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Novo vs Mercury: Which is the Better Business Bank Account?


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Choosing the right bank account is crucial for business owners. The right bank not only handles your money but can also offer tools that make running your business easier. Online banks like Novo and Mercury have become popular for their flexible services and business-specific features in the digital age. Let’s get into a detailed comparison between these two platforms to see which might best fit your business needs.

Understanding Online Banking for Businesses

Before we compare Novo and Mercury, let’s briefly discuss online banking. Unlike traditional banks with physical branches, online banks operate primarily online. This can offer businesses several advantages, including lower fees, higher convenience, and quick setup times. Although their target audiences and features differ, Novo and Mercury leverage these benefits to cater to specific business needs.

Overview of Novo

Novo is an online banking platform designed for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses of various types. It’s known for being highly adaptable and user-friendly.

Features of Novo:

  • Invoicing Capabilities: Novo allows you to send invoices directly from your bank account, making billing straightforward and efficient.
  • Expense Management: The platform provides insights into your spending patterns, helping you manage your finances better.
  • ATM Fee Refunds: Novo offers refunds for all ATM fees, a significant perk for business owners who travel often or need cash for their operations.
  • No Monthly Fees: You won’t be charged monthly fees, and there is no minimum balance requirement, which is excellent for businesses watching their budgets.
  • FDIC Insured: Accounts are insured up to a maximum of $250,000, ensuring your money is safe.
  • Account Accessibility: Unlike Mercury, Novo is available to a broader range of business types and doesn’t require you to be an LLC or corporation.

Overview of Mercury

Mercury targets a slightly different market, focusing specifically on startups and tech companies. It offers services that are beneficial for high-growth businesses looking to scale.

Features of Mercury:

  • Access to Investors: One of Mercury’s standout features is that it provides connections to potential investors. This can be incredibly valuable for startups needing capital.
  • Venture Debt: In addition to traditional banking services, Mercury offers venture debt, a less dilutive type of financing than equity financing. This provides startups with much-needed growth funds without sacrificing too much control.
  • Investor Database: Startups can use Mercury’s database to find and pitch to potential investors, a critical tool for any new business looking to expand.
  • Extended FDIC Insurance: Mercury accounts are insured up to $5 million, much higher than the typical $250,000—a significant advantage for startups handling large amounts of money.
  • Customer Service Availability: Mercury’s customer service is only available on weekdays, from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM, but it is customized to meet businesses’ needs during standard working hours.

Who should use Novo or Mercury?

When choosing between Novo and Mercury, consider what type of business you own and what specific features you need most.

For General Business Needs

Novo is likely the better choice if you run a general small business, especially if you are a freelancer or a sole proprietor. Its invoicing and expense management tools are suited for everyday business operations, and the lack of fees makes it accessible for businesses to watch their overhead costs.

Open a Novo Business Checking Account Here:
Get Started with Novo Now

For Startups and Growth-Focused Companies

Mercury might be the better option if your business is a startup, particularly in the tech sector, or a business that expects rapid growth. Access to venture debt and investor networks can be invaluable for these businesses. The higher FDIC insurance limit also makes Mercury appealing to businesses with larger sums of money.

Open a Mercury Business Checking Account Here:
Get Started with Mercury Now
^Get a $250 cash bonus by depositing $10,000 within 90 days 


Conclusion: Which Should You Choose?

In conclusion, both Novo and Mercury offer compelling features tailored to specific types of businesses. Novo is likely the best choice if you need a flexible, all-around bank account without complicated requirements. It’s user-friendly and supports many business activities, making it ideal for most small to medium-sized businesses.

On the other hand, if you’re a startup manager looking for growth and investment opportunities, Mercury provides unique resources, such as investor connections and venture debt options, that can help propel your business to the next level.

Before deciding, consider your business’s current needs, growth plans, and the value of specific banking features like investor networks or expense management tools. As always, consult a financial advisor to ensure your choice aligns with your business strategy and economic health.

FAQs About Novo vs. Mercury: Which is the Better Business Bank Account?

  • Are there any hidden fees with Novo or Mercury?

    No, Novo and Mercury pride themselves on transparency and do not charge hidden fees. They offer fee-free banking under normal operating conditions but always check for potential costs related to specific transactions, such as wire transfers or transactions in foreign currencies.

  • How does customer support compare between Novo and Mercury?

    Novo offers customer support through various channels and is generally well-reviewed for its service quality. Mercury also offers reliable customer support only during weekday business hours, which might be a limitation if you require assistance during weekends or outside of standard business hours.

  • What kind of security measures do Novo and Mercury have?

    Novo and Mercury take security seriously and implement robust measures to protect your funds and personal information. This includes encryption, secure login processes, and regular audits. Both are FDIC-insured, which adds a layer of security by protecting your deposits.

  • Can international businesses use Novo or Mercury?

    Novo generally requires a U.S. social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), and the business must be based in the U.S. Mercury also targets U.S.-based businesses but focuses specifically on startups, including those with international ties, provided they are legally registered in the U.S.

  • Which account is better for handling multiple currencies?

    Neither Novo nor Mercury offers extensive support for multiple currencies within their standard business banking platforms. If your business involves frequent international transactions, consider other banking solutions specializing in multi-currency operations or using a third-party service for currency conversion.

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