Is There a Discover Business Checking Account?

Sally Lauckner

Sally is the managing editor at Fundera. Previously, she was a senior editor at SmartAsset, a Y Combinator-backed personal finance startup. She has also held various editorial roles at the Huffington Post and AOL.com. She is passionate about financial literacy and educating small business owners.
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Discover might be better known for their credit cards, but the company’s Cashback Debit online checking account is one of the better-ranked personal checking accounts around. It’s fee-free, provides you with 1% cash back on all purchases, and gives you access to 60,000 ATMs across the country. If this sounds good to you, you’re probably wondering more about Discover business checking, and how such an account stacks up against Discover Cashback Debit.

If you wanted to open a Discover business checking account, you’d certainly have plenty of reasons to do so. The outstanding personal checking features are only one great reason to search for a Discover business bank option for your small business. Discover also offers personal savings, money market, certificate of deposit (CDs), and IRA CD accounts. Since Discover is online-only, they also give customers more perks and incentives to bring their banking needs over from competitors. All told, Discover has a ton to offer to individuals who want feature-packed accounts and aren’t put off by online-only banking.

Great as these personal account offerings are, you’re here because you’ve asked yourself, “Is there a Discover business checking account?” After all, a Discover business checking account would sound pretty sweet if it were anything like what individuals are getting from their personal accounts.

Unfortunately, there is no Discover business checking account. That said, there are plenty of business bank accounts that rival Discover in terms of features, perks, and convenience—some of which are online-only, and others that have brick-and-mortar locations in addition to a robust mobile banking experience. Here’s what you need to know about a Discover business checking account, as well as a few factors to consider. We’ll also throw in a couple of Discover business checking alternatives that might help you find the right account for your company.

discover business checking

Why People Would Want a Discover Business Checking Account

There are several reasons entrepreneurs might want a Discover business checking account. For starters, Discover is online-only, which means that they have to ensure their mobile and web banking environments are state-of-the-art. Discover banking has a sleek and easy-to-use interface, which takes the pain out of most banking tasks. If you’re digitally inclined or web savvy, you might be more than happy to do all of your banking online—especially if your bank makes it hassle-free and simple to do so.

Discover checking isn’t just about a pretty interface, however. The banking provider also offers its clients with a ton of attractive account features. As we mentioned earlier, Discover Cashback Debit provides 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in qualifying debit card purchases. That’s almost unheard of on checking accounts, as even the best online checking accounts tend to offer interest on your account balance instead of putting money back in your pocket based on what you spend. Discover checking also provides fee forgiveness, no-fee check reordering, and free debit card replacement. Plus, their savings accounts offer some of the best interest rates around.

Lastly, you might want a Discover business checking account if you have a pre-existing relationship with the company—be it a Discover business credit card, a personal credit card, or one of Discover’s personal banking accounts. There are benefits to keeping your bank accounts with one provider: Sometimes that means getting monthly fees waived if you have more than one account with your small business bank, an easier way of transferring money, or the ability to keep track of your accounts without having to go through different bank logins.

No matter which of these might resonate with you, the reasons you might want a Discover business checking account are pretty vast. Thankfully, you can find many of the same great features that Discover offers to personal banking customers within a small business checking account elsewhere.

Why Isn’t There a Discover Business Checking Account?

This is a tough one to answer. If you’re disappointed to find that a Discover business checking account doesn’t exist, and aren’t quite sure why, it’s important to bear a few possible factors in mind. Discover doesn’t state why they do not offer business checking or business savings accounts on their site. But for most online banks, there are a handful of plausible reasons.

First, it’s difficult to vet business account applicants online. The process of setting up a business checking account involves many more steps than you’d encounter for your personal accounts. Business bank accounts encounter additional scrutiny for a number of reasons. First, banks want to make sure that you really are who you say you are—it is easier for fraudsters to lie about being a managing member of a company in order to open an account in a business’s name. Once they’re able to open an account, it’s easy to rack up thousands of dollars in fraudulent transactions, and it could take much longer for the true owners of the business to realize what’s happening.

Next, there are federal regulations that severely limit a bank’s ability to vet applicants entirely online. The Patriot Act has provisions that require strict scrutiny of business banking applicants. The government requires banks to make absolutely sure that new account holders are not opening business checking or savings accounts in order to launder money, move money to unscrupulous organizations, or to establish bank accounts for shell operations within the United States. In other words, the government mandates that banks do a ton of work to verify that a business (and its representatives) really are who they say they are, and that their intentions for opening an account are good and lawful.

These are some of the more common reasons why some online banks don’t go through the rigmarole that comes with providing business bank accounts. The hurdles are too high, the downsides too costly, and the proposition not lucrative enough in the grand scheme of things to make it worthwhile. Plus, other competitors that have been in the business banking space for longer are likely to be better equipped to offer accounts than upstart organizations trying to break into the space. That’s not true for all banks, however, as more than a handful of new banking providers have entered the online space and offer fantastic online business accounts. More on that next.

Discover Business Checking Account Alternatives

There are a variety of great Discover business checking account alternatives out there, no matter what initially piqued your interest in this account in the first place. Whether you’re looking for an online bank that makes it easy to conduct all of your financial business online or a feature-packed account that helps you maximize your money, there’s a great alternative to the nonexistent Discover business checking account. Here are a few accounts to bear in mind, with each selection based on one of the key aspects of the current personal Discover accounts as a basis for comparison.

For Interest-Bearing Online Checking: Axos Business Interest Checking

As we mentioned earlier, there are few checking accounts out there that offer you cash back on your purchases. In fact, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find any that offer this for business checking. There are a few banks that provide interest on your account balance, however, and Axos Business Interest Checking is among the best.

Axos is a great pick for anyone in search of a Discover business checking account who might be sad to hear that it doesn’t exist. For starters, Axos is one of the first and oldest online banks within the United States. Axos, formerly known as Bank of Internet, first began offering online banking services back in 1999, which means that it has a leg up on their online-only business banking competitors. Plus, Axos offers competitive interest rates on your account balance, which is about as close to cash back as you’re going to get. You’ll get free online and mobile banking, electronic deposit, and transfer protection with a linked account. You can avoid Axos Business Interest Checking’s $10 monthly maintenance fee with a $5,000 average daily balance as well.

If you’re interested in a Discover business checking account primarily because you want an online bank that offers great mobile and internet banking, as well as an opportunity to earn money on your account, then Axos is a fantastic option for you. Keep in mind that you can’t deposit cash into an Axos account, in case that’s a deal-breaker for your business.

For Fee-Free Online Checking: Azlo Business Checking

Axos offers unrivaled online business checking, but doesn’t provide free wire transfers and fee-free accounts like Azlo Business Checking does. Whereas Axos caps your free items at 50 per month, Azlo offers unlimited wire and ACH transfers within the United States. This is an exceptionally handy perk for an online-only account, since your options for moving money around are limited, and you can’t simply hop into a local branch for assistance.

Azlo is a relative newbie to the online business banking arena. The company started offering business checking accounts in 2018, geared primarily to early-stage small businesses and startups. The Azlo platform is built on BBVA’s banking architecture, and touts integrations with common merchant services providers like Square and Stripe. Plus, you can access cash at any of Azlo’s 55,000 partner ATMs across the country. Like Axos, the Azlo sign-up process is entirely online, which means no long application wait times or recurring trips to the bank.

A word to the wise about Azlo, however. If you rely on paper checks, Azlo isn’t for you. The bank neither provides nor supports checks on its accounts (that means you can’t go to a third-party to have checks issued, either). Plus, there is no way to deposit cash, which is also the case for Axos. So if you need checks or cash in order to keep your business buzzing, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

For New Businesses with Minimal Banking Needs: Chase Total Business Checking

One of the great things about the Discover checking account is their affordability and utility for account holders who do not need a ton of bells and whistles from their banking providers. Thankfully, even some of the bigger, nationwide banks offer simple business checking accounts that are affordable and have just the right amount of support to help your small business.

Chase Total Business Checking is one of these accounts—in exchange for a low monthly maintenance fee of only $15 (which is waived with a $1,500 monthly balance), you’ll get 100 free transactions (with each additional transaction costing $.40), up to $5,000 in free cash deposits each month, and access to Chase’s nationwide network of 16,000 ATMs. So if you need a bank that makes it simple and affordable to manage your money, plus you want a bank that has the reputation that comes with Chase’s years-long track record, then the Chase Total Business Checking account might be right for you.

Finding the Right Business Bank Account for Your Needs

Disappointed as you might be to learn that there’s no Discover business checking account, at least there are a ton of other alternatives that can provide you the same (if not more!) excellent features that correlate to those provided for personal Discover checking accounts. If you’re looking for an online banking solution to manage your company’s money, there are two great options available that can help you get most of the awesome features of a Discover account. If your major concern is finding an account that gives you access to a wide network of ATMs and doesn’t charge you for fees you don’t need, then Chase Total Business Checking has you covered. But no matter which account you choose, be sure you know what your main needs are and work from there. If you do, you’ll end up with an account that’s perfect for your company, even if it’s not with Discover.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Sally Lauckner

Sally is the managing editor at Fundera. Previously, she was a senior editor at SmartAsset, a Y Combinator-backed personal finance startup. She has also held various editorial roles at the Huffington Post and AOL.com. She is passionate about financial literacy and educating small business owners.

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