Novo Review: Online Small Business Checking

Whether you’re working for Uber or Lyft, there’s one thing all rideshare companies have in common. You might not know it, but these rideshare companies do not hire their drivers as employees.

Instead, they hire you as independent contractors who offer their vehicles and services to the company. As a gig worker, you’re running your own business and are in charge of your own life.

While this comes with a lot of ease, including freedom and flexibility, it leaves you to manage your expenses yourself. But what if I told you that you could create a checking account with Novo to manage your business expenses?

Check out this detailed Novo review for details.

This article was sponsored by Novo but, as always, opinions are our own.

Quick summary:

  • Use Novo to manage your business, including tracking earnings and expenses
  • Novo helps you keep track of all your expenses without having to save every single receipt. This will help you at tax time!
  • No hidden fees with Novo – what you see is what you get!

Get started with Novo today

What is Novo?

First of all, if you’re willing to create a business checking account with a bank, you should know that Novo is not one. It is mainly a Fintech company that allows small businesses to operate their expenses on a digital platform.

As a rideshare driver, you’re working as an independent contractor. This means you will need to practice thorough bookkeeping to keep track of your income and expenses. Novo’s business accounts are specially designed for small business owners who want to digitalize their everyday bookkeeping.

Besides that, deposits are FDIC-insured by Novo’s partner bank, Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A., and you will receive a debit card to use on the go.

Most importantly, the company does not have any minimum balance threshold or charge any monthly fee for account maintenance. Unlike other banks, you don’t have to go through any credit checks before opening an account.

We know, it sounds too good to be true, right? If you’re skeptical about whether Novo is the right option for you as a gig worker or rideshare driver, read the detailed sections below to see for yourself.

How Does Novo Work? 

As mentioned above, Novo is not a bank, nor does it have any physical branches. So, how does it offer its services as a business banking platform?

Put simply, Novo works using a basic concept of online business checking accounts. The app lets you manage your finances online while transferring its account deposit services through Middlesex Federal Savings.

Novo partners with this bank to ensure flawless financial services. However, Novo does not offer multiple account types on the operations front for its users.

Instead, Novo offers a single type of business checking account that encompasses all its features for business owners and gig workers who don’t want to deal with cash. 

You can deposit your money into the account through wire transfers and mobile check deposits. Also, you can connect your Novo account with your gig working app to receive payments directly.

You will miss out on some facilities offered by conventional banks. These include interest payments, cash deposits, and wire transfers. So, is using Novo worth it for rideshare drivers? Check out other sections for details.

Who is Novo For?

Novo has minimal eligibility requirements for new account owners. If you’re a permanent US citizen aged 18 or older, you can easily open an account with Novo. All you’ll have to do is provide your identification details and get started. The best part is that you don’t even have to show your credit history.

Novo is the ideal solution for small business owners who want a cheap and hassle-free online banking platform.

Freelancers and gig workers can connect their Novo accounts with other existing financial tools and avoid paying any banking fees or maintaining a minimum balance requirement.

Novo is ideal if you want to manage your money digitally and don’t need to deposit cash frequently.

How to Join Novo?

One of the aspects that we loved about Novo is its accessibility and ease of use. With Novo, you don’t have to worry about filling out long forms and standing in lines to open a checking account.

Instead, you can simply log into their user-intuitive website and apply. If you fit into the location and eligibility criteria, you can access the application immediately.

After filling in the essential information, you’ll have to provide your identity proof and other business documents. Additionally, the website will ask you for your mailing address within the US and your Social Security number.

Once you’re done, you can apply and wait for their side. Usually, the platform reviews applications and reaches out to potential clients within two or three business days. 

If they accept your application, you will receive an email informing you of their decision during this period. Upon getting the approval, your next step would be to add funds to your account.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to download and use their mobile app on your smartphone. You’ll get to monitor, transfer, and manage your funds through the app.

Most importantly, Novo offers quick integrations with multiple business tools. For example, you can connect it directly with your freelancing app to receive direct payments. Similarly, you can integrate it with many financial apps such as Stripe, Wise, Zapier, and Quickbooks to manage your finances efficiently.

Additionally, the platform will ask whether you want a debit card during the application process. If your answer is “yes”, you’ll receive your card at your mailing address. Later, you can use the app to add more members to your account if you want to and order debit cards for them as well.

Key Features of Novo

Now that you’ve been through the essential details about Novo, you are probably ready to create an account on the platform. However, when there’s money involved, you should conduct complete due diligence regarding the platform you’re working with.

In this section, we have compiled a detailed overview of each unique feature of Novo so you can make an informed decision before joining the portal.

Novo Fees

Novo is an entirely fee-free platform. That’s right, there are no minimum monthly fees to use Novo. You don’t even have to maintain a monthly minimum balance!

In addition, Novo’s services are entirely free as well. You don’t have to pay anything for incoming wires and ACH transactions.

Similarly, if you request to stop payments or replace a damaged debit card, you don’t have to pay for that. You can pay your bills through your Novo account using physical checks.

However, there are a few instances where you will incur a nominal fee with the platform. These include insufficient funds fees and uncollected funds return fees. The platform charges a $27 fee from account owners in both instances.

Novo lets you use ATM services for free as well. So you can withdraw money anytime you want through ATMs within the US and across the world without any additional fee.

If a bank charges you for using their ATMs to access the money from your Novo account, you will receive a refund from Novo. This refund will appear in your account by the end of every month.

Believe it or not, there is no loophole. This digital business checking account platform asks for no fees. All you have to do is deposit $50 when creating your account, and that’s it. Just avoid sending or depositing bad checks, and you won’t pay a dime for accessing Novo services.

Get started with Novo today

Novo Mobile Checking

Novo’s online operating system is another feature for rideshare drivers and gig workers. You can download the app on your Android or iOS smartphone and access your account. Besides smartphones, it is compatible with other devices such as the iPad and iPods.

With the mobile app being its primary operating portal, Novo reduces the hassle of visiting physical locations for everyday transactions. You can do everything from making payments, depositing checks, and transferring money to mailing paper checks from the app with a few clicks.

Besides that, if you have any queries or problems during operation, you can contact their in-app support team for help. While the platform does not offer any loan services or interest payments like conventional banks, it lets you set funds aside and create a budget on the app to balance your finances.

Novo Business Tools

Apart from a highly accessible online business checking account, Novo also offers functional business tools. These tools are particularly beneficial for freelancers and independent contractors such as drivers for Uber and Lyft.

One tool gig workers may find useful includes an invoicing tool to generate unlimited professional invoices through your account. This helps you keep a record of the transactions and payments you make throughout the month.

Similarly, you can accept payments by ACH transfer and even payment integrations like Stripe. That brings us to Novo’s compatibility with other business tools.

As a freelancer, you probably use various online tools to ensure an efficient workflow. For example, Novo lets you connect your checking account with multiple business tools such as Shopify, Xero, QuickBooks, and Zapier.

Novo Perks

As an account owner on Novo, you can enjoy discounts on several software and services with Novo’s perks program. The platform partners with several business service providers such as Gusto, HubSpot, Google Cloud, Zendesk, Salesforce, Penji, Strip, QuickBooks, and Winstar Payments.

Attributing its partnership, Novo offers fantastic discounts and savings opportunities for its account holders on these platforms. Some popular offers include receiving $150 in Snapchat ad credits and $20,000 in fee-free Stripe credit card processing.

You can also access $3000 worth of credits on Google Cloud when purchasing several resourceful services. These include intelligent analytics, artificial intelligence, application modernization, and data management. These can come in handy if you’re establishing your own small business as a freelancer.

Customer Support

If you have a question or problem while operating Novo, you don’t have to wait for two or three days to get an email response. Instead, you can contact their live customer support service through the app and get a prompt reply within an hour.

This way, you can be concern-free about any problems regarding payment transfers, deposits, and paper checks.

Account Security

Novo provides 100% security assurance for its account holders by ensuring that their deposits are FDIC-insured through their partner bank.

Through Novo’s partner bank, Middlesex Federal Savings, all Novo accounts are FDIC-insured for up to $250,000 per depositor. Moreover, the platform has a 24-hour security team working in the background to keep your data and information encrypted against malicious activities online.

Besides that, the debit card issued to you by Novo is also protected by cutting-edge EMV technology. You don’t have to worry about anyone counterfeiting your debit card and accessing your money.

Pros of Novo

These are the benefits you will receive with Novo at a glance to give you an overall perspective.

No Credit Checks

Novo lets you open an account on their platform without asking for any credit history.

No Minimum Balance

You don’t have to maintain a minimum balance in your Novo account. You just need $50 to get started, after which there’s no fixed requirement.

No Fees

There’s no fee on Novo checking account services. The platform only charges a $27 fee for non-sufficient funds and returned deposited items.

ATM Fee Return

You can withdraw money from your Novo account from any ATM worldwide. Novo reimburses the amount by the end of the month if the concerned bank charges you a fee.

Discounts On Business Apps

Through Novo, you can get discounts on other business management apps.

Cons of Novo

There are some downsides to Novo that might be dealbreakers for you. They include:

No Cash Deposits

You cannot deposit cash in your Novo account. However, if you want to, you can deposit money into another bank and transfer it to your Novo account.

Only For Business Owners

Only business owners and independent contractors such as rideshare drivers and freelancers can open an account on Novo.

No Loans

Novo does not offer any loans like conventional banks.

No Interest Payments

You won’t receive any interest on the amount in your Novo account. So, it’s not a good idea to leave lots of money there for long periods.

Is Novo the Right Pick for Rideshare Drivers and Gig Workers? 

According to us, Novo is a great option for freelancers, contractors, rideshare drivers, and gig workers. It offers fee-free services, but it also goes the extra mile to provide ATM fee reimbursement and third-party discounts.

Besides that, it offers impeccable services for business owners, such as invoicing, integration with business tools, effortless payments, paper checks, and debit card services.

However, if you want to grow your business further through bank loans or earn interest on your savings, Novo is not the right option.

Get started with Novo here!

Get started with Novo today

What do you think of Novo – is this a platform you would use as a gig worker?

-RSG Team