This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
Advertising itself as a “small business starter pack,” the financial services company Nearside offers solopreneurs and startups many useful business resources, such as checking accounts, loans, and business consultation services. Its business checking account stands out by charging no monthly fees while providing a free debit card that earns unlimited cash back at a rate of 2.2%. Its business bank account integrates with several business tools, including Shopify, Square, and QuickBooks.
Note: Nearside is a business financial technology platform backed by Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)-insured LendingClub Bank.
How Nearside Stacks Up With Its Competitors
*Providers are financial technology (fintech) platforms backed by and FDIC-insured through a supporting bank partnership (LendingClub Bank for Nearside, Evolve Bank and Trust for Relay, and Middlesex Federal Savings for Novo).
When Nearside Is a Good Fit
- You’re an early-stage startup: All of Nearside’s products and services, including its business checking products, are designed specifically for businesses that are just starting out. Through Sprout, one of its products, businesses can hand Nearside the burden of completing the complicated paperwork involved in creating a limited liability company (LLC).
- You’re a contractor, gig worker, or freelancer: Because the bank charges little to no fees for business checking services, its banking products are particularly suitable for solopreneurs who cannot generate the same level of income as larger businesses. Its business lending services are also accessible to individuals without strong credit histories.
- You rely on digital business tools: Nearside cardholders gain access to several discounts that let them save on important business tools and services. Additionally, Nearside digital banking removes the headache of manual data entry by integrating with some of the most widely used business tools, including Amazon, QuickBooks, and Square.
- You want to earn cash back on debit card purchases: Every purchase made using its debit card earns cash back automatically at a rate of 2.2%. These cash back rewards have no limit.
When Nearside Is Not a Good Fit
- You rely on in-person banking: Currently, Nearside lacks brick-and-mortar branches. Chase, which has 5,100 branches across the country, is a good choice for business owners who prefer physical banking.
- You work with cash regularly: Nearside doesn’t support cash deposits. A good alternative would be Bank of America, which lets businesses deposit up to $7,500 per month fee-free.
- You deal with wire transfers regularly: Nearside’s business checking doesn’t support wire transfers at this time. Currently, Relay has some of the most affordable wire transfer rates in the market. Incoming wire transfers are free, outgoing domestic wire transfers cost $5, and outgoing international wire transfers cost $10. Under the Relay Pro account, and incoming and outgoing wire transfers―both domestic and international―are free.
If you meet one or more of these scenarios, see our guide to the best small business checking accounts for additional recommendations.
Nearside Business Checking Overview
Required Opening Deposit
Required Balance Minimum
Automated Clearing House (ACH) Fees
Wire Transfer Fees
Cash Deposit Fees
$0 for Allpoint network ATMs; $1 for out-of-network ATMs
Nearside Business Checking Requirements
To open a business checking account with Nearside, you must create an account on the Nearside website. Provide the following:
- Identifying information, including your legal name, address, and tax identification number (TIN).
- Copies of your business license and other documents proving the good standing of your business entity.
- Your date of birth (only for individuals and sole proprietors).
Our guide to opening a business bank account comes with a free downloadable checklist that you can use to keep track of typical documents small business banks require.
Nearside Business Checking Features
Nearside’s standout business checking features include a competitive cash back debit card, free digital banking, business software integrations, cardholder perks, and beginner business resources.
Cash Back Debit Card
To help businesses save money on regular purchases, Nearside returns 2.2% cash back automatically for every charge incurred using its debit card. There’s no limit to what businesses can earn via cash back.
However, businesses cannot earn cash back when purchasing cash-like instruments, such as money orders and gift cards, or when engaging in transactions that don’t involve exchanging goods or services, like peer-to-peer payments and money transfers. To maximize business savings further, Nearside doesn’t charge fees for debit card replacement.
What’s more, because the Nearside cash back debit card is powered by Mastercard, cardholders enjoy Mastercard’s enhanced perks. These include Mastercard ID Theft Protection, MasterRental Insurance Coverage, and additional cash back rewards via the Mastercard Easy Savings program.
Since Nearside is an internet-only bank, free digital banking is a given. Aside from web banking, Nearside offers mobile banking through its iOS and Android mobile apps. Customers can use the app to view balances, conduct ACH transfers, send checks, make online purchases, and apply for business loans.
Business Software Integrations
Account holders can integrate their business checking accounts with several third-party platforms, including
- Accounting: Expensify, QuickBooks, and Xero
- E-Commerce: Amazon, Etsy, and Shopify
- Invoicing: Alto
- Payment processing: PayPal, Square, Stripe, and Venmo
- Payroll: Gusto
- Others: Airbnb and Lyft
Integration syncs banking data automatically to the target software, which reduces the load of manual data entry.
Business Tool Discounts
Opening a business checking account with Nearside gives business owners access to exclusive deals on popular online business products. A few Nearside perks include free trials for human resources (HR) tools, such as Buddy Punch and Gusto, credits on networking platforms like Yelp and Indeed, and discounts on accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero.
There’s no fee for ACH transfers, overdrafts, and debit card replacement. ATM withdrawals are also free for Allpoint ATM networks, though out-of-network ATM withdrawals cost $1 or more, depending on the network.
Other Nearside Business Products
Active Nearside customers who have at least three months’ worth of proven activity with the bank can request small business loans worth up to $10,000. Instead of granting loans based on a customer’s credit history, Nearside assesses loan worthiness using Nearside banking and debit card activity.
Loans under Nearside have no origination fees or prepayment penalties and applying for one won’t affect a customer’s credit score. Currently, loans are only available for businesses operating in Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Nearside’s business consultation resource, called Sprout, helps aspiring business owners form LLCs by completing relevant paperwork and other details. For a yearly fee of $39, Nearside will manage articles of incorporation and business and compliance monitoring. It can also take care of add-ons, such as federal employer identification numbers (FEINs), domain registration, custom business emails, and annual reports.
Forming an LLC with Nearside’s Sprout qualifies businesses automatically for their own business checking account.
Nearside Business Checking Pros & Cons
|Limited fees||No physical branches|
|Earns cashback on purchases||Not interest-earning|
|Highly rated mobile app||No support for cash deposits and wire transfers|
|Integrates with popular business tools||Limited banking products outside of business checking|
Because Nearside’s business checking account lets business owners save on fees and earn from their purchases, it’s a great banking option for those that are just starting out. Nearside’s digital banking services are also top-notch—business tool integrations and discounts help users streamline business operations. In addition, the highly rated Nearside Business Checking mobile app has received reviewer praise for being easy to use and having responsive customer service.
However, Nearside lacks a few key business products, namely savings accounts, money market accounts, and business certificates of deposit (CDs). Money parked in its business checking accounts cannot grow and, although purchases earn cash back, deposits don’t earn interest. Businesses that handle cash regularly may also struggle with Nearside, given that it lacks physical branches and support for cash deposits.
Alternatives to Nearside Business Checking
Although Nearside’s basic business checking products and beginner business resources are a great help for early-stage startups and solopreneurs, more experienced small business owners might need additional features. These may include interest-earning potential, savings accounts, physical branches, cash deposit support, wire transfer support, and team member account permissions.
Here are three options to consider:
- Bluevine: Nearside’s cash back features offer great earning potential, but some businesses may prefer to grow the money they don’t spend. Under Bluevine, business checking deposits can earn interest at a rate of 2.0%, one of the highest in the market.
- Chase: The American national bank Chase is one of the best banking options for business owners who require a full range of banking services. Its business banking services include checking, savings, loans, credit cards, commercial banking, and more.
- Relay: Through the fintech service Relay, business owners can create multiple checking accounts under a single account number. Because it lets account holders hand customizable account permissions to team members, users can transfer financial responsibilities to their employees. It also has some of the most affordable wire transfer fees in the market.
Nearside’s lack of business savings, credit cards, and cash deposit functionality may not suffice for the needs of more established businesses, but its business checking products remain a decent choice for businesses that are starting out.
From competitive cash back rates to business software integrations and discounts, it equips solopreneurs and small businesses with tools that give them an edge at an affordable price. Its additional business products, namely business consultation services and accessible business loans, can also help to get new businesses off the ground.