Lili Bank vs. Novo Bank: Choosing The Right One For You
- Lili Bank offers a user-friendly platform with features like tax optimization, expense categorization, and savings accounts with competitive interest rates.
- Novo Bank focuses on fee-free ATM withdrawals, invoicing software, and integrating with e-commerce sites and apps, making it suitable for businesses needing these services.
- Both banks have no monthly maintenance, minimum balance, or ACH fees. Novo charges a $27 overdraft fee, while Lili Pro offers a savings account with a 1.5% APY.
- Both banks are FDIC insured and offer multi-factor authentication for added security.
Why are you spending hours searching for banks that cater to small businesses and trying to find one that fits your exact business’s needs? We already did all the work for you! We know how hard it is to find a bank that isn’t in it for just the money. You want one that not only has features that you need, but fits your business to a T. A bank that is personable and is with you every step of the way as your business grows. You want features that are catered to your unique business processes, a user-friendly platform, great benefits that outshine the other bank choices, and a bank that can offer personable customer service.
We decided to create a blog series that compares two banks at a time. We dive deep into the features and components of each one, so that you can give the blog a quick read instead of searching through the dozens of choices yourself.
Quick Overview of Lili Bank vs. Novo Bank
|Availability||Available only in the U.S.||Available in the U.S.|
|Standout Features||Cash back rewards with a debit card. Tax optimizer that aids in tracking and preparation of taxes. Built-in accounting software. Able to virtually send invoices. No deposit required.||Send and track invoices. Instantly deposit checks with a photo. Integrates with over a dozen e-commerce sites and apps. Free paper checks.|
|Required Opening Deposit||$0||$50 to access all Novo's features|
|Required Balance Minimum||None||None|
|Transaction Limit Before Fees||None||None|
|Fees||Lili Pro has a monthly fee of $9.00. No ACH, minimum balances, overdraft, or ATM fees.||No ACH, minimum deposit, ATM, or transaction fees.|
|APY||1.50% on accompanied savings account under Pro Plan.||None|
|Security||FDIC Insured||FDIC Insured|
|Card||Lili Pro includes a Visa Business Debit Card with cashback rewards.Their free plan includes just a debit card.||Offers a debit card.|
|Mobile App||Yes, available for Android and Apple. Also available on desktop.||Yes, available for Android and Apple. Also available on desktop.|
Lili Bank Features
Signing up for Lili’s business checking doesn’t require a credit check, minimum deposit, hidden fees, or paperwork.
Lili’s core features center around business banking, accounting, tax optimizer, and invoicing software. Within each of these, there are a whole host of other features.
Within Lili’s business banking section, there are two plans available – a free one and a paid one. In the free Lili Basic plan, they note that there are no fees – no account fees, ACH bank transfer fees, or ATM fees at over 38,000 locations nationwide. The free plan also includes a Visa debit card, the ability to get paid 2 days early and choose expense categorization, and quarterly expense reports that are created for you. There is no minimum balance requirement for your account with Lili under this plan.
Lili has a pro plan aptly called “Lili Pro” for $9 a month that has all of the above amenities, but also includes many added features. Under the Pro plan, your savings account accrues a 1.5% APY (Annual Percentage Yield). The Visa debit card attached to the checking account comes with cashback rewards, and there is no fee for overdrafts up to $200.
The Lili Pro plan also features a Tax Optimizer that provides you with an automated, real-time write-off tracker, automatic tax savings, and a Schedule C generator.
The last feature of the Lili Pro plan is a suite of DIY accounting programs – invoicing software, receipt scan and save, and automatic business reports.
Novo Bank Features
Novo Bank is also a bank that is built with businesses in mind. They also offer business checking like Lili.
Novo’s business checking takes a similar no-fee approach: no minimum deposit, ACH, ATM, or transaction fees. Their checking account also has no monthly maintenance fee. Novo does not currently offer any APY on their savings or checking accounts.
Your business checking account through Novo comes with free paper checks mailed to you and you can also deposit checks via the app by taking a photo. Novo business checking comes with a debit card, but does not offer any cashback rewards.
Novo business checking connects easily to Google, Samsung, and Apple Pay. Your checking account also seamlessly integrates with a whole suite of apps and e-commerce software: Xero, Stripe, Wise, Zapier, Shopify, and Quickbooks. You can also send invoices straight from your account.
Within your Novo business checking account, you can also create Reserves. Reserves are similar to sub-accounts where you designate certain money to go. You can automatically allocate funds into Reserves for easy budgeting. You can create up to 10 Reserves.
General Comparison of Lili Bank vs. Novo Bank
Novo Bank and Lili Bank were both created with businesses at the forefront. They both offer business checking, while Lili’s Pro Plan also comes with a savings account.
Lili beats out Novo when it comes to your money earning you money. Within their Pro plan for business checking, they offer a free savings account that accrues 1.5% interest on whatever amount you have in there. Novo currently doesn’t offer any form of APY or interest-bearing accounts. Lili also offers a debit card with cash back rewards through their Pro plan. Novo’s debit card doesn’t come with any cash back rewards.
When it comes to fees, Lili and Novo are pretty comparable in that they both have virtually no fees: no ACH, ATM, monthly maintenance, transaction fees, and no minimum balance. Lili also doesn’t have any overdraft fees, while Novo charges a $27 overdraft fee. Both Lili and Novo have free business checking accounts, but Lili has a Lili Pro plan for $9 a month that gives you extra perks, such as the savings account with 1.5% APY and debit card with cash back rewards mentioned above.
As far as the extras go for each bank, they differ, but the perks of each doesn’t seem to outway the other – it just depends what your business’s needs are. Lili’s business checking comes with a Tax Optimizer that aids in tracking and preparation of taxes, built-in accounting software, and the ability to virtually send invoices. Novo’s business checking is accompanied by the ability to send and track invoices, create up to 10 account reserves (sub-accounts), and instantly deposit checks with a photo. Novo also integrates with over a dozen e-commerce sites and apps and provides you with free paper checks.
As stated above, both Novo Bank and Lili Bank offer free basic plans with similar features and perks. Lili offers a paid Pro plan, while Novo just has the basic free account. Lili’s Pro plan is $9 a month, and comes with extra perks, like interest-bearing accounts and debit cards.
As for fees for services, both Lili and Novo offer no minimum balance, no annual fees, and no ATM fees at participating ATMs across the United States. Lili has no overdraft fees, while Novo charges a $27 overdraft fee.
Availability by Region
Lily Bank and Novo Bank are both available across the entire United States. According to their website, Lili Bank is only available in the continental U.S. Currently, Novo can only open accounts for business owners that reside within the US. The business must also be registered in the US.
One of the top concerns a customer has when it comes to their banking is security. They want to know that not only is their account and money covered from potential hackers and the like, but also their personal information if the bank was to be breached somehow.
As far as both banks being insured, they are both covered by FDIC. Lili accounts are FDIC-insured by their partner bank, Choice Financial Group Inc. Novo accounts are also FDIC-insured through their partner, Middlesex federal savings.
Lili’s security measures include multi-factor authentication, manual turn-off of transactions within your account if you notice a charge you didn’t make, and are certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliant.
Novo also has multi-factor authentication and takes personal measures to help you remediate any unauthorized transaction on your account or if your account is hacked.
Both Novo and Lili are fully digital banking apps and are available for both Android and Apple products. They both are also compatible with desktop. You can complete any action mentioned above within the apps.
Lili has a 4.4 star rating for Androids, and a 4.7 rating for Apple. Novo has an Android rating of 4.5 and Apple rating of 4.8 stars.
Both banks offer debit cards, but each one has different benefits and perks. Lili offers a debit card with the Pro plan that offers cash back rewards. Their free basic plan includes a debit card, but with no cash back rewards. Their free plan comes with a basic debit card. Novo offers a debit card with their business checking, but it doesn’t come with any cash back rewards.
Currently, neither Novo nor Lili offer credit cards as part of their services.
A bank’s customer service can make or break acquiring a new customer. Potential customers want to know they aren’t going to be treated as a number or what their balance is in their checking account. They want to know they are going to be treated personably, be able to talk to a real person on the phone, and that the bank is on their side, and not just in it for the money.
With that said, at Lili, you can email or call Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 7 PM EST. You can also chat with their chat bot via the app 24/7 for basic questions.
Novo’s customer service is set-up a bit differently than the other banks we’ve researched. They offer a direct customer service phone line to their current customers. That number can be found on the back of your Novo debit card. Their support hours for current customers is Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm EST.
As for non-customers calling, currently Novo says this on their website: “because of increased demand for Novo accounts, we're unable to support phone calls for non-Novo users.” Non-customers can email them, and they will get back to them shortly. However, not having a direct phone line greatly inhibits those who aren’t as tech-savvy or who prefer to call and get questions answered quickly.
Why Choose Lili?
If you're seeking assistance with tax planning, Lili goes beyond by offering its Tax Optimizer feature, allowing you to automatically allocate a percentage of your income for taxes and simplifying tax preparation by pre-filling your annual 1040 Schedule C form using your banking data. Novo, while providing cash reserves for tax funds, doesn't offer the same level of tax planning support.
For streamlining bookkeeping processes, Lili's platform includes an expense categorization tool, enabling you to effortlessly categorize debit card transactions with a simple swipe. Additionally, through Tax Optimizer, you can generate quarterly and annual expense reports that provide a clear summary of your business expenditures. Novo lacks a comparable expense categorization tool.
If you're interested in earning interest on your account balances, upgrading to Lili Pro, Lili Smart, or Lili Premium grants you access to a savings account that offers an impressive 4.15% APY on balances up to $100,000. In contrast, Novo's business checking account does not yield interest.
For those looking to earn cash back on debit card purchases, Lili Pro offers a Premium Business Visa Debit Card with cash back rewards, whereas Novo's business debit card does not provide cash back on purchases.
Why Choose Novo?
If you're looking for faster access to payment funds, Novo Bank's Boost feature expedites cash flow by providing rapid access to Stripe payments within hours, with plans to extend this service to Shopify and PayPal in the future.
For fee-free ATM withdrawals, Novo Bank stands out by reimbursing all ATM fees by the end of the month, giving users the freedom to withdraw cash from any ATM of their choice. Conversely, Lili Bank users can access around 40,000 MoneyPass ATMs but may incur additional fees of $2.50 plus operator charges for out-of-network transactions.
If fee-free access to invoicing software is important to you, Novo Bank offers free access to its invoicing software, allowing you to accept various payment options, including PayPal, free ACH bank transfers, checks, and debit and credit card payments. In contrast, Lili Bank restricts its invoicing software to Lili Pro, Lili Smart, and Lili Premium users, who are subject to monthly fees ranging from $9 to $35.
For those seeking business discounts, Novo Bank's Perks program offers valuable discounts and credits on popular business tools such as Stripe, Google Cloud, Google Ads, Gusto, QuickBooks, and HubSpot.
Lili vs Novo Business Checking User Reviews
|Trustpilot Rating||4.7 (based on 2,400-plus reviews)||4.3 (based on 2,900-plus reviews)|
|Users Like||Easy-to-navigate platform, Hassle-free categorizing of expenses||Intuitive user experience (UX), Minimal fees|
|Users Dislike||Rejected applications without giving a clear reason, Suspension and closure of accounts||Slow response time from customer service, Closed and frozen accounts|
On Trustpilot, Novo boasts a solid 4.3 out of 5 stars based on approximately 2,900 reviews. Customers have praised its transparent fee structure, as well as the user-friendly nature of its mobile app. They appreciate the convenience of banking without the need for in-person visits and generally had positive online experiences. However, some did express frustration with the length of time it took to connect with customer service, primarily because communication is primarily conducted through email or the app.
In contrast, Lili has received an impressive rating of 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot, drawing from approximately 2,400 reviews. Users commend the platform for its ability to effectively categorize their business income and expenses. Many find the app's layout intuitive and easy to use. Nonetheless, a few clients expressed discontent regarding account closures without adequate explanations.
The bottom line is the right choice for you depends on the type and size of the business you have. If you are just starting out in a small business, need tax help, and want your money to work for you, Lili may be the choice for you. If you are looking for a bank that serves as a central space for different e-commerce apps and can send and track invoices for you, then Novo may be the way to go.
Interested in learning about other bank choices and how they compare with each other? These aren’t the only two banks we’ve compared. Learn more about other business banking services here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the primary differences between Lili Bank and Novo Bank?
Lili Bank and Novo Bank cater to different aspects of business banking. While both offer digital solutions, Lili focuses on features like tax optimization, expense categorization, and offers savings accounts with competitive interest rates. Novo, on the other hand, emphasizes fee-free ATM withdrawals, access to business discounts, and faster access to funds from payment channels.
Which bank is better for tax planning and financial organization?
Lili Bank is known for its robust tax planning features, including the Tax Optimizer, which allows automatic allocation of income for taxes and even pre-fills your annual 1040 Schedule C form. If tax planning is a priority, Lili may be the preferred choice.
Can I earn interest on my account balances with these banks?
Yes, but it depends on the plan you choose. Lili Bank offers interest-bearing accounts (Lili Pro, Lili Smart, and Lili Premium) with competitive APYs on balances up to $100,000. Novo Bank's business checking account, however, does not earn interest.
Do both banks offer cash back rewards on debit card purchases?
No, only Lili Bank provides a Premium Business Visa Debit Card with cash back rewards. Novo Bank's business debit card does not offer cash back on purchases.
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