Mercury 2024 Review
Mercury is a fintech company that offers banking for startups through Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust. Accounts come with a checking account, savings account, debit cards, ACH payments, check payments, and domestic and international wire transfers. Users can also take advantage of several advanced tools and features, including a mobile app, API access, numerous integrations, and other perks for startups.
- Virtual and physical debit cards
- Free USD international wires
- No hidden or monthly fees
- FDIC-insured up to $5 million per accountholder through Mercury’s partner banks and use of sweep networks
- Opening an account only takes 10 minutes
- Cash deposits are not supported
- Certain advanced features require a fee
- User permission options are somewhat limited
- Companies formed outside the U.S. can’t use international wire features
- Customer support options are limited
How Does Mercury Business Checking Work?
Mercury offers its services to most U.S. businesses and international users. That said, Mercury business checking accounts are not available to money services businesses or those involved with adult entertainment, cannabis, or internet gambling. The company is also tailored to tech companies, including startups and small to medium-sized enterprises, meaning it may not be a good option for some businesses—like those that handle physical cash. Mercury business checking accounts are designed to cater to the needs of tech-based businesses, but they may be suitable for a wide range of companies.
By collaborating with Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust, Mercury provides its clients with FDIC-insured bank accounts, ensuring their deposits are spread across up to 20 banks. This unique feature enables users to benefit from up to $5 million in FDIC insurance without requiring them to manage multiple bank accounts.
The Mercury account is entirely free to use. It has no minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees. Mercury also offers savings accounts and its Treasury product through Mercury Advisory, LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser, and Apex Clearing Corp, a FINRA-regulated broker-dealer. This lets Mercury clients invest in mutual funds managed by Morgan Stanley and Vanguard.
What Do You Need for a Mercury Business Account?
Applying for a Mercury account takes 10 minutes or less. To open a Mercury business checking account, you’ll need a U.S. company with the following items:
- EIN/TIN: A valid Employer Identification Number or Tax Identification Number for your business is necessary. This may include Form CP575, Form 147c, or a completed SS-4
- Formation documentation: You’ll need to provide formation documentation from your Secretary of State where the business is registered.
- Proof of identification: Valid identification is required for all business owners. This could be a U.S. government-issued ID or an international passport.
- Principal place of business: A U.S. or international physical address for your primary place of business is required. This could be a residential address but cannot be a registered agent, PO box, or UPS box address.
- Business operations in the U.S.: To qualify for a Mercury account, users must have existing or planned operations in the U.S.
Benefits of a Mercury Business Checking Account
Mercury business checking offers robust features tailored to the unique financial needs of startups and tech companies. This makes Mercury a compelling choice for innovative businesses and those that don’t handle physical cash. These are some of the main reasons to consider a Mercury business checking account:
Mercury is a free platform that offers free checking with no minimum balances, overdraft fees, monthly fees, or account opening fees. The fintech offers unlimited free domestic and USD international wires. However, there is a 1% fee on currency exchange and an additional fee for processing USD international wires. Other fees may apply for some of Mercury’s advanced features, including making mass payments on the platform’s API and accessing Mercury Treasury account management.
Startup owners can use Mercury to send money via ACH for free through the user dashboard. Users can send both domestic and international wires through the platform’s Send Money flow. This feature allows them to easily pay suppliers, vendors, and other stakeholders without worrying about geographical borders. By integrating these functionalities, Mercury has simplified the payment process for startup owners, enabling them to focus on growing their businesses instead of worrying about payment options.
Moreover, Mercury offers an international wire feature that supports over 30 currencies. As a Mercury customer, you can send USD international wires for free and have the ability to send a type of wire designed to cover any transaction fees your recipient incurs for just $15. This feature is particularly useful for startups with international stakeholders who require payments in different currencies, allowing them to save on transaction costs.
Mercury seamlessly integrates with popular accounting software such as QuickBooks Online, Xero, and Netsuite to automatically sync your transactions. The platform also enables wire drawdown authorizations for payroll processing in collaboration with payroll providers like Gusto, Sequoia One, ADP, and TriNet. Additionally, Mercury is compatible with leading payment processors like Stripe, Square, Shopify, and Paypal.
Perks for Startups
Startups can benefit from Mercury’s extensive selection of perks aimed at helping new businesses save money on popular tools. Mercury account holders can log in to redeem AWS credits, discounts on QuickBooks Online and Slack, and other member benefits. Perks are available in categories including accounting, advertising, AI, communication, developer tools, and others.
All Mercury accounts come with read-and-write API access. This lets businesses create automations to meet their unique needs. Options are unlimited, but startups can use the API to create dashboards, automate payments, automatically transfer money between accounts, reconcile transactions, and other custom functionality.
Account Security and Insurance
Mercury business checking and savings accounts are FDIC-insured up to $5 million through the platform’s partner banks and sweep networks. The fintech also features automated fraud monitoring and tools to stop suspicious activity and protect account holders. User data is protected with industry-standard encryption, and the company’s security protocols maintain SOC 2 compliance with independent auditing.
Where the Mercury Business Checking Account Falls Short
While Mercury offers many benefits, it falls short in a few crucial areas that might be deal-breakers for some businesses. One of the most glaring shortcomings is the absence of cash deposit functionality. As a digital-only banking platform, Mercury does not provide the ability to deposit physical cash. This can pose significant operational challenges for businesses that deal with cash transactions.
For example, retail businesses, restaurants, or other companies that handle physical cash transactions may find this limitation inconvenient. Businesses in such sectors would need to maintain a separate traditional banking relationship for managing their cash transactions, negating the convenience a comprehensive digital banking platform is supposed to offer.
Another notable area where Mercury could improve is its customer support. Robust and responsive customer support is essential in business banking, but Mercury’s customer support options are more limited than some competitors. This can be frustrating during critical situations where immediate assistance is required.
The lack of 24/7 customer service and the absence of a dedicated helpline for instant resolution of issues significantly detracts from the overall user experience. Businesses requiring frequent and immediate customer support might consider other banking options.
How Mercury Stacks Up
If you're searching for a business checking account, Mercury and Novo both offer compelling options. Mercury stands out as the more suitable choice for rapidly expanding startups, thanks to its scalable financial services. On the other hand, Novo is likely to appeal more to businesses that heavily rely on a variety of applications and tools, given its robust integrations. This distinction emphasizes the importance of selecting a banking solution that aligns with your company's growth trajectory and technological needs.
Both BlueVine and Mercury stand out as leading online business banking platforms, making them excellent choices for businesses navigating the digital banking landscape. Choosing between them, however, hinges on the unique aspirations and requirements of your business.
For startups eyeing significant expansion, Mercury emerges as the preferred option, thanks to its comprehensive range of financing services tailored for growth. Conversely, BlueVine is ideally suited for small to medium-sized enterprises not prioritizing rapid scaling, or those looking to accrue interest on surplus funds. This differentiation underscores the importance of aligning your banking choice with your business's strategic objectives.
Is Mercury Right for You?
Mercury Bank may be the perfect banking solution if you want a digital-centric approach to managing your business finances. Its features are designed with startups and tech-savvy entrepreneurs in mind, aiming to streamline payments and seamlessly integrate with popular accounting tools. Mercury may be the right fit if you value transparency in pricing, convenience, and modern financial tools. These are some companies that might benefit from Mercury’s business checking services:
- Tech startups that don’t often handle physical cash
- Businesses with more than $250,000 in deposits that want to increase FDIC coverage with a sweep account
- Companies that want the ability to send and receive wire transfers frequently
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Mercury Business Account?
A Mercury business account is a digital-first banking solution designed for startups, e-commerce companies, and businesses that require a seamless, efficient, and cost-effective way to manage their financial operations. The account offers a range of features such as free checking, no minimum balances, free domestic and international USD wires, and integrations with accounting and payroll tools.
It also provides API access for developers and advanced features like Mercury Treasury account management and currency exchange, both subject to fees. Moreover, businesses with deposits over $250,000 can access a sweep account to increase FDIC insurance coverage up to $5 million.
Is Mercury Good for a Business Account?
Mercury is a highly recommended option for business accounts, especially for startups, e-commerce businesses, and those frequently conducting wire transfers. Its digital-first approach offers a seamless and efficient solution for managing financial operations. Mercury provides various advantages, such as free checking with no minimum balance requirements, complimentary domestic and international USD wires, and integrations with popular accounting and payroll tools.
Advanced features like Mercury Treasury account management and currency exchange provide businesses with added flexibility, though these may incur fees. Notably, companies with deposits exceeding $250,000 can enjoy increased FDIC insurance coverage through a sweep account, enhancing financial security. However, businesses requiring cash deposits or extensive customer support should carefully assess their specific requirements.
Is Mercury a Real Bank?
Mercury is a financial technology company that offers banking services through Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust, FDIC-insured institutions. This means that while Mercury provides the technology platform, customer service, and digital interface, the actual banking operations, including holding and insuring deposits, are carried out by its banking partners. This allows Mercury to offer innovative, technology-driven banking solutions while retaining the security and trustworthiness associated with traditional banks.
Is Mercury Bank Good for an LLC?
Mercury Bank is a good choice for LLCs and especially startups. Its digital-first approach streamlines financial operations, which is ideal for modern businesses—especially those that don’t handle physical cash. Mercury offers free checking, no minimum balance, free USD wires, and integrations with accounting and payroll tools. However, it is not suited for businesses requiring cash deposits due to its online nature.
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