Relay Business Checking Review 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
If you need a fee-free online banking solution that can help you keep track of transactions, organize business expenses, and distribute financial responsibilities, Relay Financial is an excellent choice. Its basic checking account, Relay Standard, lets you open up to 20 subaccounts, create up to 50 debit cards, and assign money management permissions to team members and advisors. Upgrading to the premium service Relay Pro gives you access to fee-free wire transfers and streamlined accounts payable.
What We Like
- No monthly fee
- No minimum balance
- Can create multiple checking accounts and debit cards
- No cash deposits
- 0% interest
- No lending services
- Up to 20 free checking accounts
- Up to 50 free debit cards, delivered within 8 to 10 business days
- Customizable spending permissions for team members and advisors
- Integration with QuickBooks Online and Xero
- Supports PayPal, Venmo, Square, and Stripe
- 24/7 customer support
How Relay Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Minimum Balance Requirement
Free at Allpoint ATM networks
Refunds all ATM fees
2.00% for qualified balances of $250k or less
Free at MoneyPass networks; $2.50 for nonnetwork use**
*Providers are financial technology (fintech) platforms backed by and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)-insured through a supporting bank partnership (Evolve Bank & Trust for Relay, and Middlesex Federal Savings for Novo, and Coastal Community Bank for Bluevine).
**Third-party operator fees may also apply.
When Relay Is a Good Fit
- You want a bank that can help you budget: Relay lets users create multiple subaccounts under a single checking account. Creating separate accounts for different expense types, such as taxes, payroll, and operating expenses, helps you keep track of how much money you have for different expenses. You can also transfer funds between subaccounts fee-free.
- You want to delegate money management responsibilities to employees and advisors: Through Relay’s account permissions feature, you can give employees access to specific checking accounts and debit cards. You can customize access levels and set spending limits to prevent the misappropriation of funds.
- You want a bank with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements: Relay’s basic account, called Relay Standard, doesn’t charge monthly fees. Also, neither Relay Standard nor Relay Pro has any opening deposit or minimum balance requirements.
- You send and receive wire transfers regularly: Relay’s wire transfer fees are some of the most affordable in the market. Incoming wire transfers (domestic and international) are free, while outgoing wire transfers cost $5 (domestic) and $10 (international).
- You don’t work with cash and can bank exclusively online: Though Relay lacks physical branches and cash deposit features, it compensates by providing free digital banking services, including online banking and mobile banking through iOS and Android.
When Relay Is Not a Good Fit
- You work with cash regularly Because Relay has no physical branches, it doesn’t accommodate cash deposits. A better alternative would be Bank of America, which lets basic accounts deposit up to $7,500 fee-free.
- You want to earn interest: Neither of Relay’s checking accounts bears interest. If you want to earn interest on checking balances, consider Bluevine, which offers qualified accounts an APY of 2.00% on balances up to and including $250,000.
- You want a full suite of banking services: So far, business checking is the only service Relay offers. If you need an online bank with a full suite of banking products, look into First Internet Bank, which offers savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and lending products.
- Your business belongs to an industry Relay doesn’t support: Relay doesn’t serve privately-owned ATMs, money services, cannabis vendors, illegal gambling sites, and businesses providing or exchanging cryptocurrencies. If you need a banking solution with more flexibility, consider Credit Union 1, which offers banking products designed specifically for cannabis vendors.
If your business falls under one of these categories, check out our list of the best small business checking accounts for additional alternatives.
Relay Business Checking Overview
Required Opening Deposit
Required Balance Minimum
Transaction Limit Before Fees
Automated Clearing House (ACH) Fees
Domestic Wire Transfer Fees
$5 for outgoing, $0 for incoming
International Wire Transfer Fees
$10 for outgoing, $0 for incoming
Up to 50 free debit cards, delivered within 8–10 business days
Mailed for free
Accounting Software Integrations
QuickBooks Online and Xero
Business Payment Integrations
PayPal, Stripe, Square, and more
Gusto, Plaid, and Envestnet Yodlee
24/7 support via phone (1-888-205-9304) or email
Other Products Available
Relay Business Checking Requirements
You can open a business bank account with Relay through the Relay website. Upon account opening, you’ll be asked to provide the following information:
- Phone number
- Chosen password
All beneficial owners, including any stakeholder whose business share exceeds 25%, or employees with significant responsibility in managing legal entity customers, such as chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer (COO), chief financial officer (CFO), or company treasurer, will need to provide the following:
- Any valid government ID photo
- Social Security number (for United States citizens) or Passport Number (for non-US citizens)
- Personal address
- Position or title
- Personal and business phone numbers
- Email address
Document requirements for Relay Business Checking differ depending on the type of business entity you run. Click on the tabs below to see the requirements per business type.
- Employee identification number (EIN) or Social Security number
- Doing business as (DBA) certificate, if applicable
- EIN verification letter
- Articles of organization or certificate of formation
- EIN verification letter
- Company bylaws
- Partner registration form
- EIN verification letter
- Company bylaws
- Articles of incorporation
After meeting Relay’s business checking account requirements, all beneficial owners must verify their identities through video authorization. To complete the process, each beneficial owner will need to record a front-facing video of themselves saying, “I authorize account opening at Relay Financial.”
You can then make an initial deposit via ACH or wire transfer. Once an account has been funded, you can add money through mobile check deposits.
Relay Business Checking Features
Relay’s integrated accounting and banking tools streamline financial management at a relatively low cost. Here are some of its key features.
Multiple Checking Accounts
With Relay, you can create up to 20 individual subaccounts under a single account name. Each account is FDIC-insured and comes with its own account number. Because Relay lets users instantly transfer money between checking accounts, you can use Relay’s multiaccount system to create dedicated checking accounts for every major business expense, such as taxes, payroll, and operating costs.
Customizable Debit Cards
Once you open an account, Relay will mail a physical debit card to your business address automatically. Afterward, you may issue up to 50 virtual or physical Mastercard debit cards. Relay will activate virtual cards instantly and ship virtual cards to your business address (or preferred US address) within eight to 10 days of issuing. Users must tie each debit card to a specific checking account.
Any location that accepts credit cards will accept your Relay debit card. Additionally, more than 32,000 Allpoint ATMs accept Relay debit cards for fee-free cash withdrawals.
Team Member Account Permissions
You can give team members access to specific subaccounts and debit cards. As the main user, you can monitor card activity and set daily spending and ATM withdrawal limits.
Because you have complete authority over all account permissions, team members with debit cards can contribute to financial tasks, such as paying bills or handling bookkeeping, without having too much control over your business money.
Accounting Software Integrations
Relay accounts integrate seamlessly with QuickBooks Online and Xero. Instead of inputting financial information manually, businesses can use Relay to import transaction data directly into their chosen accounting software. As such, small business owners can update their bank feeds with ease, painting a clearer picture of business cash flow.
Upgrading to Relay Pro
Relay Pro costs $30 per business per month and offers the following benefits:
- Fee-free domestic and international wire transfers
- Same-day ACH
- Batch bill payment
- Automatic bill import from QuickBooks Online and Xero
- Ability to set multilevel approval rules for bill payments
- Low-cost transfers: Relay Standard users can send and receive ACH transfers and mobile checks fee-free. Incoming wires are also fee-free, but outgoing domestic wires cost $5, and outgoing international wires cost $10.
- Mobile app: Though Relay is mainly a web-based software, users can also conduct banking through Relay’s mobile app, which is available on both iOS and Android.
- Detailed transaction history: Each entry will include thorough transaction details, including how much you paid, which company received your money, which debit card you paid with, and which checking account the transaction pulled funds from.
- 24/7 support: Relay’s customer experience team can be reached via email seven days a week. They strive to respond to email inquiries within the same day. However, Relay’s phone support team is only available Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m.
Relay Business Checking Pros & Cons
|Ability to open multiple checking accounts and debit cards with secure permissions||No lending services or savings products|
|Integrates with QuickBooks, Xero, Hubdoc, and Dext||Noninterest-earning|
|No transaction limits or minimum balance requirements||No physical branches or support for cash deposits|
Relay business checking is the best choice for businesses needing multiple checking accounts. With detailed transaction data, accounting software integration, and the ability to separate funds into dedicated accounts and cards, it helps companies simplify money management procedures. However, because Relay focuses exclusively on business checking, the platform lacks many basic banking features, including lending services, interest-bearing accounts, and support for cash deposits.
Relay User Reviews
|Responsive customer service||Requests too much personal information|
|Intuitive platform||Accounts are locked with no explanation provided|
|Allows multiple accounts||Slow check clearing times|
Relay has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. Many users said that they found the ability to create multiple accounts, its key feature, useful for organizing expenses. They also found the platform intuitive and easy to navigate. Majority praised Relay for offering helpful and responsive customer service and said that the customer service team usually responds to concerns within 24 hours or sooner.
However, a major complaint many users raised is that the provider requests too much personal information from its applicants. Others claimed that it had locked their accounts without providing an explanation, and some complained that it takes six to seven business days to clear check deposits, which can be inconvenient for cash flow.
Alternatives To Relay Business Checking
Although the ability to create multiple subaccounts and debit cards might be useful for businesses with large teams, not all businesses need Relay’s complex financial management tools. Here are a few alternative fee-free online business banking solutions worth considering:
- Novo* is best for unlimited ATM usage. It refunds all ATM fees at the end of each month, giving you the freedom to make fee-free ATM transactions at any network.
- Oxygen* is best for cashback on debit card purchases. By using its debit card on purchases with partner retailers, you can earn up to 5% cashback.
- Lili* is best for tax preparation. Through its Tax Optimizer feature, you can set up automatic transfers that funnel a customizable percentage of your monthly income into a dedicated tax bucket. Additionally, Lili uses your banking data to fill up your Schedule C form automatically.
*Providers are fintech platforms backed by and FDIC-insured through a supporting bank partnership (Middlesex Federal Savings for Novo, The Bancorp Bank for Oxygen, and Choice Financial Group, Inc. for Lili).
Having integrated bookkeeping and banking solutions makes Relay a great choice for businesses wanting to simplify cash management processes. Additionally, the ability to create multiple subaccounts and debit cards makes Relay a good fit for small business owners looking to distribute financial responsibilities to their team members. However, if you need access to additional banking products, such as savings accounts and lending products, you may have to look elsewhere.