It’s hard to know where to store hard earned cash from a small business or side hustle but in this Novo bank review we will look at what might be the perfect business bank choice… especially for anyone earning an income online.
Novo bank offers business checking with a focus on digital banking geared toward small businesses, freelancers, and startups.
In my opinion it’s perfect for content creators, digital product sellers and online business owners who mainly earn income from multiple sources online. I know because that’s me and I’m currently using Novo as my bank for YouTube & Etsy income.
In this Novo bank review we will cover who will benefit from using Novo and the pros and cons of Novo.
Novo is perfect for anyone starting out small who needs to separate their business checking from their personal checking (believe me, you need to do this as soon as possible to make things easier).
They offer some amazing features but they also have some downsides too so let’s review whether Novo Bank is the right business checking account for you.
About Novo Business Banking
Like many new cool digital focused banks Novo has been around since 2016 and is actually not a bank at all but a technology company that has partnered with a bank.
They partnered with Middlesex Federal Savings in order to provide FDIC insurance and deposit account services through a traditional bank. You might have never heard of Middlesex Federal Savings but they are a bank that has been around for over 100 years.
Novo Bank is completely digital and since it is a technology company they are offering some great integrations and perks for account holders. There are many direct integrations with companies like Quickbooks, Shopify, Zapier, Stripe, and Slack. Personally I use many of these tools in my own business so having those direct integrations was one of the first things that drew me to Novo Bank.
Novo has targeted this business banking account toward people who want a free business checking account who prefer to manage finances online, integrate with tools they already use and don’t need to deposit cash regularly. (Hint, it’s me.)
Let’s talk about some of the things that make Novo Bank pretty great and why I’m a fan of their services.
Low opening balance to start
You only need $50 to open an account at Novo which makes it accessible to people just starting out. When I was looking for a new business checking account many required a balance of thousands just to start and qualify for the “free” checking with no monthly fee.
Novo’s business checking account has no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, no transaction fees and no incoming wire fees.
In addition, there are no fees for incoming or outgoing ACH transfers, stop payments, debit card replacements or paper statements.
Novo business checking also includes free mobile check deposit, free bill pay with physical checks (which are mailed out from the mobile app) and free bank checks. There are two exceptions to the no fee policy: insufficient funds and uncollected funds returned which results in a $27 fee.
Free ATM access
Novo allows you to use any ATM in the U.S. or abroad, without charging you any fees. They also will reimburse all fees that you face from those banks for using their ATMs, depositing the refund directly into your account at the end of each month.
Online and mobile banking
Novo business checking is designed to be online only and the digital focus helps avoid the hassle of visiting a physical bank. You can deposit checks, make payments, send money and do almost everything you need from their website or app.
Novo has a built in tool for setting aside “Reserves” which is a sinking fund style budgeting tool. You can set aside funds within your checking account to budget for different types of expenses like taxes or new equipment.
Novo has integrated invoicing features that allow you to create, send and manage unlimited invoices right from your bank account. This would be a fantastic tool for freelancers or content creators working with brands frequently.
Novo has focused on integrations with the tools that help get small business paid. They have direct account integrations with QuickBooks, Xero, Stripe, Shopify, TransferWise, Zapier and Slack. They also allow you to connect your business checking account to Square, PayPal and Wave too though there is not a direct integration.
Since I personally use many of these tools it was a huge benefit to have an easily integrated system. These were all tools I already used before opening my Novo account so the transition to using Novo Bank was pretty flawless.
Opening an account at Novo gives you access to discounts on many of thos business softwares and services. Novo partners with providers including Stripe, QuickBooks, Gusto, Google, HubSpot and others to offer savings opportunities for account holders.
For example, the Stripe integration will save you up to $500 with $20,000 in fee-free card processing. This can be a huge win when you first start selling digital products on your own website for example.
Ease of use
This pro doesn’t matter to everyone, but the website and app are so easy to use and beautifully designed. After I’ve dealt with local banks for a couple years for business checking this is a breath of fresh air.
Everything within the Novo website and app is easy to learn and use. They clearly put the design of the user experience above everything else.
Now let’s talk about the negatives from using business banking at Novo.
No cash deposits
If you are someone that likes to use cash or you take cash for your small business then Novo will fall short for you because they do not accommodate cash deposits.
No recurring bill pay
Unfortunately while you can pay bills through Novo you can’t set up automatic recurring bill payments. You can save the info for the bill to be paid but you still have to go in and manually do it which means you have to keep an eye on bill due dates.
Those are a couple of the negatives that come with using Novo. If these are important things to your business then you would likely not want to use Novo.
No easy to find address or phone number
Novo doesn’t show their address or phone number on their website clearly. You won’t be able to find a Novo bank address because there are not physical locations to contact. Same thing with a Novo bank phone number.
You have to contact their service via email at or through the app. They respond quickly but you do have to use these.
They do share their partner bank Middlesex Federal Savings address: Middlesex Federal Savings, 1 College Avenue, Somerville, MA 02144. However, they will not provide in service banking for your account so you need to contact Novo customer support via the web and mobile apps.
Novo Bank Reviews
Clearly I believe Novo has more pros and than cons so my Novo bank review is positive and I’ve chosen to personally use them as my business banking option.
But what do others think? Are the Novo reviews positive or negative?
- Consumers Advocate has rated Novo 5 out of 5 stars, or Excellent.
- Nerd Wallet has come in slightly lower at 4 out of 5 stars.
- Trust Pilot has a great rating for Novo at 4.2 out of 5 stars.
All of these reviews generated from trusted websites have Novo rated highly with varying levels from Great to Excellent.
Some of the things that stand out from these sites when looking at the Novo reviews:
- “Simple interface and responsive team. Easy to get started and use.”
- “As a small business, Novo has helped me manage my money and find loans flawlessly. It has immensely helped me be more productive and grow my business.”
- “Great customer service when needed. Easy to use, clean web UI, and a solid, fast iOS app.”
- “I love NOVO! Why? No fees.”
- “Novo has made banking so easy & efficient. I thought Novo convenience would end at “easy banking,” but they also actively look out for their costumers. They sent me notices for SBA loans when my business met the requirements. Then, they helped me get a loan by sending me easy, electronic forms to fill out…and then, they helped me get loan forgiveness. Amazing experience so far.”
- “Novo went out of their way to make sure I applied for the PPP loan, like OUT OF THEIR WAY. I got $10,000 for free because of their diligence and customer care.”
- “Novo Bank was very helpful through the entire PPP loan process. Highly recommend.”
- “Great support. Especially in times of need.”
One thing that stands out in each Novo bank review was the variety of experiences.
One thing I did not have personal experience with was how helpful Novo was during 2020. Novo was very helpful during this hard year when businesses were working through getting PPP loans and other SBA loans. After reading reviews I learned that Novo worked very hard to help customers navigate the difficult and unprecedented times.
My Novo Bank Review
For my Novo bank review, I’d give them a 5 out of 5 stars for my experience using the business checking account.
Based on who they are targeting I’m actually their ideal customer for multiple reasons:
- I prefer to manage money online and already use many of the tools they have partnered with.
- I also never use cash or pay many bills for my business.
- The cons for some people did not directly affect my banking needs.
Novo seems perfect for anyone doing business mainly online. I think it is an ideal fit for both content creators and freelancers.
Considering the rise of the creator economy in recent years, I think Novo is focused on a growing section of online business owners. These people make money online and want seamless business banking options without fees and extra hassle.
It’s perfect for digital product sellers who never deal with physical products or cash sales and need a place to send all their passive income.
With all of the things Novo offers from the perks and integrations to the great designed site, I’m happy to recommend it to others from small business owners to digital product sellers to those just starting a new side hustle.
If you found this video helpful please leave a like and if you’ve used Novo for yourself let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear about your experience!
If this business bank account sounds right for you, click here to try out Novo now!
Mary is the founder of Pennies Not Perfection where she shares her journey to build wealth through online income. She quit her day job in 2021 after she paid off her debt and doubled her 9-5 salary.
Mary's favorite free financial tool is Personal Capital. She uses their free tools to track net worth and work toward to financial freedom.