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For ecommerce brands, Mercury is our recommended banking platform. With its fast and hassle-free account opening, lack of monthly fees, and robust FDIC insurance protection, Mercury simplifies banking so you can focus on building your online business. Integrations with top accounting, payments, and ecommerce platforms provide seamless connectivity. Generous API access empowers you to customize workflows and reporting. While interest rates on savings are minimal, the high-yield Treasury product rewards larger balances. For US-based startups looking to separate business finances from personal with a digital-first business bank account, Mercury checks all the boxes. The speed, freedom, and functionality Mercury provides explains why it has become the top choice for companies graduating from Y Combinator. If you want banking that "just works" Mercury is our top pick.
Founded by Immad Akhund in 2019, Mercury aims to cut the red tape and clunky rules and processes at legacy banks. Its Founder was frustrated with the existing banking options when running his startup Heyzap (acquired in 2016 for $45M). They’ve built a digital-first bank that caters to the needs of startups and small businesses. While they aren’t technically a bank (they partner with established banks), Mercury has everything that an eCommerce startup needs to run effectively. It’s quick and easy to apply. It wont nickel and dime you on fees - its core banking products are all free. Its dashboards are clean and modern. And it has great integrations with our recommended accounting tools. With Mercury, “things just work” as one founder said. It’s become the go-to bank for startups. Over 40% of the most recent YC batch bank with Mercury.
Why we like Mercury 👍:
Fast and easy application & approval process
Mercury’s application process is entirely online and very easy. They advertise a 10-minute application process. It took us about 30 minutes, but we’re slow, and had to hunt down our articles of incorporation. Applications are typically approved in 1-2 business days (it took our business 2 days for approval). Getting your bank account up and running should be easy, and it is with Mercury. Get your bank account quickly and focus on the other things that will actually make your business better - product and marketing.
Unlike other banks, Mercury won’t nickel and dime you with fees. The core product - it’s online banking platform - has no monthly fees and no transaction fees. This is huge. Additionally, there is no minimum opening deposit requirement and no minimum balance requirement. You can withdraw cash through the Allpoint ATM network, and there are no fees for out-of-network ATMs (although they won't reimburse fees those ATMs might charge). Additionally, Mercury has no overdraft fees, and it doesn’t charge to send or receive checks. It also offers free domestic and international wire transfers (although a 1% currency exchange fee will be applied to non-USD transfers). Free international transfers make it easy to pay overseas merchants and will save you a ton of money.
Banking Nuts & Bolts
Mercury is great at the nuts and bolts of banking - sending and receiving money, tracking transactions, monitoring spending etc. Its dashboard is clean and easy to use, and they have a banking app (that actually works) for when you’re away from your computer. Adding users is straightforward and you can add as many as you need. Paying vendors and employees can be done through ACH, wires, checks, and foreign exchange (all without fees). It offers two access levels to permission users: one for full access (sending and receiving payments), and one for bookkeepers with view only access to transaction histories and statements. They also offer credit and debit cards that are easy to issue to employees with set spending limits, and they also make it easy to create virtual debit and credit cards. The Mercury Credit card offers 1.5% cash back, but we recommend using the Capital One Spark Cash Plus card offering 2% cash back (read our guide on business credit cards).
High FDIC insurance amounts
With the collapse of Silicon Valley bank, FDIC insurance should be top of mind for all startups including those in eCommerce. While Mercury isn’t a G-SIB, and it isn’t even technically a bank, it uses a cash sweep program with partner banks to distribute deposits among its partner banks, so that deposits of up to $5M are FDIC insured. This is the highest FDIC insurance amount of any bank we reviewed. Typical FDIC insurance tops out at $250k. Sleep easier at night knowing that your cash is secured by FDIC insurance.
Mercury has great integrations with our recommended accounting tools (Xero and Quickbooks) that make the bank reconciliation process easier. In addition to their accounting integrations, Mercury has seamless integrations with eCommerce payment processors like Shopify, Amazon, Paypal, Stripe, and Venmo. It also has a NetSuite integration for those that use it. It’s also easy to integrate with external bank accounts with Plaid. In addition, Mercury has an API with read-write access so that you can integrate with more tools and easily create internal dashboards and automations.
While Mercury offers low interest rates on savings accounts (see ‘what we don’t like’ below), Mercury offers a Treasury product with much higher interest rates. The Treasury Product works by putting your idle cash in short term U.S. government backed securities. For amounts from $500k to $2M you will earn 4.97% Net Yield as of this writing. The yield is net of a 0.5% fee Mercury charges for the treasury product (one of the only fees they charge). You need to have at least $500,000 to qualify for the treasury product, so the bar is not low, but for those that qualify, it’s a great feature.
What we don’t like about Mercury 👎:
Low savings interest rate
Mercury’s savings account offers a measly 0.001% APR on your cash in the savings account. If you have over $500k, you can use their treasury product and earn much better interest, but for those below that you are stuck at the low rate. However, if you have less than $500k in your business bank account, we don’t think it's worth it to try to optimize for more basis points of savings account interest. The national average for savings account interest is only 0.37% according to the FDIC.
Some customers have complained of the limited live support with Mercury. Since Mercury is an online-first company you won't have a local bank branch that you can stop in to chat with a banker. To get help, Mercury offers live phone support from 6a to 5:30p PST from Monday to Friday. We’ve also found their email support very responsive, but if you’re looking for a personal connection with your business bank, you might want to look elsewhere. The personal relationship with your local banker might help in securing business financing.
Mercury pricing 💰:
Mercury is free to use. They don’t charge any monthly or annual fees or transaction fees. They make money by earning interest on your deposits. As we mention in the ‘what we don’t like’ section, they have a measly 0.001% interest rate on savings accounts, and they reinvest the deposits in assets that yield more than that and pocket the spread. This is how most banks make money, but others will also charge fees for their services (like money wires). We love that Mercury doesn’t charge those fees.
Mercury provides banking services targeted at startups. This includes business checking and savings accounts, debit/credit cards, wires, ACH transfers, check writing, and other core banking services.
Founded: Mercury was founded in 2017 by Immad Akhund. They are headquartered in San Francisco, California.
Funding: Mercury has raised $152.2M from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Coatue, SV Angel and 500 Startups.
Banking Model: Mercury is not technically a bank. They partner with established banks to provide FDIC-insured accounts and banking services.
Target Customers: Mercury is designed for tech startups and ecommerce businesses. Over 40% of recent Y Combinator startups bank with Mercury.
Fees: Mercury does not charge monthly fees, minimum balance fees, overdraft fees, or fees for transactions. Their basic banking is free.
Interest Rates: Regular savings accounts earn 0.001% APR interest. Their Treasury product offers up to 4.97% yield for balances above $500K.
FDIC Insurance: Mercury provides up to $5 million in FDIC insurance on deposits through their network of partner banks.
Integrations: Mercury integrates with accounting software, payment processors, and other tools needed by ecommerce businesses.
Funding Required: Mercury requires a US registered business entity like an LLC. Sole proprietorships cannot open an account.
Availability: Mercury operates entirely online with no physical branches. Phone and email support is available weekdays.
What are the advantages to using Mercury?
Fast and easy application & approval process - Mercury makes it quick and simple to get your business bank account set up. Applications can be completed online in as little as 10 minutes and are typically approved within 12 business days.
No fees - Mercury does not charge monthly fees, minimum balance fees, transaction fees, or fees for things like sending wires, receiving wires, writing checks etc. This can save you a lot of money compared to traditional banks.
High FDIC insurance - Mercury provides up to $5 million in FDIC insurance on deposits through its cash sweep program across partner banks. This is much higher than the typical $250k insurance at other banks.
Integrations - Mercury offers seamless integrations with accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks as well as ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Amazon, Stripe. This makes financial management and reporting easier.
API access - Mercury provides API access so you can build custom integrations and automations with other software beyond what they offer out of the box.
High yield Treasury product - For balances above $500k, Mercury offers a Treasury product that provides significantly higher interest yield (4.97% as of writing) than traditional savings accounts.
What are the disadvantages to using Mercury?
Low interest rates on savings - Mercury only offers 0.001% APR interest on regular savings accounts. This is very low compared to some competitors. However, they offer better rates through their Treasury product for balances above $500k.
Limited customer support - Mercury primarily offers customer support over email and phone during business hours. For those wanting more personalized service, Mercury may not be the best option.
No physical bank branches - As an online-only bank, Mercury does not have physical branches you can visit. This may be inconvenient for those wanting in-person banking.
Can't deposit cash - Without physical branches, Mercury does not accept cash deposits. You need to deposit remotely via check, wire, etc.
Treasury account has a fee - The high-yield Treasury product charges a 0.5% annual fee on the balances, so it's not entirely fee-free.
Is Mercury a real bank?
Mercury is not technically a bank. However, they are very legitimate and partner with established banks to provide FDIC-insured accounts and banking services.
Is Mercury bank account safe?
Yes, Mercury provides up to $5 million in FDIC insurance on deposits through its cash sweep program across partner banks. This is much higher than the typical $250k insurance at other banks.
What bank does Mercury use?
Mercury works with partner banks Evolve Bank and Choice Financial Group to provide banking services.
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