Azlo vs. Novo: Which Business Bank Account Is Right for You?

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An Overview of Azlo vs. Novo

If you’re looking for a business bank account, you may have discovered that some of the most affordable and flexible options come from online-only banks—like Azlo and Novo. Compared to bank accounts from brick-and-mortar institutions, these business checking accounts typically offer no monthly fees, unlimited transactions, and can be opened quickly and easily online.

However, with such similar features, it can be difficult to decide between Azlo vs. Novo business bank accounts.

In this review, we’ll compare Azlo vs. Novo in terms of their fees, features, customer reviews, and more—so that you have all the information you need to determine which of these accounts is right for your small business.

Azlo vs. Novo Comparison Chart

Pros Cons Best For
-No minimum opening deposit

-Integrated invoicing

-Completely fee-free

-No checkbooks

-Out-of-network ATMs may incur fees from provider

-Limited multi-user access

Businesses looking for most affordable way to manage business banking; integrated invoicing
-Full refunds for ATM fees

-Ability to order checkbooks

-Cash savings available from third-party partner services

-$50 minimum opening deposit

-$27 NSF and uncollected funds fees

-Limited extended features

Businesses looking to avoid ATM fees or save money by taking advantage of Novo’s deals with third-party partner services

Azlo vs. Novo: Fees

Let’s start by comparing Azlo vs. Novo in terms of fees. In general, both Azlo and Novo have very few fees, as is the case with many online-based business checking accounts

That said, Azlo and Novo are similar in that they have:

  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No monthly fees
  • No transaction fees
  • No fees for incoming domestic and foreign wires
  • No fees for stop payments

With this in mind, let’s review some of the different fees Azlo and Novo incur.

    Minimum Opening Deposit

    Whereas Azlo requires no minimum opening deposit, Novo requires a $50 deposit to open their account.

    Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF)

    Also known as insufficient funds, NSF, or overdraft fees, these are fees you’re normally charged when you draw more money than you have in your account. Azlo does not charge any of these types of fees. 

    Novo, on the other hand, charges a $27 NSF fee.

    Uncollected Funds Fee

    Similar to an NSF fee, an uncollected funds fee is charged when a transaction is posted to your account that has a negative available balance even though it has a positive physical balance. 

    Again, Novo charges a $27 fee for this occurrence, whereas Azlo does not charge this type of fee.

    ATM Fees

    Although neither Novo nor Azlo charge ATM fees, the way their ATM networks work is very different. 

    First, Azlo offers fee-free access to over 55,000 ATMs around the U.S. through the BBVA network. In addition, they will not charge you for using an out-of-network ATM, but the ATM provider might.

    With Novo, on the other hand, you do not have access to a fee-free ATM network. Instead, you can use any ATM, and Novo will simply reimburse you for any ATM fees you face from the provider.

Ultimately, with such similar fee structures, the real difference between Azlo vs. Novo in this regard comes down to ATM fees and NSF fees. 

Although Azlo doesn’t charge for NSF and uncollected funds, you will have to use an in-network ATM to avoid possible charges, whereas Novo offers greater flexibility—as they reimburse you for all ATM provider fees.

Azlo vs. Novo: Features

Next, let’s break down how Azlo and Novo compare in terms of the account features they offer. Both Novo and Azlo include:

  • Unlimited transactions
  • Free business debit cards
  • Free mobile (iOS and Android) and online banking
  • Free mobile check deposit
  • Ability to link bank accounts, send transfers, and make payments

In addition, neither Azlo nor Novo offers:

  • Access to a physical branch location
  • The ability to deposit cash
  • The ability to send wires
  • An interest-earning account

So, where do they differ? Let’s take a look:

    Invoicing

    One of the biggest benefits of Azlo is that it includes integrated invoicing with your business bank account. With Azlo, you can create and send customized invoices, track and manage your payments, enter and save customer profiles, and even offer multiple payment options for customers.

    These are not features that are included with Novo.

    Physical Checks

    Although both Azlo and Novo provide a service in which they will mail a check to someone on your behalf (for free), only Novo gives you the ability to order a book of physical checks yourself. Azlo does not offer physical checkbooks, and checks with your Azlo account and routing number printed on them will not work.

    With Novo, on the other hand, you can order a book of physical checks from a third-party provider using your account and routing number and their bank partner’s address information. You can then use these checks to pay bills, suppliers, vendors, etc.

    User Access

    Currently, Azlo can only accommodate multiple user access for those who opened their business checking account with a business partner (who owns 25% or more of the business) listed on their account application. These business partners can be added as a user, as well as receive an Azlo business debit card.

    With Novo, on the other hand, you can add multiple users to your account—regardless of whether or not they are a business partner, or if they were included on your account application. These users can also receive a business debit card.

    Instant Transfers and Envelopes

    In addition to invoicing, these are two other features that are unique to Azlo—and that Novo does not offer. First, for faster access to your funds, you can use Azlo’s instant transfer service. You’ll have access to your funds almost instantly, but it will require additional fees. 

    You’ll pay a 2% fee for transfers into your Azlo account and a $2 flat fee for transfers out of your Azlo account.

    Next, Azlo’s Envelopes feature is a budgeting tool that helps you set aside money for taxes, large expenses, or payroll. You can allocate funds by amount or percentage and manage your expenses without impacting the funds in your Envelopes.

    Azlo Pro

    Although Azlo and Novo are both free business checking accounts, Azlo also offers their customers the option to upgrade their account to Azlo Pro.

    For $10 per month, you can upgrade to Azlo Pro, which grants you access to enhanced invoicing, discounted instant transfer fees, advanced budgeting tools, and more.

    Novo, on the other hand, doesn’t have a similar offering.

    Novo Partner Savings

    Although Azlo may provide some features that Novo does not, Novo works with several third-party partners to offer a range of savings opportunities for their customers. With Novo, you can receive cash savings including: 

    • $500 from Stripe
    • 6% from Booking.com
    • $3,000 from Google Cloud
    • $500 from Gusto
    • $150 from Salesforce
    • And more

    Integrations

    In many cases, for both Azlo and Novo, you’ll be able to connect your business bank account to third-party tools just as you would with any other bank account.

    That said, however, as online-based solutions, Novo and Azlo each offer specific proprietary integration options. Azlo offers integrations with:

    • QuickBooks Online
    • Xero
    • Wave
    • Stripe
    • Square
    • PayPal

    Novo, on the other hand, provides integrations with:

    • Shopify (currently for iOS only)
    • Zapier
    • Stripe
    • QuickBooks Online
    • TransferWise
    • Slack
    • Xero

As you can see, although Novo and Azlo offer the same core banking features, Azlo provides a more extended feature set with their integrated invoicing software, budgeting tools, and the option for an upgraded version of their free account. 

That said, Novo does provide the ability to use checkbooks, greater flexibility for multi-user access, as well as cash savings perks.

Azlo vs. Novo: Customer Reviews

Due to the similarities between Azlo and Nolo, it can also be helpful to see what customers have to say about their experience with these business bank accounts. 

Let’s break it down.

Azlo Reviews

Overall, Azlo is pretty highly reviewed across the web. The Azlo app has 4 out of 5 stars on the iOS app store and Google play, is rated 3.6 out 5 stars on Trustpilot, and most reviewers seem satisfied with their experience.

In general, here’s what customers have had to say about this business bank account:

    Positive Reviews

    • Excellent, helpful, and fast customer service
    • Straightforward, no hassle, and easy to use banking
    • Affordable, no fees—big difference from other bank accounts on the market
    • Functional mobile app, very user friendly
    • Saves time; no waiting at an actual bank

    Negative Reviews

    • Account application denied with little explanation
    • Can take a while to get a replacement debit card
    • Can only withdraw $1,000 in cash per day

    To Azlo’s credit, their customer service team does respond to many negative reviews and complaints to try and resolve issues.

Novo Reviews

Unfortunately, Novo’s customer reviews aren’t as clear-cut as Azlo’s. Although many of Novo’s reviews are very positive—including a 4.7 and 4.6 out of 5 stars on the iOS app store and Google play respectively—some very negative reviews on Trustpilot do skew Novo’s online presence. 

Let’s look at what reviewers had to say:

    Positive Reviews

    • Easy to use and simple to set up
    • Great for established businesses and even better for startups
    • Fee-free, perfect for businesses that don’t deal in cash
    • Includes everything you need with nothing you don’t

    Negative Reviews

    It’s hard to avoid Novo’s 20 Trustpilot reviews, as they’re all pretty negative and fairly recent. In general, these reviews tend to focus on:

    • Poor customer support
    • Mobile check deposit issues
    • Closed accounts
    • Fraudulent charges

    For what it’s worth, there does not seem to be such a negative sentiment on other review sites, but issues that seem to circulate elsewhere are technical problems with the app, withdrawal limits, and slow service.

Azlo vs. Novo: Pros and Cons

So, with all this information to consider, how do Azlo vs. Novo compare against one another? 

Let’s review the pros and cons of each of these options to help you determine which, if either, is right for your business banking needs.

Azlo

With a greater variety of features and truly no fees, Azlo is going to be the better option for businesses looking to manage more of their financial processes for less. 

Pros:

  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No NSF or uncollected funds fees
  • Integrated invoicing
  • Budgeting tools
  • Option for Instant Transfers
  • Option to upgrade to Azlo Pro

Cons:

  • Limited multi-user access
  • No checkbooks
  • No opportunities for cash savings
  • No ATM refunds for out-of-network fees

Novo

Although Novo has a few small features that Azlo does not, perhaps it’s the more suitable option for businesses looking to avoid ATM fees altogether and take advantage of cash savings with third-party partner services.

Pros:

  • Refunds regardless of ATM provider
  • Ability to order checkbooks
  • Flexibility for multi-user access
  • Cash savings for third-party partner services

Cons:

  • $50 minimum opening deposit
  • $27 NSF and uncollected funds fee
  • Limited additional/extended features
  • Recent uptick in negative Trustpilot reviews

Top Alternatives

Although Azlo and Novo are both affordable, include unlimited transactions, and can be opened quickly and easily online, they both have some common drawbacks as well:

  • No branch access
  • Can’t accommodate cash deposits
  • Don’t earn interest
  • No additional banking tools (i.e. business savings account, business credit card, etc.)

If, after comparing Azlo vs. Novo, you think it might be worth looking into some alternatives as well, we have a few top options you might consider:

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, with similar features and fees, the Azlo vs. Novo business bank account comparison can be a difficult one. When it comes down to it, however, Azlo will likely be the more affordable and flexible option in most cases—due to the lack of fees and added features.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to stick to Azlo’s in-network ATMs, or will greatly benefit from Novo’s partner cash savings, however, then Novo might be the better choice for your business. 

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide—and of course, you always have alternative options to choose from if you don’t think either of these accounts is right for you.

Randa Kriss

Randa Kriss is a senior staff writer at Fundera.

At Fundera, Randa specializes in reviewing small business products, software, and services. Randa has written hundreds of reviews across a wide swath of business topics including ecommerce, merchant services, accounting, credit cards, bank accounts, loan products, and payroll and human resources solutions. 

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