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A Simple Bank Business Account Doesn’t Exist, So Try This Option

Meredith Turits

Contributing Writer at Fundera
Meredith is a writer and editor. Drawing on her background in small business and startups, she writes on business, finance, and entrepreneurship. Her writing has also appeared in the New Republic, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, ELLE, The Paris Review Daily, and more.
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Online banking provides perhaps the simplest, most intuitive way to manage your finances. These banks harness the industrial-strength power and backing of large financial services firms, but layer on top their own user-friendly and tech-forward design. Given the perks and simplicity of online-only banking,  you might be interested in opening a Simple Bank business account. After all, Simple offers a straightforward, easy, and pleasant banking experience for your personal finances.

But, unfortunately, a Simple Bank business account isn’t an option—since it doesn’t exist.

Right. Simple Bank doesn’t have a business account option for startups, entrepreneurs, or business owners. As of this writing, they’re strictly in the personal banking business. Although this might come as a surprise (or even simply a disappointment), there’s a fantastic alternative you should take a look at if you’re interested in digital business bank accounts.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re looking for an option that’s similar to a Simple Bank business account for your company. It’s an excellent choice—and it’ll give you exactly what you need.

Why Isn’t There a Simple Bank Business Account?

The official reason that Simple Bank business accounts don’t exist isn’t crystal clear. The bank only offers that

[…] Simple accounts are designed for personal use and they cannot be used for business purposes.

That’s not a lot of information to go off of, unfortunately.

But there could be a few reasons behind the lack of Simple Bank business account availability. The biggest being that offering the option for consumers to open a business bank account online isn’t the easiest thing to do—at least for banks. And that all comes down to security.

Opening an Online Business Bank Account is Generally Difficult

Whether we’re talking about a Simple Bank business account, or any major business bank account period, it’s rare that financial institutions will often let you complete the entire process online. It’s because of identity thieves.

Think about it: If someone stole your identity, they’d be able to use this information to make up a shell company and register your name and information as the owner. Once that’s done and dusted, they could apply for an online business bank account virtually and begin racking up charges—which you’d be responsible for when the bill comes back. It could take you months to find out about any of this, which is more than enough time to ruin your credit.

Another reason why there might not be a Simple Bank business account available at the moment is legislation. The USA PATRIOT Act requires banks to make extensive efforts to prevent people from opening bank accounts that might be used to help fund terrorist activities. Anti-money laundering laws also force banks to look closely for any signs of bad behavior from applicants looking to open a business bank account.

Although Simple Bank’s own reason’s are unclear, these are just two of the reasons that so many banks require you to finish your business checking account application in person at a physical location with hard copy identification and various other documents.

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Azlo Business Checking: The Best Simple Bank Business Account Alternative

You’re obviously looking for a Simple Bank business account because it’s hard to beat the ease and accessibility of Simple’s best features. Rolling them into an online business banking platform? Now that’s the kind of business banking you want.

Although you won’t find an exact Simple Bank business account, Azlo Business Checking is almost a one-for-one swap. Plus, it’s free.

Azlo, which debuted in February 2018, is a newcomer to the business checking account scene. The company offers a great business-centric alternative to Simple Bank, given that it shares much of the functionality, ease of use, and hassle-free signup processes.

Both banks are actually backed by BBVA Compass Bank, which means that Azlo and Simple users can enjoy the same backend support and FDIC coverage of a major banking corporation. (Although your bank is Azlo in name, not BBVA, so if you’d like to avoid being with a major bank in that sense, you still can.)

Azlo Business Checking vs. Simple Bank: Signup

Azlo’s sign-up process is a bit more involved than opening a Simple account. After all, Azlo still needs to exercise discretion when approving business banking applications.

The company will still check your background for any shady behavior, and will ask you for your business’  incorporating documents and EIN information (so make sure you can find yours) before giving you the go-ahead to open your account. Azlo might even call you to make sure that everything is legit when you’re going through the application process.

But these additional steps aside, the Azlo signup process is much more similar to Simple Bank than it is to conventional business banking providers.

Azlo Business Checking vs. Simple Bank: App and Technology

When we say that Azlo provides a Simple Bank business account alternative, we mean it. You can expect the same capabilities (and, admittedly, a few limitations) as you would with a Simple checking account—meaning that you should be sure that your business is a good fit for an online-only bank. (More on that in a bit.)

Azlo uses mobile-first design as the backbone of its customer experience. The Azlo app is where clients do the majority of their banking, such as depositing checks and paying bills.

If your businesses uses Stripe or Square for payments, you’re in luck. Both platforms integrate into Azlo seamlessly. And if you’re new to Square, you can enjoy 1,000 free transactions by signing up through Azlo. Transferring money between accounts is a snap, too, which means you can easily withdraw payments to your personal checking account with minimal lag time.

Azlo Business Checking vs. Simple Bank: Issuing Checks

We’re breaking this out separately because this is a big point of difference for online-only banks—and what can be a dealbreaker for some considering the right way to manage their finances, both businesses and personal alike.

Like you do with Simple Bank, in Azlo you’ll cash any checks by snapping photos, plus issue paper checks digitally and create ACH transfers to vendors, employees, or partners. And you can create invoices within the app or on your desktop with minimal setup time.

Here is one important difference for now, however: Simple Bank has recently added physical checkbooks for both their individual and joint accounts after requests from their customers. Azlo isn’t there yet with paper checkbooks—so if that’s important to you, take note that you won’t have that option.

Azlo Business Checking vs. Simple Bank: Customer Service

Finally, many might seek out a Simple Bank business account because of Simple’s customer service. The bank is well known for its responsiveness and availability.

Luckily, customer service is another area where Azlo shines. The bank offers a toll-free customer support number, as well as an email-based system to answer basic account queries. Both offer rapid responses from knowledgeable, friendly support staff. And by dealing with banking queries remotely, you can solve issues from anywhere (and never step foot into a physical bank branch again).

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How to Decide if Azlo Business Checking is Right for Your Business

If you’re familiar with how Simple Bank works, you’ll get the general gist of Azlo’s features and limitations. Azlo provides its customers with a straightforward checking experience: it allows you track money coming in, going out, and make sure that the right people can pay and get paid at the right time.

It gets trickier beyond these basics, though. Ask yourself a few questions:

1. Does your business handle cash?

For starters, you won’t be able to deposit cash with an Azlo account—no physical branches means no way to collect dollar bills. So if your business deals primarily in cash, you’ll either need to link your Alzo account to another account that accepts cash payments, or look elsewhere to satisfy your banking needs.

2. Will you ever need to write a tangible check?

Unlike Simple Bank, Azlo doesn’t offer physical checks. Nor can you have a third-party company print checks with your account information on them. If you want to pay others out of your Azlo account ASAP, you’ll need to use your debit card information (or set up electronic transfers).

3. Do multiple people need to access your business bank account?

And last (but certainly not least), Azlo doesn’t currently offer support for multiple users under one account. Say, for example, that you want to open an account for a business you own with a partner. You’ll have to list both parties as applicants and provide information for the two of you. But when it comes time to manage your daily finances, you’ll either have to share one account, or decide which of you will have access to the account.

According to Azlo, access for multiple users is coming this yeah—but it’s not there yet.

For a Simple Bank Business Account Alternative, Azlo Is a Great Call

Online banking isn’t just here to stay, but rather many traditional financial institutions are launching their own new, online-only products, too. And that might mean that online banking could change how both individuals and businesses manage their finances going forward.

So, it’s smart to think about using an emerging, online business checking account like Azlo. There aren’t a ton of online business banking options out there yet, and none from Simple Bank.

With that all in mind, Azlo isn’t only a Simple Bank business account alternative, but a sign of interesting times ahead as well. If you’re looking for a business banking experience that’s similar to what Simple provides, you’ll do well to look at what Azlo offers.

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.

Meredith Turits

Contributing Writer at Fundera
Meredith is a writer and editor. Drawing on her background in small business and startups, she writes on business, finance, and entrepreneurship. Her writing has also appeared in the New Republic, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, ELLE, The Paris Review Daily, and more.

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