Mercury vs Novo Business Checking: Which is Better?

Key Takeaways

  1. Both Mercury and Novo provide online checking accounts for startups and small businesses.
  2. Mercury offers business funding, savings accounts, a rewards credit card, and service discounts.
  3. Novo features invoicing tools, Reserve accounts, app integrations, and service discounts.
  4. Choose Mercury for minimal fees, startup funding, and interest-earning accounts.
  5. Opt for Novo for extensive invoicing, app integrations, and beneficial service discounts.
Mercury vs Novo Business Checking: Which is Better?

Mercury and Novo are two options for companies that want to open an online checking account. This review comparing Mercury vs. Novo business checking will help you decide which is the right service for you.

Both offer the same basic product: an online checking account. However, they come with additional features that might appeal to different businesses.

Mercury vs Novo Business Checking Accounts Overview

Before you dive in and look at the details of each bank, it’s important to know a bit about the companies you might be working with.

Novo was founded in 2013 in New York and focuses primarily on serving small and medium-sized companies.

Mercury is the newer company, founded in 2019 in San Francisco. It describes itself as banking for the next generation of startups and offers many services that could appeal to startups, such as help with funding and growing a company.

Mercury Services and Features Novo Services and Features
Business checking Business checking
Send check, wire, and ACH payments online Virtual business debit card
Virtual and physical debit cards Invoicing tools
Rewards credit card Set aside money with Reserve accounts
Business savings account Integrates with many business apps, like Stripe and Quickbooks
Discounts on business services Bill payment
Business financing Discounts on business services

Mercury vs Novo Business Checking Accounts Comparison

When you’re comparing Mercury and Novo, you should be thinking about your company’s banking needs. Think about which checking account will meet your needs most effectively.

However, you should also think about the other services that Mercury and Novo offer. If both checking accounts fit the bill, the additional services that Mercury and Novo will be the tiebreaker that helps you make your decision.

Mercury Novo
Best for Incorporated startups and tech companies wanting to customize their banking experience through API and gain access to venture debt Companies that want an almost completely fee-free experience or that can benefit from app integrations and discounts
Required Opening Deposit None None
Required Balance Minimum None None
Transaction Limit Before Fees No limit No limit
ACH Fees None None
Monthly fee None None
Requirements to avoid monthly fee N/A N/A
Other fees 1% for currency exchange $27 insufficient funds fee, $27 uncollected funds returned fee
Other features Business credit card, Business savings account free with business checking Reserve accounts

Both companies offer relatively similar checking accounts. Neither charges a monthly fee, which means you don’t have to worry about your balance slowly dwindling over time. Novo does have a minimum opening deposit, but at $50 it should be relatively easy for any company to meet.

Because both accounts are so similar, the main things you’ll have to consider are the additional services each bank offers.

Mercury Additional Features

Mercury offers many additional tools alongside its business checking.

Business funding

Mercury bills itself as a bank for startups, so it’s not surprising that it helps companies with funding. Through Mercury Capital, you can get help with funding options such as:

  • Venture debt
  • Daily payouts from eCommerce
  • Revenue-based financing
  • R&D tax credits
  • Equity

Business savings

Every Mercury business checking account comes with an associated savings account. The account has no fees and pays a strong rate of interest, letting your business grow its nest egg over time.

Rewards credit card

While Mercury gives every business a debit card they can use to make purchases, it also offers a business credit card with no fees and a simple 1.5% cash back on every purchase.

Qualifying for the card is simple but might not be easy for every business. All you need to do is maintain a $50,000 balance in your account. There’s no credit check or personal guarantee.


Mercury gives business owners discounts on a wide variety of services, which can be a huge savings for new companies. Some of the available discounts include:

  • $25,000 in Amazon Web Services credit
  • 30% off 6 months of QuickBooks
  • Advertising credits for SnapChat, AdQuick, and Decibel
  • 25% off Slack
  • 3 free months of Gusto payroll services

Novo Additional Features

Novo also gives its customers a few useful features outside of its checking account.

Invoicing tools

Novo offers invoicing tools built into your checking account. You can easily send invoices and request payments through apps like Stripe, Square, or PayPal, or use ACH payments to save on fees.

Reserve Accounts

Novo lets business owners add up to five Reserve accounts to help with budgeting. These work like separate accounts you can use to set aside cash for things like taxes or payroll. Money moves between Reserve accounts instantly and you can set up rules to automate your savings.

Business app integrations

Novo integrates with popular business tools to make running your company as easy as possible. Some of the integrations available include:

  • Stripe
  • Square
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Quickbooks
  • Slack
  • Etsy
  • eBay


Like Mercury, Novo offers discounts on popular business services and apps, including:

  • Stripe
  • Google Cloud
  • Google Ads
  • Usto
  • Hubspot
  • Quickbooks

Novo claims that the total savings available exceed $5,000.

Why Choose Mercury Business Checking?

There are many reasons to choose Mercury Business checking for your business.

You want an almost entirely fee-free experience

One of the big draws of Mercury is that its checking account is almost 100% fee-free. In fact, the only fee the bank charges is a 1% fee for foreign currency conversion.

If you do all of your business in US dollars, that means you’ll never have to pay a fee when you use Mercury. Even things like wire transfers are completely free at the bank.

You’re a startup that needs funding

Mercury is a startup-focused bank and it offers a lot of funding options for growing companies. If you’re hoping to turn your startup into a larger company and want help with funding in the form of loans or equity sales, Mercury is equipped to help you.

You want to earn interest on your business’s cash

Mercury’s business checking account comes with a savings account that offers a solid interest rate. You can store your company’s extra cash in the account to help it grow over time. This contrasts with Novo’s Reserve accounts, which don’t offer interest.

You want access to lending products

Mercury provides venture debt term loans and credit cards, while Novo does not offer any lending products.

You make wire transfers regularly

Currently, Novo does not support outgoing domestic wire transfers and relies on Wise for international wire transfers. In contrast, Mercury offers free incoming and outgoing domestic wire transfers, as well as free incoming and outgoing international wire transfers, as long as they go through Mercury's system.

Why Choose Novo Business Checking?

  • Award-winning free business checking account with no monthly fees
  • Refunds all ATM fees worldwide
  • See More Highlights
  • Trusted by over 200,000 businesses
  • Apply online in under 10 minutes
  • Set aside funds for taxes, payroll and other expenses using Novo Reserves
  • Create and send professional invoices in seconds for free
Year Founded Pricing BBB Rating APY
2016 No monthly fees A- 0%

Novo also has plenty of arguments in its factor. You might want to go with the bank if any of these apply to you.

You want to easily send invoices

Every business needs to be able to send invoices and get paid for its goods and services. Novo is a great bank to use if you send a lot of invoices.

With Novo’s built-in invoicing tools you can quickly send and track invoices. You can also accept payment through many apps, such as Stripe or PayPal, or even request ACH payments.

You use many business apps

Novo integrates with dozens of popular business applications from Slack to WooCommerce to Stripe. If you’re running a high-tech business with lots of apps, this can make it easy to track everything through one dashboard.

You use services where Novo offers a discount

Novo offers a discount on many services, including services that it integrates with. It claims that companies can save more than $5,000 on these services, making that a big draw if you use the apps it has partnered with.

You want to save on ATM fees

Mercury users are restricted to using Allpoint ATM networks and are subject to third-party operator fees for out-of-network ATM transactions. On the other hand, Novo users enjoy the benefit of having all ATM fees reimbursed, allowing them to make fee-free transactions at any ATM network they prefer.

You are a sole proprietor or trust

Mercury is unable to open accounts for sole proprietors or trusts, while Novo accepts accounts for a wide range of business entity types.

Mercury vs Novo User Reviews

Mercury Novo
Trustpilot Rating 3.7 (based on 600-plus reviews) 4.3 (based on 2,900-plus reviews)
Users Like Clean interface, Minimal fees Intuitive user experience (UX), Minimal fees
Users Dislike Slow response time from customer service, Lack of transparency when rejecting applicants, Unjust account closures Slow response time from customer service, Rejects check deposits without explanation

On Trustpilot, Novo boasts a higher rating than Mercury, with a score of 4.3 out of 5 based on over 2,900 reviews. In contrast, Mercury received a rating of 3.7 from around 600 reviews.

Both Novo and Mercury earned praise for their user-friendly interfaces and minimal fee structures. However, a common point of criticism for both was their slow response times when it came to customer service. Notably, neither bank offers customer service via telephone, which was inconvenient for many customers.

Mercury faced negative feedback, particularly from applicants who struggled to open accounts and past clients whose accounts were unexpectedly closed without clear explanations. Unsuccessful applicants found the account opening process overly rigorous and lacked adequate explanations for their rejections. Those who had their accounts closed also expressed frustration at the lack of sufficient closure explanations.

Novo encountered similar complaints related to check deposits. Some customers reported that Novo rejected their check deposits without providing clear reasons. Novo's specific signature requirement for check deposits posed challenges for customers whose checks were denied, as they had difficulty depositing them elsewhere.

Bottom Line

Both Mercury and Novo are strong options if you’re in need of a business checking account. If you’re a fast-growing startup, Mercury will likely be the better fit while companies with a lot of business apps and tools will prefer Novo for its integrations.

However, before you settle on one or the other, make sure to do your due diligence and compare all your options to find the best bank for your business.

Compare Novo and Mercury with Other Business Banks:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Novo bank reliable?

Novo bank is highly reliable and easy to work with. If you do run into issues, Novo has phone support available from 9 AM to 6 PM on weekdays.

Is Mercury online bank safe?

Yes, Mercury is a safe bank to work with. It has partnered with Evolve Bank & Trust to offer FDIC insurance to all of its accounts.

About The Author

Author Avatar

TJ Porter

Freelance Personal Finance Writer

TJ Porter is a Boston-based freelance writer who specializes in bank accounts, credit, and credit cards. He’s written for Bankrate, Credit Karma, MoneyCrashers, DollarSprout and My Bank Tracker, among others. In his spare time, TJ enjoys cooking, soccer, reading, and video games. You can connect with him on his website,

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