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. Both are digital-exclusive banking solutions with no monthly maintenance fees and transaction fees and limits. They also integrate seamlessly with a wide range of popular business software.
Mercury is a particularly strong choice for tech startups because it gives customers read and write application programming interface (API) access, allowing them to personalize their banking experience further with custom dashboards, automated payments, and sweep rules. Meanwhile, one of Novo’s biggest selling points is that it refunds all ATM fees at the end of each month, which means that businesses can make ATM transactions at any location fee-free.
Here’s a summary of what each provider is best for:
- Mercury*: Best for incorporated startups and tech companies wanting to customize their banking experience through API and access venture debt and investor networks
- Novo*: Best for businesses looking for a free, digital-only checking account that reimburses all ATM fees
*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 Each
When To Use an Alternative
- You want to earn interest on checking balances: Neither Mercury nor Novo offers interest-drawing checking accounts. Bluevine lets qualified accounts earn interest at a rate of 2.0% on balances up to $100,000.
- You make cash deposits frequently: Mercury doesn’t support cash deposits while Novo only allows cash deposits through money orders. In our list of the best small business checking accounts, the top provider for affordable cash deposits is Bank of America, which allows up to $7,500 worth of free cash deposits within a single statement cycle.
- You need a wider selection of lending products: Novo doesn’t offer any lending products, whereas Mercury only offers venture debt, which is only available to startups that have raised venture capital within one year of applying for a loan. The digital-only bank First Internet Bank offers lines of credit, term loans, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, and real estate financing.
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 wanting a free, digital-only checking account that reimburses all ATM fees
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
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
Open an Account
Novo has an opening deposit requirement of $50. After account opening, it doesn’t impose any minimum balance requirements. Mercury, on the other hand, has neither opening deposit requirements nor minimum balance requirements.
They 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.
One of Mercury’s most unique features is that it provides read and write API access, allowing users to customize their banking solutions according to their needs. Through API access, users can automate mass payments and create custom dashboards and sweep rules. Mercury also gives users access to venture debt, a type of term loan offered specifically to startups that have recently raised venture capital.
The biggest advantage Novo holds over Mercury is that it refunds all ATM fees at the end of each month. By providing ATM fee reimbursements, Novo allows customers to make fee-free transactions at any ATM Network of their choice. Mercury users can only make fee-free transactions at Allpoint machines and have to pay third-party-operator fees for out-of-network transactions.
Both institutions also offer reserve accounts that can be earmarked for specific expense categories, such as taxes, payroll, inventory, and others. 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.
Mercury vs Novo Business Checking Account Costs
Criteria to Waive Monthly Fee
Cash Deposit Fee
There are no monthly maintenance fees, transaction limits, or transaction fees for either Mercury or Novo. Mercury doesn’t allow cash deposits, and under Novo, it’s only possible to deposit cash through the app and by purchasing money orders.
Both Mercury and Novo offer excellent digital-only banking solutions. Tech businesses looking to customize their banking experience should choose Mercury for the platform’s read and write API access. Startups looking for flexible financing opportunities would also benefit from its venture debt term loans. However, businesses that want to make frequent ATM withdrawals and have access to a wide selection of networks would be better served by Novo.