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Novel Review

Thursday, October 6th

2022 Business Bank Account Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Novel Review 5 Star Rating


5 Star Rating
  • Business Checking
  • Smart Card
  • Global payroll and compliance
  • Invoicing
  • ACH, domestic, and international wire
  • Digital check deposit
  • Bill pay
  • Team members
  • No overdraft charges
  • Support via email, phone, and chat
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Novel is an alternative bank for foreign entrepreneurs who would like to bank with U.S. currency or over 130 other currencies. Deposits are FDIC insured and you can have virtual and physical credit cards, integration with payment systems, and no deposit or transaction minimums. There are just two plans to choose from: Standard and Plus. Standard is for startups that don't need many transactions and features. The Plus plan incrementally adds more features.


There is a $0.20 fee on the Standard Plan for digital check deposits, but on the Plus Plan, digital check deposits are free. Wire transfers are free for all plans except the Standard Plan, which charges $5 per outgoing wire transfer. Use of the Team Member feature on the Standard Plan costs $5 per month per team member after the first free team member and is limited to 4 authorized users. On the Plus Plan, all team members are free and unlimited. Fees for business credit cards on the Standard Plan are $6.00 per card, but you get 3 free virtual cards. For the Plus Plan, virtual credit cards are free and unlimited. You get 1 free physical card with Plus, but you pay $6.00 per additional physical card.


Novel's ATMs are through the AllPoint network which has over 55,000 participating ATMs. Novel doesn't charge ATM fees, but Allpoint might charge you a fee.

Checking Accounts

Novel's checking accounts do not bear interest, so you won't be able to grow your money from month to month. Any funds that you want to store away for a rainy day can be kept in a Novel savings account. Novel doesn't have account deposit minimums or transaction minimums.

You can receive deposits to Novel business checking via Stripe, Amazon, PayPal, Square, Shopify, Airbnb, Venmo, Toast, Uber, and Lyft. Payouts can be made in over 130 currencies.

Accounting and Accountants

Novel has minimal invoicing capabilities with more on the way soon, including bulk invoicing. That probably explains why it doesn't have integration with QuickBooks yet. If you need QuickBooks to communicate with your bank to get transaction information, you'll want to skip using Novel. Novel also doesn't have a bill pay function nor the ability to create sub-accounts for budgeting purposes.

If you'd like your accountant to have access to your Novel account, you can add them as a team member (up to four for Standard Plan, unlimited for Plus Plan).

Best Business Bank Accounts

Transfers of Money

Novel's mode of transfer is via domestic ACH transfer, domestic wire transfer, or international wire transfer. Domestic ACH transfers happen in 3 business days. Domestic wire transfers arrive in 1 business day. International wire transfers take 1-3 business days.

Limits on ATM Transactions

Novel's ATM withdrawals are limited to $1,000 per day and ATM deposits are limited to $2,000 per day. ACH debits are limited to $10,000 per day and ACH credits are limited to $50,000 per day.

Customer Relationship

Because Novel is more of an international banking service, it does not have a listing on the Better Business Bureau website. Looking at customer sentiment in other places, we see that it has a large number of positive reviews. People who like Novel say they're happy with how it gives them more than other banks, knowing their finances are safe, it's easy to use, great for expatriates from the U.S., and has a simple and easy-to-use user interface.

People who did not have a good experience with Novel said they couldn't find a customer support number or branch location, never got a call back after leaving a voicemail or lost money during large transactions.

Best choice for customers anywhere in the world

Given the relatively minimal number of complaints about Novel and their flexibility for serving non-U.S.-based customers as well as U.S.-based customers in an increasingly global economy, we happily recommend Novel for your business banking.

The 10 Best Business Bank Accounts

Where Should You Open a Business Bank Account?

The answer to this question depends on a lot of factors. How mature is your business in terms of growth and revenue? How do your customers pay you? How do you pay your vendors? Do you expect to earn interest on the money you hold in your checking account? Can you afford to pay fees on transactions?

Access to cashflow is a big part of running your business. Without cashflow, you can't operate. So being able to deposit or withdraw money quickly, with the least amount of hassle, will partly determine whether you're successful in your entrepreneurial endeavors. For example, if you can't make payroll happen in the timeframe your employees expect, they will complain or even quit. Or, if you can't pay your bills on time, you'll be assessed fees and fines that put a dent in your bottom line.

The Best Business Bank Accounts Compare Business Bank Accounts Compare Business Bank Account Reviews What are the best Business Bank Accounts Best Business Bank Account Reviews

Business Bank Account FAQ

A business bank account has more features than a typical personal banking account. For example, business accounts might have overdraft protection. They also might have fewer fees and interest-bearing options to help your money grow while stored in the account. A growing number of business checking accounts have integrations with popular eCommerce, payment, and accounting systems.
That depends on the bank. Larger banks with greater longevity typically have minimum daily balance requirements. Smaller banks that are trying to gain a foothold in the banking industry will entice new customers by offering a zero minimum balance requirement. While you'll never be able to completely avoid minimum daily balance requirements at all banks, the trend with newer banks is towards eliminating them in favor of the banking customer.
You can usually find an interactive, searchable map of ATMs near you on each bank's website. Most banks have an association with networks of ATM providers. MoneyPass®, AllPoint, and Green Dot Network® are examples of such networks. By pooling ATM resources in those networks, banks avoid having to build and operate their own ATMs, thus saving themselves and their customers on fees they would otherwise have to charge and pay, respectively. Some banks cover fees even for non-network ATMs.
There are banks that require up to $1,000 as an initial deposit to open a bank account. There are other banks that have lower initial deposit amounts. There are a few that offer a zero initial deposit to open an account and no monthly fees. Yet others offer zero initial deposit but charge a monthly maintenance or subscription fee.
Software and services like QuickBooks, Shopify, PayPal, Stripe, Square, Venmo, and others have proliferated since the beginning of eCommerce in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In the past 10 years, banks have increased their support for third-party financial software. Today it is more likely than not that you can connect your bank account to QuickBooks to import and reconcile bank statements and to direct funds from PayPal, Venmo, and Stripe directly to your checking or savings account. Newer and more innovative banks are beginning to provide integration with cryptocurrencies and the blockchain.
If your bank does not provide the ability to add users to your account, you're stuck sending a copy of your bank statement to your accountant. Or you can share your login credentials with your accountant, which is not recommended. Another option that some banks provide is adding team members. Unfortunately, most of the time those team members have the same ability to move funds that you do, so you're advised to keep a sharp eye on your balances. A few banks have introduced features that allow you to restrict users to specific roles and abilities, or to limit how much money they can handle.
A debit card looks like a credit card and is used similarly to a credit card at a point of sale terminal at a store or via an online eCommerce checkout form. But instead of borrowing money, it allows you to spend money directly from your business bank account. It's important to be careful with a debit card because you don't want to withdraw more money than you have in the account. You also don't want to use a debit card to spend money faster than you bring money in.
ACH stands for Automated Clearing House. Banks belong to networks of money transfer computer systems built for the purpose of coordinating electronic payments and automating money transfers. Typically the money going through the ACH system is handled in batches, which is why it can take between 1-7 days for money to arrive in the destination account. Whenever you transfer money from your bank account to another vendor (say, your accountant or a supplier), you're sending it through the Automated Clearing House system.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

When looking for a business bank account, you will want as many convenience options as you can find. You want a bank that works for you and improves your financial success, not one that makes you feel like you are working for the bank and that they keep taking your money.

We've broken down this review of business banking into several key criteria to compare between options. Not every bank has every option available, but these are among the most common we've found:

  • Fees. What fees will you be charged for using ATMs, depositing or withdrawing cash, sending wire transfers either domestically or internationally, or from bank to bank? Fees are too often overlooked by consumers of banking services but those fees can quickly add up. It's important to read all the fine print and make calculations as to how much money, on average, you need to have in your account to avoid fees.
  • ATMs. For some businesses, having easy access to no-fee ATMs is critical, especially if you're buying goods or paying employees or vendors regularly in paper money. Being able to deposit cash is another task some businesses cannot do without.
  • Integration with accounting or accountants. Banks that provide connections to popular accounting software or payment systems have an edge over banks that don't. The same goes for banks that allow you to add team members such as accountants, bookkeepers, or other similar roles to your bank accounts. Delegating financial tasks can create a measurable difference in productivity.
  • Ease of transfers to personal accounts. Transferring money between financial institutions, to other businesses, or even to yourself should not be a chore. And it should happen as fast as possible. Some banks take up to a week or more to complete funds transfers. The best banks complete them either instantly or within 1-3 business days.
  • Bill pay. If you don't pay your bills, you can't stay in business. Having to remember to pay them on a specific schedule can be tedious and is prone to error. Instead of putting payment schedules on a calendar, expect your bank to make it easy to pay your bills online on a recurring basis. That way you can focus on what your business was made for: serving customers.
  • Ability to have multiple accounts under one. Savvy financial planners advise individuals and businesses to set aside cash reserves for taxes, bills, payroll, expenses, and other purposes that are easy to forget but essential to financial success. There is a growing number of banks who recognize the value of this and provide subaccounts or "envelopes" for storing money for a rainy day.
  • Minimum deposit required. Startups are usually low on money at the beginning. They can't afford to have too much money exit their cash flow. So having to deposit a minimum amount to start a business checking account can be a problem. Fortunately, there are banks that don't require a minimum deposit to start an account.
  • FDIC insured. To avoid another Great Depression-era financial disaster, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) ensures that if there's ever a massive failure of the banking system, you'll be able to obtain at least $250,000 of what was lost. Every bank we reviewed is FDIC insured. Very few banks are not, if any.
  • Limits to the number of monthly transactions. Let's say your business has a really successful quarter, but as a result the number and amounts of banking transactions begins to exceed your bank's imposed limits. Do you really want to be blocked or pay a lot of money to your bank for the privilege of being their customer? In our review, we included banks with low or no monthly transaction limits or costs.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the most popular providers of business bank accounts available today. We hope this information helps you choose a bank that will make it easy and affordable to manage your money!

The Best Reviews of Business Bank Accounts