While it might not seem like much, getting a high-quality and FDIC-insured online business bank account through a banking service that is tailored for small businesses, startups, and scalability will make business upgrade transitions a breeze. 

With numerous online business bank accounts to choose from, it can be difficult to find one that fits your needs. Three very popular services are Brex, Mercury, and Novo. 

If you’re on the fence about a business bank account service, use this service comparison so you can know what you’re getting into and which service might be the best fit for you. To that end, we’ve identified some key reasons why you should consider getting small business banking for your startup or small business.

 

Why You Should Consider Small Business Banking For Your Startup

When you start a new business, keeping track of your income, expenses, and taxes can be time-consuming and confusing. 

This is especially true if you are operating as a small business or sole proprietorship. Differentiating between your personal finances and your businesses’ finances can make day-to-day banking easier and financial concerns far less come tax time. 

If you work with an accountant, you will likely be able to hand over many of the files from your small business bank account and allow them to file your taxes using your banking information. No matter how old your small business is, you should consider small business banking for these reasons. 

Small business banking differs from big banks, credit unions, or other online personal banks by providing business-specific features for streamlined business operations. Features focus on managing finances, including a snapshot overview (money in vs money out), recent activity, easy methods to fund the account, simple payments, and easy access to statements.

 

Brex vs. Mercury vs. Novo

Three very popular small business banking services are Azlo, Mercury, and Novo. 


Brex Overview 

Brex is an alternative online bank account for small businesses. This online bank provides feature-rich banking services entirely online for small business use. Brex touts its services as fee-free and includes available options like unlimited transactions, expense management, and other business tools.

Brex offers cash card perks. The free business account does not require any minimums, has up to 8X rewards, free unlimited transactions, higher access limits, free direct payments, free wire transfers, instant payouts on Amazon FBA, and free tools that help your business grow.

If you’d like to use Brex’s build in spend management, you can, enable features like automated expense payouts, instant cards, expense tracking, and automation with payouts (right in your account).

Brex helps you establish business credit by using your Brex Cash account. Establishing a business credit score is a crucial for the company’s credit history and to earn more competitive rates when borrowing.


Mercury Overview

Designed with startups in mind, Mercury online banking is there to help businesses scale. Mercury provides FDIC-insured bank accounts that come with API access, team management, virtual cards, and much more. Intuitive features include user permissions, company analytics, sharp (two-factor) security, searchable transactions, and intuitive payments. 

Any US user can get an account for free with no monthly minimum or minimum balances. Pro users can upgrade to the “Tea Room” account if they have USD 250K+ in deposits. The Tea Room account gets free accounts, free domestic wires, partner rewards, and you get tea when you join!

For both subscription styles, there are no monthly or overdraft fees. Users can also get a checking account, savings account, and debit card, as well as free ACH transfers (sending and receiving), free checks (sending and receiving), free to receive domestic files, and only USD 5 for the standard accounts to sending a domestic fire (otherwise free for the Tea Room), free to receive international wires and USD 20 to receive them. 

For managing the account, both account styles have transaction API access, payment API access, team management services and bookkeeper accounts.   


Novo Overview

Novo business banking is another online business banking tool that provides feature-rich business bank accounts, lots of free services, and lots of available integrations. At this moment, there is only a free subscription type with scalable services. 

The Novo business bank account is FDIC insured and features no hidden fees, monthly fees, or minimum balance requirements. 

A Novo business bank account comes with a mobile app (for tablet and mobile device), easy application, actual customer service, free transfers, free mailed checks, free incoming wires, numerous small business tool integrations, refunds on all ATM fees, and thousands of dollars in exclusive perks. 


Similarities Between Brex vs. Mercury vs. Novo

Brex, Mercury, and Novo each offer a completely online business bank account for US citizens and residents that is designed for ease-of-use for operating a business. These online banks are tailored towards sole proprietors, small businesses, and startups so that your bank changes along with your business year after year. 

All three banking services provide a range of features with their free option, and all three are FDIC-insured. Each free banking service provides checking and savings accounts, no minimum balance requirements, extensive use of ATM networks, free unlimited transactions, and no overdraft fees. In some cases, sending money is also free, but this will vary from service to service. 

Additionally, each service looks to integrate business tools that streamline the business process and allow for better scalability. All three services offer free mailed checks, which is a perk that is hard to come by even in regular business banking services. 

Novo and Brex also connect with a range of business tools, like Stripe, Quickbooks, Slack, Xero, Transferwise, and Zapier.


Differences Between Azlo vs. Mercury vs. Novo

Mercury comes with bookkeeping services included for free. There are a lot of free services like free sending and receiving of ACH and checks, receiving domestic wires, and receiving international wires. Small fees are required for sending domestic wires, and sending international wires is USD 20 all around. 

Mercury offers the most in terms of free services, however, they are lacking when it comes to business tool integrations. Instead, the platform provides free access to transactions and payments APIs, so their payment and transaction services can be integrated into other financial services apps or websites. 

When it comes to business banking functionality, Novo can get you set up with a bank account in under 10 minutes. It also goes above and beyond by promising no hidden fees and refunds ATM fees. Novo has exceptional customer service, so you know that you’ll be able to talk to a real person within a matter of minutes if need be. 

One of the biggest stand out features of Brex is its integrated perks. Surprisingly, Brex is a free service, and it gives you up to 8X rewards points for using your account to pay for your business expenses. Brex also offers up to 50,000 bonus points for signing up. 

Setting up a business bank is always a personal preference to best fit your business needs. With all three banks offering comparable features Brex stands above the rest with rewards, perks, and establishing your business credit. If you are on the fence about banking services, we generally choose Brex.