This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
Watertown Savings Bank is a regional bank with branches in Watertown, Adams, Sackets Harbor, Clayton, Chaumont, and Alexandria Bay. With unlimited fee-free transactions, no monthly fee, and no minimum balance requirements, its business checking account is a great option for companies in need of affordable checking options. Each account comes with a free business debit card, online banking, mobile banking, and bill pay. The bank also offers savings accounts, money market accounts, lending products, and increased Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insurance via Insured Cash Sweep (ICS) and Certificate of Deposit (CD) Account Registry Service (CDARS) programs.
How Watertown Savings Bank Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Minimum Opening Deposit
Free at Watertown Savings Bank ATMs; $1 for nonnetwork usage*
Carefree Business Checking
Free at Community Bank ATMs; $2 for nonnetwork usage*
Key Smart Checking
Free at KeyBank and Allpoint ATMs; $3 for nonnetwork usage*
*Third-party operator fees may apply.
When Watertown Savings Bank Is a Good Fit
- You want to bank without a monthly fee: It doesn’t charge a monthly fee for its business checking account. As a bonus, it also doesn’t have fees for savings accounts and money market accounts.
- You want unlimited fee-free transactions: Its business checking account has no limits or fees for day-to-day banking transactions.
- You want to expand your FDIC insurance: It offers ICS and CDARS, programs that let businesses spread funds exceeding $250,000 into multiple FDIC-insured accounts.
When Watertown Savings Bank Is Not a Good Fit
- You want nationwide physical branches: Watertown Savings Bank operates exclusively in the state of New York. A provider with greater geographic coverage is Chase, which has 4,700 branches in 48 states.
- You want to earn interest on checking deposits: The Watertown Savings Bank Commercial Checking account doesn’t earn interest. In our list of the best small business checking accounts, we named Bluevine as the best provider for high-yield APY. It earns qualified accounts interest at a rate of 1.50% on balances up to $100,000.
- You need access to business credit cards: Watertown Savings Bank doesn’t offer business credit cards. A better option would be Capital One, which has a large selection of credit cards for small businesses.
If your small business meets one or more of these scenarios, check out our guide to the best small business checking accounts for additional recommendations.
Watertown Savings Bank Business Checking Overview
Watertown Savings Bank Business Checking Requirements
To open a business checking account with Watertown Savings Bank, you’re required to visit a physical banking center. Prior to opening an account, you’ll be asked to provide the following information:
- Physical address
- Date of birth
- Social security number or EIN
- Contact information
You may also be asked to provide additional business documents. For a checklist of documents banks typically require, refer to our guide on how to open a business bank account.
Watertown Savings Bank Business Checking Features
Watertown Savings Bank Debit Card
Your Watertown Savings Bank Commercial Checking account comes with its own free business debit or ATM card. Each transaction you make will be listed automatically on your monthly checking statement. The Watertown Savings Bank Debit Card can be connected to Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay for contactless purchases.
Clients get free digital banking. Through it, you can see transactions, transfer funds, check statements, view check images, and track spending. Online banking also comes with free bill pay services, which lets you pay bills, make person-to-person payments and expedited payments, and gift checks. Voice command bill payments through Amazon Alexa are also available.
Digital banking also comes with a budget assistance feature called Money Tracker, which uses transaction data to track spending and provide a visual picture of financial health. Account holders can use Money Tracker to guide them toward savings goals.
The Watertown Savings Bank app, available on iOS and Android, has the same features as digital banking. It offers mobile check deposit, which lets account holders deposit money by uploading snapshots of physical checks to the app. Currently, the app has no reviews or ratings on either App Store or Google Play.
Other Watertown Savings Bank Business Products
The bank has savings accounts and money market accounts. Both earn interest at a rate of 0.05% on balances of $100 and above. The minimum opening deposit is $100, and there’s no monthly fee.
Watertown Savings Bank offers the following lending products:
- Small business loans
- SBA Loans
- Construction loans
- Commercial mortgages
- Business lines of credit
- Letters of credit
- Equipment financing
It focuses on bringing specialized services for local businesses. Collaborations with economic development agencies in the Jefferson County area help Watertown Savings Bank point its customers to relevant tax relief programs or special financing opportunities.
To help businesses expand FDIC insurance coverage on funds greater than $250,000, the bank’s ICS breaks balances down into units less than $250,000 and spreads each unit across multiple FDIC-insured financial institutions.
Although funds are spread out, ICS account holders only need to make deposits and withdrawals through Watertown Savings Bank. They’ll only receive their statements from Watertown Savings Bank.
Businesses with over $250,000 in funds can also expand their FDIC insurance coverage by placing their investment in Watertown Savings Bank’s CDARS, which spreads funds in amounts less than $250,000 across CDs in multiple FDIC-insured banks. Although funds grow wealth in multiple CDs, CDARS account holders will only receive their monthly statements from Watertown Savings Bank.
Watertown Savings Bank Business Checking Pros & Cons
|No monthly fee or minimum balance requirements||Limited physical branch locations|
|Unlimited fee-free transactions||No business credit cards|
|Free budgeting tools||Steep wire transfer fees|
Although Watertown Savings Bank only offers one type of business checking account, the product is comprehensive enough to meet the needs of the average small business. With a low opening deposit requirement, no monthly fee, no minimum balance requirements, and unlimited fee-free transactions, the account is affordable to open and maintain. Its free budgeting tool, Money Tracker, helps business owners stay on top of their financial goals.
However, Watertown Savings Bank has a few weaknesses. As a regional bank, it has a limited number of physical bank branches. It doesn’t offer business credit cards and charges steep fees for outgoing domestic and international wire transfers.
Alternatives To Watertown Savings Bank Business Checking
Although Watertown Savings Bank offers an affordable business checking product, it may not be the best choice for your business. If you’re content with banking online, you can take advantage of the unique banking solutions and cost-saving features digital-exclusive banks offer. Here are three alternatives to consider:
- Novo* is best for fee-free ATM usage. It reimburses all ATM fees at the end of each month, allowing you to make ATM transactions at any location of your choice.
- Lili* is best for tax preparation. In a feature called the Tax Optimizer, Lili transfers a set percentage of your deposits automatically into a dedicated tax bucket, helping you set aside money for tax season. It also uses your banking data to help you fill out your Schedule C form.
- Grasshopper is best for earning cash back on debit card purchases. If you meet its minimum balance requirement of $10,000, you qualify to earn 1% cash back on your Grasshopper debit card purchases.
*Providers are financial technology (fintech) platforms backed and FDIC-insured by a supporting bank partnership (Middlesex Federal Savings for Novo and Choice Financial Group for Lili)
The Watertown Savings Bank Commercial Checking account is a terrific business checking option for Jefferson County-based companies wanting to save on monthly service fees and transaction fees. However, because of its limited service area, it may not be a good fit for businesses operating beyond the towns of Watertown, Adams, Sackets Harbor, Clayton, Chaumont, and Alexandria Bay.