What Is Bank Novo?
Bank Novo is a digital-only bank 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 bank 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 Bank uses Middlesex Federal Savings to manage accounts and debit cards. Everything will look and feel like Novo Bank, but accounts are held in FDIC-insured accounts at Middlesex Federal Savings.
Bank Novo has no branch locations. The bank is relatively new, founded in 2016. But it offers far better terms than most old-school, traditional banks.
Novo Online Bank Features
|Accounts||Savings, Checking, Money Market, CDs|
|Access||Web Based, iPhone App, Android App, Blackberry App|
|Amount of Branches||0|
|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.
- 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 TransferWise.
- Business perks: As a bonus, Novo customers get access to discounts with Google Cloud, Zendesk, HubSpot, Stripe, Salesforce, and other providers.
How Does Bank Novo 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.
Bank 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:
|Accounts||Savings, Checking, Money Market, CDs||Savings, Checking, Money Market, CDs||Savings, Checking, Money Market, CDs|
Bank 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.
Bank 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. Are saving accounts important to you? Here are some options:
Novo Online Bank Pros & Cons
No Fees for Most Activity— You won’t pay any fees for regular banking activity. The only charges are for sending or depositing checks with insufficient funds.
Easy-to-Use Online Banking— Manage your account with the Novo website or apps for Android and iPhone.
Deposit and Send Checks With the Mobile App— Use mobile check deposit to add paper checks to your account. Send paper checks in the mail using the mobile app.
Free Transfers and Payments— Incoming wires are free. Incoming and outgoing ACH transfers are free. Sending a check by mail is free.
ATM Reimbursements—Although Novo Bank doesn't have its own network of fee-free ATMs, the bank will reimburse you for another bank's ATM fees.
No Checkbooks or Outgoing Wires— Some traditional banking features are nonexistent at Novo. You don’t get a paper checkbook and can’t send wire transfers.
No Interest—You don’t earn interest on your balance. It just sits there safe and FDIC-insured.
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.