit score when you apply for an account. Foreign applications are not currently supported by Novo.

The only other requirement is to meet the bank’s $50 minimum opening deposit.

What’s the Catch?

While Novo has no ATM fees, and says it will refund fees you may incur from an ATM operator, it does not have the convenience of its own ATM network like some other banks.

Despite Novo’s status as a small business bank, it doesn’t currently offer anything but a business checking account. By contrast, other small business banks will also offer business savings accounts, business certificates of deposit (CDs) and small business loans in their suite of products.

Bottom Line

Novo is an online small business bank that makes managing the finances of your company much simpler and easier. While it lacks other account types, a checking account like Novo’s is typically the most necessary part of any business banking suite. Novo’s integration with Slack, TransferWise and other small business services is also unique. Finally, it has a generous fee schedule that lets business owners avoid unnecessary expenses, including ATM fees.

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