Founded in 2013, Bluevine is an online financial institution that provides online banking services to small businesses. Bluevine quickly became an industry leader with its Bluevine Business Checking and secured business financing.
But due to high demand, the company has suspended new signups for its business checking account. It's also suspended applications for financing and doesn't have an estimate for when it'll resume.
This move has left some small business owners wondering what other options they have. Luckily, there are plenty of Bluevine alternatives that businesses can turn to instead.
What Happened to Bluevine?
In October 2020, Bluevine announced the availability of its Bluevine Business Banking, which is an integrated banking product offering the financial tools small businesses need. The product had been in beta testing for a year before the company opened it up to everyone. More than 200,000 business owners signed up for its business checking account. This overwhelmed the company's processing and caused it to pause accepting new applications.
Why Did Bluevine Close Registration to New Users?
If you visit Bluevine's website and try to sign up for any of its new products, you'll find that it has temporarily paused its acceptance of new applications. This pause applies to its business checking accounts as well as its various financing products.
According to the company's website, it paused new applications on Bluevine Business Checking due to high demand so as to better meet its current customers' needs. It has a waitlist for those who wish to sign up once it reopens applications.
As for its financing products, Bluevine says it temporarily paused applications to focus on helping small businesses apply for and secure funding through the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Best Bluevine Alternatives by Feature
Bluevine is no longer accepting new applications on its business checking accounts or lines of credit. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives that serve small businesses and offer similar benefits.
1. NovoNovo offers business checking accounts with many of the same outstanding features as Bluevine's. Its checking accounts make it easy for customers to send invoices and get paid.
- You can get paid by debit or credit card through Stripe, and it is beta testing accepting invoice payments via Square.
- You can also accept payments by check, which you can deposit free.
- Novo also makes it easy for small businesses to send money, with the ability to make payments via ACH, paper checks, and international transfers.
- Another selling point of Novo's business checking account is its Novo Reserves feature. It's like having a separate savings account; you can set aside money apart from your working capital. This feature makes it easy to set aside money for taxes or to save for a rainy day.
It's worth mentioning that though Novo offers robust business checking accounts, it doesn't have the financing features that Bluevine previously offered.
2. Lili Bankfreelancers. The accounts come with features such as financial insights, expense management, and expense reports. Similar to Novo Reserves, you can set aside money in a “tax bucket” so you aren't scrambling for cash when tax time rolls around. If you get a direct deposit from an online payment platform like Stripe or PayPal, you can get your money up to two days sooner.
But Lili doesn't have as many features as either Bluevine or Novo for accepting payments. And like Novo, Lili doesn't currently offer any business financing options.
3. NorthOneNorthOne offers banking services to businesses and freelancers. It makes it easy to send payments through ACH or wire transfers, both of which you can do from your phone. NorthOne makes it equally easy to accept payments, including by check and cash deposits. And you can withdraw cash at over one million Cirrus® branded ATM locations, including MoneyPass® ATMs.
Best of all, NortOne is offering three month's free to Investor Junkie readers!
Like other competitors, NorthOne offers a dedicated account to set aside money for taxes or other major expenses, called envelopes. You can create an unlimited number of envelopes to manage your finances. It also has cash flow reporting and the ability to connect with other small-business tools like Square, Stripe, and PayPal.
NorthOne normally doesn't offer business financing, but it's participating in the PPP and is currently accepting applications.
But one downside is that, similar to Bluevine, Kabbage now has a waitlist for its business checking account.
Kabbage also offers business financing. However, like Bluevine, this is currently on hold. Similar to Bluevine, it focuses on offering PPP loans.
Fundbox also offers term loans where you borrow a lump sum to be paid back over a specific period of time. It charges no application fee, no origination fee, and no prepayment penalty. Fundbox's term loan program is currently in beta testing and isn't available to all applicants.
OnDeck also offers lines of credit. These let businesses borrow and pay back the funds on a revolving basis. Its credit lines range from $6,000 to $100,000 and have 12-month repayment terms after each withdrawal.
What Did Bluevine Offer?
Before it paused applications for its products, Bluevine offered two primary products: business checking accounts and lines of credit. It used to offer invoice factoring before removing this service.
Bluevine Business Checking
Bluevine has offered its business checking account since 2019. This was incredibly popular before the company paused new applications. This account combines the benefits of both checking and savings accounts thanks to the high interest it pays.
Bluevine's business checking accounts come with many important features, such as the ability to make cash deposits and accept payments through wire transfer or ACH. It also offers Bluevine Bill Pay, which allows businesses to make electronic payments by their preferred method.
Though the company didn't offer savings accounts or other banking accounts, it was still an industry favorite, thanks to its robust list of features.
Lines of Credit
A line of credit is a type of revolving debt, similar to a credit card. Customers are allocated a certain amount of money they can borrow. They can borrow some or all of that amount and pay back the amount borrowed on an ongoing basis.
Bluevine's credit lines have a fixed draw period with monthly or weekly payments over a six to twelve-month period. Money is available on-demand, and there are no fees to open or maintain a credit line with Bluevine.
First Azlo, Now Bluevine — Is It a Trend?
Founded in 2017, Azlo was another popular banking option for small businesses. But on January 7, 2021, the company announced it would be closing down. It stopped accepting new applications, and existing customers were required to move to a new bank.
Azlo used a phased approach to its closing. In February 2021, it began disabling or limiting certain account features. Accounts were fully closed by March 31, with accountholders having until April 15 to access a read-only version of account information and to download bank statements.
With Azlo and Bluevine closing applications to their business accounts so close to one another, it raises an important question: Is this a trend?
At this time, it appears that Bluevine is not following the same path as Azlo. While it's true that Bluevine has closed applications to its business checking accounts and certain financing products, the company gives no indication of closing down. According to the company's website, it had more than 200,000 signups to its Bluevine Business Checking and has stopped accepting new applications in order to meet the demands of current customers. The company has a waitlist where prospective customers can sign up in the meantime.
Additionally, while Bluevine has temporarily paused applications for its other financing products, it has done so to focus its efforts on helping small businesses secure PPP funding. According to the company's website, it plans to resume financing in the future.
The Bottom Line
Bluevine has been a popular option for business banking and financing. Unfortunately, due to high demand and an increased focus on PPP loans, the company has paused new applications for its other products. Bluevine says the pause is temporary, and there are plenty of alternatives to turn to in the meantime.