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Thursday, October 6th
Relay is a financial technology company serving as the interface for Evolve Bank & Trust which carries out the banking transactions of its customers. With Relay, you can transparently see operating expenses, cash flow, and accounts payable. You can open up to 20 business checking accounts and issue 50 Mastercard debit cards to your staff. There are no account minimums, overdraft fees, or withdrawal fees from ATMs. Accountants and bookkeepers can join a partner program to sell Relay services to business clients and keep up to 20% of the revenue.
For what it's worth, Evolve Bank & Trust was established in 1925 and has over $500 million in assets, which is quite a bit less than the larger banks. Still, with their longevity, that amount in assets may be suitable for earning the trust of small businesses.
It costs no money to open a Relay Standard account. However, for the advanced features of Relay Pro, including QuickBooks or Xero integration and bill pay, you'll pay $30 per business per month.
With Relay Standard and Relay Pro, there are no fees. The only exception is if you're on Relay Standard where sending domestic wires is a fee of $5 and receiving international wires is a fee of $10. Everything else, including monthly checking, minimum balance, overdraft, bounced checks, cash withdrawals at ATMs, sending and receiving ACH transfers, sending and depositing checks, and receiving domestic and international wires are all free of any fees for both plans.
Relay makes revenue when you use the Relay debit card and Mastercard shares part of the merchant fee with Relay.
Plenty Of Fee-less ATMs
Relay boasts 32,000 ATMs in the AllPoint ATM network. You can withdraw cash from any AllPoint ATM for free and use any ATM globally without a fee as well. However, individual owners of global ATMs will likely charge a fee.
Interest-bearing Checking Not Available
All Relay checking accounts are non-interest-bearing with no plans on the horizon to add interest to checking accounts.
Payment Platform Compatibility
Relay supports businesses that transact using online payment systems such as PayPal, Stripe, Plaid, Square, Venmo, Melio, Gusto, and Shopify. With Melio and Gusto, Relay doesn't support paychecks in paper check form, only electronically. Zelle is not supported.
Bookkeeping and Payroll Integration
Relay integrates with Xero, QuickBooks, Plaid, and Gusto. Xero and QuickBooks are both online bookkeeping and accounting systems. Plaid helps businesses have open banking connectivity across a toolkit of financial services providers. Gusto enables payroll with detailed data, shortfall alerts, and secure team member access.
For bookkeepers and accountants, Relay has a partner program that pays money for every new client brought onto the Relay banking platform. Accountants and bookkeepers can earn up to 20% of the monthly revenue depending on how many new clients they bring on board. And, there are additional features made available to accountants and bookkeepers that aren't available to regular business owners.
Ease of Transfers to Personal Accounts
Transferring funds between Relay accounts is done in the desktop or mobile app by choosing the Accounts tab and clicking the Move Money button. From there you can select the accounts to transfer funds between and then confirm an amount, start date, and frequency for recurring transfers. It will automatically detect when you are transferring more funds than are available and warn you.
Import and Pay Bills
With Relay, you can automatically import bills from QuickBooks Online or Xero, then set up approval workflows, and pay via ACH, wire transfers, or check. The status of the bills in Xero or in QuickBooks Online will be updated automatically once you initiate the payments in Relay.
Up to 20 Different Accounts
Relay offers up to 20 checking accounts for both Standard and Pro members. There is the exception of sole proprietorships only being allowed to open up to 10 checking accounts, so be sure to either incorporate your business or read the fine print about what you're allowed to do as a sole proprietor on the Relay banking platform.
Direct deposits, wires, or ACH transfers from an outside financial institution are limited to $1,000,000 per day. There are no limits on ACH transfers from Relay or linked bank accounts, deposits using an external debit or credit card from an outside source, Remote Deposit Capture (RDC), or internal transfers.
Withdrawals are subject to limits. ACH transfers (credit) to an external bank account initiated by Relay or linked bank accounts are limited to $100,000 per day. Wires are limited to $200,000 per day. Bill pay checks are limited to $40,000 per day. Internal transfers are limited to $1,000,000 per day.
Should your business wish to have limits on debit card transactions by individual cardholders (up to 50), Relay allows you to select a card and then choose limits on daily transactions or daily withdrawals. You'll only be able to set the spending limits of the card.
Customer Support Experiences
Relay is "not rated" by the Better Business Bureau. On other client feedback platforms, they have a great reputation for saving people time and energy and personalized customer service. People also like the separate checking accounts feature, ease of use, transparent messaging, easy sign-up, and automation.
For the folks who didn't like Relay, they had problems with frozen accounts due to forms not being uploaded or false positives with suspicious activity, no phone support, long times for checks to clear, and trouble opening accounts.
Business Banking with Plenty of Positive Feedback
The company does respond to the majority of negative reviews with offers to assist further when it looks like there are more steps to be taken. With the large ratio of positive to negative reviews, and the innovative structure of banking that includes onramps for business owners and accountants alike who are juggling finances of multiple businesses, we give Relay a hearty recommendation.
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!
Select any 2 Business Bank Accounts to compare them head to head
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