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Thursday, October 6th
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.
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).
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.
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 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.
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:
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!
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