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Updated: August 02, 2023

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Novo review

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

🗓️

Updated: August 02, 2023

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

Checking accounts for small business

Novo is a fintech company for small businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers. If you're self-employed and want a bank account that is easy to use with almost no fees, you'll want to check out Novo. Read more to find out the details of how Novo works and whether or not an account makes sense for you.

Novo

4

Wise Reviews™

Commissions and fees - 5

Customer service - 4.5

Ease of use - 3.8

Locations - 0

Savings options - 0

Traditional banking features - 3.5

Novo is a fintech company ideal for small business owners, entrepreneurs and freelancers. This fintech company charges nearly no fees and makes it very easy to handle typical online banking transactions. You can't get a regular chequebook, send wire transfers or deposit cash. But if you're looking for a self-service bank and don't need those three features, it can be a great choice.

4

Wise Reviews™

What is Novo?

Novo is a fintech company based in New York. You can manage your account through online banking on your laptop or desktop computer or through the Android or iPhone mobile apps.

This fintech company is built for business owners who are comfortable managing their money online on the Novo website or mobile apps. While it doesn't have every feature of a traditional checking account, Novo offers plenty of features for most modern entrepreneurs and cashless businesses.

Behind the scenes, Novo uses Middlesex Federal Savings to manage accounts and debit cards. Everything will look and feel like Novo, but accounts are held in FDIC-insured accounts at Middlesex Federal Savings.

Novo has no branch locations. The fintech company is relatively new, founded in 2016. But it offers far better terms than most old-school, traditional banks.

Novo features

Features
Details
Accounts
Checking
Access
Web based, iPhone App, Android App
Number of branches
0
ATM reimbursements
Online deposits
FDIC insurance
Customer service
Email, Phone
  • Online and mobile banking: Novo is online only. You can easily manage your money with the Novo online banking website and mobile apps.
  • No fees for typical activity:– There are no recurring fees. The only fees charged are for insufficient funds when sending a check or when a deposited check is returned for insufficient funds. Incoming wires, domestic ACH transfers, ATMs and paper statements are all free.
  • Send checks from your phone: You don't get a paper checkbook with Novo. However, you can still send paper checks. Using a feature that works similarly to bill pay at other banks, you can send a paper check from the Novo mobile apps. Novo also lets you deposit checks instantly.
  • Send Invoices: Send unlimited, personalized invoices and accept online payments for your business.
  • Digital integrations: Novo integrates with popular online tools used by tech-forward businesses. It works seamlessly with Xero accounting, Stripe, Shopify, and Quickbooks. It also triggers notifications on Slack, and allows international transfers through Wise.
  • Business perks: As a bonus, Novo customers get access to discounts with Google Cloud, Zendesk, HubSpot, Stripe, Salesforce, and other providers.
Open an account with Novo

How does Novo's business checking account work?

Novo offers only one type of account. The small business checking account handles the most important features for online business owners and other businesses that don't use cash.

  • You can deposit to the account via ACH, international or domestic wire transfer, or with a mobile check deposit on your smartphone.
  • You can withdraw and send money via ACH or send a paper check by mail with the mobile app.
  • All transfers in and out of the account are fee-free.

A few traditional banking features are missing:

  • There is no conventional checkbook.
  • You can't send wire transfers.
  • As with all online banks, you can't deposit cash.
  • There is no interest paid on account balances, so you probably won't want to hoard too much cash there.

Sending invoices with Novo

One of the main selling points of Novo's business checking account is that you can send unlimited, personalilzed invoices without paying fees. It also integrates with Stripe, Square, and PayPal to help you accept online payments and also works with ACH and check payments if you want to avoid transaction fees.

And with Novo Reserves, you can automatically move money aside to cover taxes, payroll, and other business expenses. You can create up to five reserves as well, so it's easy to create different budgets for your business.

You can also use 15+ integrations with Novo, like Shopify and Etsy, which is useful if you run an ecommerce business. Novo also integrates with Slack for easy team communication and numerous payment processors as mentioned.

Novo competitors

The closest competitors to Novo are NorthOne and LendingClub Bank.

  • NorthOne is a bank for freelancers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. With NorthOne you get unlimited banking without hidden fees or minimum balances for just $10 per month.  And you can create unlimited envelopes to easily manage your finances with different categories, like taxes and vacation. Plus as an Investor Junkie reader, you can get three months free when you sign up.
  • LendingClub Bank has a number of products, with a checking account specifically geared towards small businesses. With this account, you can get 1% cash back with your LendingClub debit card and get 0.10% APY on balances of $5,000.

Here's a quick comparison between the three:

Highlights Novo LendingClub NorthOne
Rating 4/5 3.5/5 4/5
Accounts Checking Savings, Checking, Money Market, CDs Checking
Online deposits
Physical branches
FDIC insurance
ATM reimbursement
Read reviews Novo review LendingClub Bank review NorthOne Business Checking Account review
Sign up Open account Open account Open account

Novo fees

Novo charges almost no fees. You'll need $50 to open a new account, but after that, there are no minimum balance requirements or recurring fees of any kind.

The fee schedule shows no charges for everything, except for an “Insufficient Funds Charge” and an “Uncollected Funds Returned Fee.” Both fees are $27. So, as long as you don't send bad checks or deposit bad checks, you won't pay for anything.

If you use your debit card abroad, you may incur foreign transaction fees from the card networks, but Novo doesn't add a fee of its own. And there are no outgoing wire transfer fees because you can't send wire transfers.

Novo accounts

Novo offers just one type of business checking account with a debit card. There is no current option for a savings account, credit card or other loans. But the Novo website says it does intend to offer lending products and other new features in the future.

How to contact Novo customer service

You can contact Novo by emailing support@novo.co for assistance. The website also has an in-depth FAQ section with helpful articles.

Note that Novo currently has a 3.6 star rating on Trustpilot. Customers seem to like its ease-of-use and invoice features but customer service is the main complain. You can't call Novo which is a downside if you want phone customer support, and support seems slow in generaly judging by reviews.

NorthOne pros and cons

Pros

Pros

  • No monthly fees or ATM charges
  • No ACH or incoming wire transfer fees
  • Send unlimited invoices for free
  • Numerous integrations with payment processing systems and e-commerce platforms
  • Novo perks provide discounts on popular business software
Cons

Cons

  • You can't deposit cash
  • No customer support phone number and slow response times
  • No high-yield savings account option

Summary

Novo is a good banking choice for nearly anyone who runs a solo, online business. Tech startups and small businesses that don't use cash will most likely find all of their needs met. And there are almost no fees.

A few features common at traditional banks are missing, including the ability to send a wire transfer or get a checkbook. But for modern banking features, Novo has most people's needs covered.

Open an account with Novo

Novo Disclosure - Novo is a fintech, not a bank. Banking services provided by Middlesex Federal Savings F.A.; Member FDIC.

About our author

Eric Rosenberg
Eric Rosenberg, Freelance Contributor

Eric Rosenberg is a finance, travel and technology writer in Ventura, California. He is a former bank manager and corporate finance and accounting professional who left his day job in 2016 to take his online side hustle full time. He has in-depth experience writing about banking, credit cards, investing and other financial topics and is an avid travel hacker. When away from the keyboard, Eric enjoys exploring the world, flying small airplanes, discovering new craft beers and spending time with his wife and little girls.

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