This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
If you’re looking to open a business bank account, Mercury and Novo are excellent options. They’re digital-exclusive banking solutions with no monthly maintenance fees and transaction fees and limits. Additionally, both integrate seamlessly with a wide range of popular business software, including Shopify, Stripe, and PayPal.
Mercury is a particularly strong choice for tech startups. It offers a wide range of startup services, such as venture debt, access to investor networks, and read-and-write application programming interface (API) access. Accounts with high balances can also place cash in Mercury’s high annual percentage yield (APY) treasury account.
Meanwhile, Novo’s biggest selling points include rapid access to Stripe funds, unlimited ATM rebates, and unlimited free invoicing. With the Novo Boost feature, funds earned from Stripe are released into your bank account within hours instead of days.
Here’s a summary of what each provider is best for:
- Mercury* is best for incorporated startups and tech companies wanting to customize their banking experience through API and access venture debt and investor networks
- Novo* is best for businesses needing rapid access to Stripe payments and fee-free ATM usage
For those that prefer a traditional bank, we recommend:
- Chase is best for its national availability, easy-to-waive monthly fees, and suite of additional banking products
*Providers are financial technology (fintech) platforms backed by and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)-insured through a supporting bank partnership (Evolve Bank & Trust for Mercury and Middlesex Federal Savings for Novo).
Mercury vs Novo Business Checking Quick Comparison
When To Use
Mercury vs Novo Business Checking Account
Both Mercury and Novo only offer one type of checking account. Neither charges monthly maintenance fees nor imposes transaction limits. Novo doesn’t support domestic wire transfers and processes international wire transfers through the online money transfer company Wise. Meanwhile, Mercury offers free domestic and international wire transfers.
Neither account allows direct cash deposits. However, Novo users can still deposit cash by purchasing money orders and depositing them through the app.
Mercury vs Novo Business Checking Account Overview
Incorporated startups and tech companies wanting to customize their banking experience through API and gain access to venture debt
Businesses needing rapid access to Stripe funds and fee-free ATM usage
Interest on Balances
Bank Network & ATMs
Free at Allpoint locations;
no fee for nonnetwork ATMs
All fees refunded at the end of the month
Accounting Software Integrations
QuickBooks and Xero
Business Software Integrations
Includes Shopify, Stripe, Zapier, Amazon, and PayPal
Includes Stripe, Square, PayPal, Wise, and Shopify
Up to 14
Up to 10
Neither account has an opening deposit requirement. Mercury doesn’t serve sole proprietorships or trusts, whereas Novo serves sole proprietorships, limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, general partnerships, and non-profit organizations.
If your Mercury checking account balance exceeds $500,000, you can qualify for Mercury Treasury. Mercury Treasury places your cash into mutual funds and other investment products, letting you earn competitive APY.
Additionally, Mercury gives you a $300 cash back bonus if you spend $2,000 on your debit or credit card within the first 90 days of account opening. Its credit card also earns 1.50% unlimited cash back.
Meanwhile, Novo helps you save by providing unlimited ATM reimbursements. This means that you can make unlimited free ATM transactions at any network of your choice.
One of Mercury’s most unique features is that it provides read and write API access. This allows users to customize their banking solutions according to their needs, such as automating mass payments and creating custom dashboards and sweep rules.
In our list of the best small business checking accounts, we named Novo the best provider for rapid access to business funds. Its Novo Boost feature speeds up cash flow by giving you access to funds earned from the payment processing platform Stripe within hours instead of days.
Novo also provides an invoicing tool that lets you create unlimited custom invoices for free. You can connect this tool to Stripe, Square, and PayPal, and accept payments via card, ACH, Venmo, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and more.
Although Mercury doesn’t have an invoice creation tool, it allows you to attach invoice files and send them to clients directly from the platform.
Both Mercury and Novo offer numerous business software integrations, including popular accounting software QuickBooks and Xero and business payment solutions PayPal, Square, Stripe, and Shopify. Mercury also integrates with Zapier and Amazon, while Novo integrates with Wise for wire transfers.
Novo doesn’t offer any lending products. Meanwhile, you’re eligible to apply for Mercury Venture Debt if you have raised venture capital within the past year. Mercury also offers the IO Mastercard, a corporate credit card that charges no annual fee and earns 1.50% cash back. You can learn more about this card’s fees and rewards through our Mercury IO Mastercard review.
Both Mercury and Novo offer discounts on popular business tools, including QuickBooks, Gusto, and HubSpot. However, Mercury offers a wider selection of deals compared to Novo.
Mercury users can create up to 14 subaccounts with their main account, whereas Novo users can make up to 10 reserve accounts through Novo Reserves.
The Mercury website has an investor database that lists seed and pre-seed investors with their contact details and lists of their preferred industries. You can access this database even if you don’t have an account.
Additionally, Mercury has a program called Mercury Raise, which gives business owners the chance to get introduced to top investors.
Novo doesn’t have resources that help startups look for investors.
Both Mercury and Novo protect your money using standard, bank-level encryption and provide FDIC insurance for checking deposits through their partner banks (Evolve Bank & Trust for Mercury and Middlesex Federal Savings for Novo). Mercury Treasury funds are protected through SIPC insurance.
Additionally, both use multifactor authentication (MFA) to protect your accounts from unauthorized access. Mercury includes automated fraud monitoring while Novo offers fraud alerts for suspicious activity.
Mercury vs Novo User Reviews
3.7 out of 5 stars (based on 500-plus reviews)
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1,800-plus reviews)
Users Don’t Like
On the review platform Trustpilot, Novo has a better rating than Mercury. It received a rating of 4 out of 5, based on 1,800-plus reviews. Mercury was rated 3.7, from 500-plus reviews.
They were praised for having an easy-to-navigate user interface (UI) and charging minimal fees. However, both were criticized for having slow customer service response times. Neither offers customer service via telephone, which many customers found inconvenient.
Most of Mercury’s negative feedback came from applicants who were unable to open accounts or past clients who had their accounts closed for allegedly unjust reasons. Unsuccessful applicants complained that the process was overly thorough and that they weren’t given any sufficient explanation for their rejection. Meanwhile, reviewers who had their accounts closed complained that they weren’t provided sufficient explanations for their closures.
Novo received a similar complaint regarding its check deposits. Several clients complained that Novo had rejected their check deposits without due reasoning. Novo requires a specific signature for its check deposits, which meant that customers with denied checks had difficulty depositing their checks elsewhere.
The choice between Mercury and Novo is a matter of scale. With features like treasury accounts, venture debt, and access to investor networks, Mercury is most suitable for tech startups wanting access to services that either help them scale or reward them for growth. If you don’t need Mercury’s startup-focused services, Novo is an excellent choice. Its unlimited ATM rebates help you save on fees, while Novo Boost reduces cash flow friction.
Once you’ve decided, see our guide on how to open a business bank account to find out what documents you need to prepare.