Most of the best bank accounts for freelancers and independent professionals aren’t just bank accounts. They boast expense-tracking and money management tools, integrate seamlessly with third-party payment and accounting apps, and have internal nonbanking tools like custom invoicing software and business formation assistance.
Novo Business Checking ticks all of those boxes, making it one of the better options on the market for solo entrepreneurs and people who own very small businesses. While not as useful for bigger enterprises, it can keep up with your growing business as you add employees and begin earning serious revenue.
If you think Novo Business Checking might be right for you, take a few minutes to understand its core features and capabilities, and see how they compare to the competition.
What Is Novo Business Checking?
Novo Business Checking is a business checking account with no monthly fee and unlimited ATM fee reimbursement. Through Novo’s banking partner Middlesex Federal Savings F.A., it comes with FDIC insurance up to $250,000.
Novo Business Checking has a relatively low required opening deposit and no ongoing balance requirements. Notable features include Novo Boost, which speeds up users’ access to Stripe payments by as much as 95%, and external integrations with popular accounting and payment software. Novo also has a free custom invoicing tool built into the interface.
What Sets Novo Business Checking Apart?
Novo Business Checking stands out from most other business checking accounts for:
- No monthly fee. Novo Business Checking has no monthly fee, regardless of your balance or transaction volumes. Many similar accounts charge $10 or more per month.
- Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. Novo reimburses ATM fees without any dollar limits, which is excellent news for businesses that make cash payments at times.
- Seamless external integrations. Novo integrates with about a dozen external software providers, including major payment processors, e-commerce platforms, and workplace productivity tools.
- Built-in invoicing capabilities. Novo builds a free invoicing tool into the Business Checking account. You can use it to generate customized invoices and accept payments right in the app.
Key Features of Novo Business Checking
Novo Business Checking has all the core banking features you’d expect from a bank account designed for independent professionals and very small businesses. It also has some useful nonbanking features.
Account Fees & Minimums
This account has no monthly fee and very few other fees. There’s a $50 minimum balance to open the account but no ongoing balance requirement after that.
Debit Card & Virtual Cards
This account comes with a Mastercard debit card accepted at millions of points of sale worldwide. You can use the account’s virtual debit card as soon as it’s open.
Novo’s ATM access is functionally unlimited because it provides unlimited ATM fee reimbursement. This is good news if your business relies on cash to pay contractors or vendors.
Novo Business Checking comes with free invoicing software built into the app. You can customize your invoices with your business logo, shipping cost calculations, local taxes, and other information. You can also add an option to pay directly by card within the invoice, though this may trigger payment processing fees that Novo can’t control.
Novo has a relatively small number of partner vendors that offer significant discounts or promotional pricing to Novo Business Checking users. Examples include Stripe (up to $5,000 in waived payment processing fees) and Keeper ($79 business tax filing, a big discount from list price).
Novo Business Checking integrates with about a dozen external business software providers in the e-commerce, accounting, payments, and productivity industries:
Not all integration partners participate in the Partner Perks program to offer discounted or promotional pricing to Novo users, but the fact that they integrate with Novo is convenient in and of itself.
Novo Boost is a free feature that speeds up the availability of Stripe payments. Timing varies by customer and user, but Novo says it can reduce processing time by up to 95%.
Novo Business Checking is a mobile-first bank account whose mobile web interface and app offer all the features and capabilities of the desktop version. The app is very highly rated by verified Google Play and Apple App Store users.
Notable mobile capabilities include:
- Remote check deposit
- Person-to-person transfers
- Mobile single sign-on for integrated apps
- Automatic expense tracking and categorization in the app
- Easy access to your virtual debit card
Thanks to Novo’s banking partner, Middlesex Federal Savings F.A., this account provides FDIC insurance on balances up to the current federal limit of $250,000.
Pros & Cons
Novo Business Checking has a lot of upsides, but it’s not quite perfect.
- No monthly fee
- Unlimited ATM fee reimbursement
- No transaction limits
- Free invoicing built into the app & external software integrations
- No interest on balances
- No debit card rewards program
- No complimentary overdraft protection
Novo Business Checking is a low-cost, flexible banking solution for entrepreneurs with relatively straightforward finances.
- No monthly fee. This account has no monthly fee, no matter how you use it. This is a big advantage over comparable business bank accounts that charge $10 or more per month.
- Unlimited ATM fee reimbursement. There’s no limit to the dollar value of ATM fee reimbursements with Novo Business Checking, so it’s an excellent choice for cash-heavy businesses and contractors.
- No transaction limits. Novo imposes no numeric or dollar value limits on transactions from the Novo Business Checking account. Some similar accounts charge fees for transactions above a certain number each month or simply decline transactions above that threshold.
- Free invoicing built into the app. Novo Business Checking comes with a free invoicing tool that makes it easy to create and send customized invoices. You can even accept payments right in the app.
- Potentially generous partner perks. Novo has a few partner vendors that offer very attractive discounts and promotional pricing. For example, you can get up to $5,000 in transaction fees waived with Stripe.
- External business app integrations. Novo Business Checking integrates with about a dozen well-known business apps and platforms, including leading e-commerce, payments, and workplace productivity brands. If your business is relatively simple, Novo could easily serve as its sales, revenue, and productivity hub.
Novo Business Checking isn’t as rewarding as some otherwise similar business accounts and is missing some important features.
- No interest on balances. Novo Business Checking pays no interest on balances. A growing number of otherwise similar business bank accounts pay at least some interest, so this is a notable downside.
- No regular debit card rewards program. Aside from the small Partner Perks program, Novo Business Checking has no regular debit card rewards program. Most purchases earn no cash back or rewards points.
- No complimentary overdraft protection. Novo Business Checking doesn’t waive overdraft fees and may simply decline negative-balance transactions outright. Some otherwise similar business bank accounts have more generous overdraft coverage.
How Novo Business Checking Stacks Up
Novo Business Checking shares the spotlight with several other high-quality business banking platforms. One of its closest competitors is the NorthOne Deposit Account. Before opening an account with either, see how they compare.
|Novo Business Checking
|NorthOne Deposit Account
|$50 to open, $0 ongoing
|Yes, about a dozen including Stripe, Amazon, and Shopify
|Yes, about a dozen including Stripe, Amazon, and Shopify
|Yes, built into the app
With no monthly fee and built-in invoicing, Novo Business Checking is a better fit for cost-conscious users and those who need to generate and send invoices to clients. NorthOne is better for businesses with more complex finances, thanks to built-in budgeting tools and other capabilities.
Novo Business Checking is a low-cost, easy-to-use business banking platform that’s built with independent professionals (including freelancers) and very small businesses in mind. Its built-in invoicing tools and seamless external integrations add real value to the experience and help reduce business costs by reducing reliance on expensive third-party service providers.
But Novo Business Checking isn’t perfect, especially for bigger companies with more complicated finances. Even if Novo might serve your needs for the next year or two, it’s worth asking whether your longer-term growth plans demand a more capable banking partner.
Novo is a fintech, not a bank. Banking services provided by Middlesex Federal Savings F.A.; Member FDIC.