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Novo Bank 💰

Head West Team
Updated May 1, 2024
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Our Take:

Founded in 2015, Novo is one of the leading neobanks in the space and is targeted at startups and online businesses. While they aren’t technically a bank (they partner with Middlesex bank), they offer everything you expect from a modern bank (deposits, wires, ACH etc.) In the pros column, Novo is a digital-first bank that has no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, no transaction fees and no incoming wire fees. They also integrate with third-parties like Stripe, Ebay, and Etsy better than most traditional banks. Where they trail some banking rivals is in their perks: they don’t offer any interest on deposits or cash back / points on debit card spend. Novo trails our recommended bank Mercury in its integration with QuickBooks which some users have had issues with, and its lack of a recurring bill payment feature and phone support. Also Novo doesn’t support international outbound wires and you will instead have to send money internationally through ACH transfers. In addition, Novo’s FDIC insurance limits are lower than Mercury’s at $250k. We think Novo is a solid option for online business banking but not our recommended tool.

Read our full guide on: Banking for Startups 💰

Best for: Small ($0-$10M), Medium ($10-50M revenue) size companies.


Novo is a solid banking option for businesses looking to avoid fees and get access to integrations with other platfroms.

Novo Overview:

Novo was founded in 2015 by Michael Rangel and Tyler McIntyre. The idea came about when Rangel, who had worked at Fairholme Capital Management, was considering pursuing an MBA at Columbia University. Around that time, he and his longtime friend McIntyre were discussing the idea of launching a digital-first checking account for small businesses. They started building Novo which launched as an invite only platform in 2016. Novo is a fintech company, not a traditional bank, that aims to provide a customizable financial platform centered around the checking account for small business owners. Since their launch, the company has raised over $170M in equity financing.

Novo Features:

Easy sign up process

We love the straightforward signup process with Novo. It takes less than 10-minutes to apply for a Novo bank account. Novo does not run your credit as part of the application process and applying for a Novo bank account will not affect your credit score. 

In order to qualify for a Novo account you must have:

  • A copy of your signed personal identification (ID or Passport)
  • A mobile phone number with a major US carrier
  • A US Social Security number
  • A US mailing address
  • And be at least 18 years old

LLCs will also need:

  • A copy of the Operating Agreement
  • A copy of the Articles of Incorporation

Both of these can be provided by Bizee (Incfile), our recommended business filing service.


One of the standout features of Novo is their invoicing product. Rather than using a third-party accounting software to create invoices (like Wave), Novo users can create invoices directly from their banking platform. This will save freelancers and others time and effort.

No fees

Unlike other banks, Novo does not charge a monthly fee to use their business checking account. They also don’t have minimum balance requirements and don’t charge transaction fees or incoming wire fees. They also don’t have fees on incoming or outgoing ACH transfers.

Novo also allows you to send physical checks for free (not from a checkbook; the checks are mailed using their digital banking platform). They also offer free mobile check deposits.

They also don’t charge fees on ATM withdrawals. They will refund third-party fees up to $7 per month on ATM fees charged by other banks and ATM owners. This allows you to use virtually any ATM globally without incurring ATM fees. A great perk.

Novo Integrations

Unlike traditional banks, Novo integrates well with third-parties like Stripe, Square, Gusto, Ebay, and Etsy. Unfortunately, since Novo began offering a financing product, they no longer have a direct integration with Shopify. Some customers also complained of the integration with QuickBooks being buggy.

What we don’t like about Novo 👎:

Cash back / points

Novo does not offer cash back or points on spend on the Novo debit card. We recommend the Capital One credit card in addition to a Novo bank account to take advantage of these bonuses (read our full guide on the best credit card for startups).

Interest on deposits

Novo does not offer any interest on deposits held in Novo savings or checking accounts. They also don’t offer a treasury product like some competitors like Mercury that allows you to earn interest on your deposits. If maximizing interest on your deposits is a priority, we don’t recommend Novo. 

Nit picks

Novo will charge fees for insufficient funds and uncollected funds returned ($27). Unlike Mercury, Novo does not support international outbound wires and you will instead have to send money internationally through ACH transfers. Some users also complained of the Novo integration with QuickBooks. Novo also lacks a recurring bill payment feature and phone support.

Novo pricing 💰:

Novo 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 0% interest rate on savings accounts, and they reinvest the deposits in assets that generate yield and pocket the interest. This is how most banks make money, but others will also charge fees for their services (like money wires). We love that Novo doesn’t charge those fees.

Novo Alternatives: 

Online Only




Axos Business  

Brick & Mortar

Chase Business

Novo FAQs: 

Is Novo a real bank?

Novo is not technically a bank. They are a fintech company that partners with Middlesex Federal Savings to offer banking services. 

Is Novo bank reliable?

Yes - Novo bank has over 200,000 customers and a 4.5 star rating on TrustPilot. They also have the standard $250k in FDIC insurance which guarantees your deposits up to $250k.

What bank owns Novo bank?

Novo is an independent financial services company. They are not owned by another institution, but they do partner with another bank (Middlesex Federal Savings) to offer banking services.

How does Novo bank work?

Novo provides banking services through a partnership with another bank (Middlesex Federal Savings). They are essentially a technology layer on top of core banking services that are provided by another bank.

Can I deposit cash with Novo?

No, unfortunately, Novo does not support cash deposits as they have no physical branches and are an online-only bank.

What is the minimum deposit for Novo bank?

There is no minimum deposit with Novo, however, a $50 deposit is required to unlock all of the features of Novo.

How long does it take for Novo to deposit money?

ACH deposits into Novo will take between 1-7 business days before they are available in the Novo account.

ACH Payments into Novo (ACH payments from third-parties) will take 0-3 business days to reflect in your account balance.

Checks deposited into Novo will take 1-4 business days before they are reflected in your account balance.

How does Novo bank make money?

Novo makes money in two primary ways: they earn interest from float (the money that you deposit with them) and on interchange fees (the fees that merchants pay when they process transactions on your Novo debit card).

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