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s a small business owner, you want a checking account with the tools, services, and affordable fees that will meet the financial needs of your business. Because big banks often prioritize consumer and corporate clients, their online banking and mobile apps may lack features essential to small business owners, and fees may be numerous and costly. It is important to carefully analyze your business’s financial requirements and perform your due diligence to ensure your bank account works for your business and your budget.
When choosing a business checking account, compare fees, minimum requirements, features, and integrations. The following provides an overview and comparison of the features and fees from Novo and Wells Fargo business checking options.
Overview of Novo
Novo Platform, Inc. (“Novo”) is a powerfully simple® checking account and banking platform built for small businesses and self-employed individuals. Novo enables small businesses to get paid faster, automate budgeting, and seamlessly connect with other business tools. Novo also offers:
- No monthly fees, no minimums, and all ATM fees reimbursed
- Free and unlimited invoicing from directly within your Novo account
- Integrations with other business tools, including QuickBooks, Xero, Shopify, eBay, PayPal, Stripe, Square, and more
- Human-powered customer service
- Thousands of dollars in perks
- Novo Reserves, a feature that allows you to allocate funds into different budgets for upcoming expenses
- A fully digital experience and application that takes less than 10 minutes
Novo is optimal for businesses that primarily make money online or via card payments, so it might not be the best fit for businesses that frequently deal with cash. Additionally, due to regulatory requirements, Novo does not open accounts for cryptocurrencies, privately owned ATMs, cannabis companies, gambling businesses, crowdfunding businesses, money services businesses, and adult entertainment businesses.
Note: Novo is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A.; Member FDIC.
Overview of Wells Fargo business checking solutions
Wells Fargo is one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S. It offers three different checking solutions: Initiate Business Checking®, Navigate Business Checking®, and Optimize Business Checking®.
Initiate Business Checking®
Initiate Business Checking® is designed for newer business owners and provides standard business banking features, including:
- Online and mobile banking
- A range of payment services
- Fee-free access to more than 12,000 Wells Fargo ATMs
- 24/7 fraud monitoring
- Zero-liability protection against unauthorized debit card transactions
- Customer support by phone
Navigate Business Checking®
Growing businesses with higher account balances may find the Navigate fee structure affordable. This account provides all of the same features as Initiate Business Checking, plus:
- Interest-bearing checking
- Fee-free cashier's checks, money orders, and stop payments
- Fee-free incoming domestic and international U.S. and foreign currency wire transfers
Optimize Business Checking®
Optimize Business Checking® is designed for businesses that have high transaction volumes and need sophisticated banking features. Some of the premium features include:
- Advanced digital solutions
- Fee-free services, including stop payments, cashier's checks, money orders, and incoming domestic and international wire transfers in U.S. and foreign
- Earnings allowance good toward other eligible service fees
Novo vs. Wells Fargo Business
This chart provides a snapshot of Novo and Wells Fargo Business account fees, basic features, and inclusions.
Tips for choosing a checking account for your small business
Not sure how to choose the right financial institution for your small business? Consider the following factors:
- Fees: Business checking accounts can come with several fees, including monthly maintenance, transaction, ATM, service fees, and more.
- Account minimums: You can avoid many fees by meeting account minimums, but some account requirements may be steep.
- Online banking: Most financial institutions now offer online banking but may have limited functionality, so research online banking features and limitations.
- Credit: You may eventually need a business loan or credit card, so choosing an account with an institution that provides these products can be helpful.
- Integrations: If you use multiple financial software solutions to run your business, you may want a checking account that integrates them.
- Available features: Consider features not typically included with checking accounts, such as invoicing and payroll services.
- Location: If your business requires account services only available at a physical branch, choose a bank with convenient locations.
- Customer service: Look into customer service accessibility and how easy it may be to get help.
How to switch business checking accounts
Looking to switch from Wells Fargo to Novo or another business checking solution? Here’s how:
- Open a new account at the bank of your choice.
- Update direct deposits connected to your old account.
- Transfer any automatic transactions to your new account.
- Withdraw the money from your old account.
- Download or print any important documents, and take pictures of important checks.
- Notify all clients and vendors.
- Update your accounting software to reflect your new bank account information.
- Close your old account.
- Keep an eye on your new account—ensure all transactions are processing correctly and there are no unexpected charges.
For more detailed instructions, check out Novo's guide to switching business banks.
Sign up for a Novo account
Interested in switching to Novo? Apply today! To get started, we’ll need some information from you—this checklist covers what you’ll need to complete your Novo application.
Business banking FAQs
Q: How long does it take to get a Novo bank account?
A: It typically takes less than 10 minutes to apply for a Novo account. The majority of applications are approved within 24 hours. Once your application is approved, you'll receive your debit card in the mail within 7-10 business days.
Q: What business documents do I need to open a Novo account?
A: At a minimum, you’ll need a copy of your identification to open a Novo account. Depending on your business structure, you may also be required to provide your articles of incorporation and a signed operating agreement.
Q: What do I need to open a Wells Fargo business checking account?
A: You need documentation that your business is registered with a government agency or other applicable certified documentation, such as a Fictitious Name Certificate or business license. You'll also need to authorize Wells Fargo to perform a credit check.
Q: How do I close a Wells Fargo business account?
A: Visit a Wells Fargo branch or call 1-800-225-5935.
Q: How can I avoid business checking fees at Wells Fargo?
A: Initiate and Navigate accountholders can avoid monthly service fees by meeting minimum account requirements. However, all Optimize accounts have a $75 monthly maintenance fee.
Q: What is the minimum deposit to open a Wells Fargo business checking account?
A: You can open any Wells Fargo business account with a minimum deposit of $25.
Q: How do I contact Wells Fargo?
A: For general business account questions, call 1-800-225-5935, Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST. Existing account holders can get online banking and bill pay assistance any time by calling 1-800-956-4442.
Q: How do I contact Novo?
A: To contact Novo, reach out through the Novo app or email support at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call the customer support phone number on the back of your Novo debit card.
Novo Platform Inc. strives to provide accurate information but cannot guarantee that this content is correct, complete, or up-to-date. This page is for informational purposes only and is not financial or legal advice nor an endorsement of any third-party products or services. All products and services are presented without warranty. Novo Platform Inc. does not provide any financial or legal advice, and you should consult your own financial, legal, or tax advisors.
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