Wise Banking Update—April 2021
As of April 1, 2021, Wise has relaunched under a new brand identity: Solid.
The company has also released their Solid banking platform which allows banks, marketplaces, and software platforms to create and offer a customized banking experience to their customers.
Small business owners with a Wise business bank account can still log in from the original Wise.us website, however, they aren’t currently accepting new customers.
Wise Business Bank Account: What You Need to Know
Choosing a business bank account is one of the first and most important decisions that you’ll make in regard to your finances. Not only will a business bank account help you separate your business finances from your personal finances, but you’ll also use this account to store and manage your funds on a day-to-day basis. With all of the different account options on the market, however, you may be wondering how to decide which account will be best for your business.
Although there are a variety of accounts available from traditional banks, business accounts from online-based banks, like Wise, are usually the most accessible and affordable options—especially if you already (or plan to) manage many of your other business processes online. With Wise in particular, you not only have the benefits of an online business checking account, but also a payments platform as well.
Is the Wise business bank account right for you?
This review is here to help you find out. We’ll break down everything there is to know about Wise Bank and their business account—including features, fees, and more—so that you have all of the information you need to make the best decision for your business.
Wise Business Bank Account
Having launched their business account in 2019, Wise (who is backed by BBVA) is actually relatively new to the online banking game. This being said, currently Wise only offers a single account option—which, like other similar digital-based business checking accounts, can be opened quickly and easily online or by using the Wise mobile app.
The Wise business bank account is an FDIC-insured checking account that offers a cash back incentive of up to 1%—0.5% base and 0.1% for every $1,000 purchased on Wise cards. Additionally, not only does Wise offer a business bank account, but they’re also a payments platform. Wise integrates their Wise Pay functionality—so that you can make and receive payments—with your actual business bank account.
One of the most notable features of the Wise business bank account is that there are not many fees. There is a monthly $10 fee; however, there is no minimum balance requirement, no minimum opening deposit requirement, no incoming wire fees, and no early account closing fees.
This being said, the most common times you’ll face fees with the Wise account are either for using an out-of-network ATM ($3 fee) or to receive card-based payments through Wise Pay.
Wise does, however, charge a $10 fee for stop payments, NSF returned items, and ACH returns.
The Wise Bank business account has the following transaction limits:
- 25 free incoming ACH deposits per month, $1 per ACH deposit after that.
- 3% fee on incoming card payments, $2,500 per invoice limit.
- 25 free outgoing ACH transfers per month, $1 per ACH transfer after that.
- 10 free Instant by Wise payments per month, $1 per payment after that.
- Five free mailed checks per month, $1 per check after that.
The Wise business bank account includes a free business debit card, which you can use for free at any in-network ATM. Backed by BBVA, you can use your Wise business debit card—to withdraw cash or deposit checks—at any ATM in the BBVA network, which includes over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs across the U.S.
As we mentioned above, if you use your debit card at an ATM outside of the BBVA network, you’ll have to pay a $3 fee.
Although Wise is a digital-first bank account, it is lacking in terms of deposit functionality. Currently, the Wise app cannot accommodate mobile check deposit—meaning you either have to deposit checks at an in-network ATM or you can endorse your check and mail it to Wise’s processing facility.
In the latter case, checks are processed the same day they are received as long as they arrive before 3 p.m. It typically takes two to three business days for you to see the deposit in your Wise account.
As an online-based account, Wise also does not accept cash deposits. If you want to deposit cash, you’ll need to deposit it through another bank and then transfer it to your Wise Business Account.
Wise does not limit the number of wires you can receive; however, they do not offer the ability to send wires. Instead, you’ll have the ability to send same-day ACH transfers, as well as send payments through Instant by Wise (with the limits explained above).
As we’ve mentioned, one of the most notable features of the Wise business checking account is their integrated payments platform. With Wise Pay, you can pay your employees, contractors, and vendors, as well as receive payments.
Wise Pay allows you to send payments through their mobile app, either by mailing a check, sending an ACH transfer, or using Instant by Wise. With Instant by Wise, you can send money directly from your Wise account to an individual’s bank account as long as they have a U.S.-based debit card. When you send an Instant by Wise payment, as the name implies, the deposit will post in the other person’s bank account within minutes, even on nights and weekends.
In addition, Wise Pay allows you to receive payments—either by sending an invoice or by using a Wise card to accept in-person payments. With Wise’s invoicing functionality, you can use the app to create and send an invoice to your customer—and indicate how you’d like to be paid, either by card or ACH transfer.
If you’re paid by card, you’ll receive the money in your Wise account instantly, but you’ll also face a 3% credit card processing fee per transaction. If you’re paid by ACH payment, on the other hand, it will take one to two business days to receive your funds, but you’ll have the first 25 payments per month free—then you’ll pay $1 per payment after that.
To get paid using the Wise card reader, you’ll have to request one from Wise and once you receive it, you’ll be able to connect it via Bluetooth to your smartphone and process in-person payments using the Wise mobile app.
On top of all of the features we’ve reviewed so far, the Wise business bank account also includes a business owner dashboard, where you can track your spending, monitor cash flow, and instantly pay employees and vendors.
In addition, Wise allows you to add and manage contacts—making it even easier to pay employees and vendors on a regular basis, as well as view your payment history based on an individual contact.
Finally, it’s important to note that all of the features included with Wise are accessible through their mobile app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Pros of the Wise Business Bank Account
Overall, the Wise business account is very competitive with other online-based business checking accounts on the market. This being said, however, the biggest benefits of Wise are their low fees, cash back incentives, and integrated Wise Pay payments platform.
As we’ve discussed, the Wise bank account has no monthly fees and does not have any minimum deposit or balance requirements. That said, Wise does come with a cost—$10 per month.
If you’re willing to spend extra, the benefits could outweigh the cost for you. But newer and smaller businesses that don’t have much extra capital to invest in their bank account may want to choose a free alternative instead.
Cash Back Incentive
On top of the fact that Wise does not charge high fees for their business account, the account also offers a cash back incentive. With up to 1% available to earn on this business checking account, the Wise account gives you the opportunity to earn more annually than some high-yield business savings accounts.
Plus, whereas most interest-earning checking or savings accounts charge fees and require a minimum deposit or balance, Wise does not.
Wise Pay Payments Platform
There are a variety of digital-first business bank accounts on the market; however, none offer an integrated payments platform like Wise. Wise goes beyond simple wire transfers and ACH payments and actually connects a full-service invoicing and payments solution to your bank account.
You can send invoices, send and receive digital payments, and even take advantage of Instant by Wise in order to send money to employees or vendors and have it post in their bank account in only minutes. Plus, with the Wise card reader, you can even accept in-person payments as well.
In this way, the Wise business bank account is an ideal option for smaller B2B, online-based, or service-based businesses that don’t need a complex invoicing software, and instead, could take advantage of affordable invoicing and payment tools that are integrated with their bank account.
Cons of the Wise Business Bank Account
On the other hand, there are also drawbacks of the Wise Business Bank Account to consider as well. When it comes down to it, Wise’s biggest downsides are their deposit limitations, lack of branch access, and time on the market.
For all of its pros, this business bank account is lacking in the ability to accommodate different kinds of deposits. Not only can you not deposit cash with your Wise account (which isn’t all that uncommon for an online-based bank account), but you also don’t have mobile check deposit capabilities.
This is a huge drawback to the Wise business bank account, as mobile check deposit is typically a standard feature among online-based and traditional business bank accounts alike.
Although it’s very likely that Wise is working on adding this feature to their account, in the meantime, the lack of mobile deposit makes check deposit much more difficult for small business owners—who then either have to mail their check to Wise or find an ATM to deposit it.
No Branch Access
The next major drawback of the Wise bank account is their lack of branch access. This is a common downside of any online-based bank; however, if you are looking for personalized, in-person accessibility, it’s worth noting that you won’t get that with Wise.
If branch access is particularly important to you, you’ll probably want to direct your search to more traditional, brick-and-mortar banks, like Chase or Bank of America. Similarly, a brick-and-mortar bank will also likely be better-suited for businesses that operate in cash, as these institutions will have cash deposit capabilities at all of their ATMs, as well as in-branch.
Time on the Market
For a bank that does not have years of experience behind it, Wise offers an extremely competitive product. This being said, however, their lack of time on the market can also be a pretty significant downside.
Therefore, if you don’t want to wait for some of the features that Wise is missing, or are wary of the possible risks associated with a newer product, you might consider some more established online-based small business banks, as well as your traditional brick-and-mortar bank account options.
Top Alternatives to the Wise Business Bank Account
At this point, whether or not you think the Wise business bank account may be right for you, it’s always important to explore top alternatives before making a final decision. As we’ve mentioned, there are a variety of different business bank accounts available on the market—however, here are three accounts in particular you might consider:
BlueVine Business Checking
For an alternative interest-earning business bank account, you might consider BlueVine business checking.
With the BlueVine business checking account, you have the ability to earn 1% interest on balances up to $100,000. That said, the BlueVine bank account is completely fee-free, can be opened quickly and easily online, and includes unlimited transactions.
In addition, it has no minimum opening deposit requirement, no NSF fees, and gives you the ability to withdraw cash fee-free at over 38,000 MoneyPass ATMs around the U.S. Moreover, unlike many other online-based business checking accounts, you also have the option to deposit cash through BlueVine’s partnership with GreenDot—you can deposit cash at over 90,000 Green Dot locations around the country.
On top of these benefits, the BlueVine business checking account includes two free checkbooks, mobile check deposit, and it also gives you the ability to pay vendors and bills using ACH transfer, wire payments, or checks.
Ultimately, BlueVine is a worthwhile alternative to Wise if you’re looking to earn interest on your business checking account, but also want to be able to deposit checks and deposit cash.
NBKC Business Account
Next, for another top alternative in the digital banking space, you might consider NBKC. NBKC offers a free business checking account, as well as a free business savings account.
With both their checking and savings accounts, you have no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, and no minimum opening deposit requirements. Additionally, with the NBKC business checking account, there are no fees for transactions, returned items, overdrafts, online and mobile banking, check deposit, stop payments, incoming domestic wires, and more.
In fact, the only times you’ll incur a fee from NBKC is either for sending domestic wires ($5) or sending and receiving international wires ($45). Although the international wire fees for NBKC may be expensive, NBKC actually allows you to send wires, while Wise does not.
Moreover, NBKC allows you to deposit an unlimited number of checks per month using their mobile app, as well as use your free NBKC business debit card to access any of the 32,000+ MoneyPass ATMs in the U.S. Plus, unlike Wise, NBKC gives you the ability to deposit cash, with no fee, at any MoneyPass ATM that accepts cash deposits. NBKC does not limit the amount of cash you can deposit per month.
Finally, although you can’t earn interest on your NBKC business checking account, the NBKC business savings account is not only fee-free, but high-yield, earning a .10% APY. You can open this account for free when you open an NBKC Business Checking Account, and you only need $0.01 in your account to accrue interest.
All in all, NBKC is a worthwhile alternative to the Wise bank account if you’re looking for mobile check deposit, wire sending capabilities, cash deposit, and the option to open a business savings account. Plus, although NBKC doesn’t offer an integrated payments platform like Wise does, they do provide some of the industry experience that Wise is lacking.
Bank of America Business Checking
Finally, if you’d prefer a business bank account from a traditional brick-and-mortar bank, you might look into the Bank of America business checking accounts. Bank of America offers two business checking account products— Advantage Fundamentals and Advantage Relationship.
With either of these accounts, you’ll receive access to any and all of Bank of America’s branches around the U.S., as well as their ATM network. You’ll also have access to their online and mobile banking, which includes mobile check deposit, cash management tools, free bill pay, and online statements.
As is common with business accounts from traditional banks, however, Bank of America will limit the number of free transactions you can make per month, as well as your cash deposit allowance. With the Advantage Fundamentals account, for example, you’ll receive 200 free transactions per month and you’ll be able to deposit up to $7,500 in cash per month without incurring a fee.
Additionally, for both of their business checking accounts, Bank of America will charge a monthly service fee—$16 or $29.95, depending on which account you choose. This being said, however, Bank of America also offers several different ways for you to waive your monthly service fee.
Moreover, whereas many online-based bank accounts, like Wise, cannot accommodate certain types of wires, you’ll be able to both send and receive wires with a Bank of America business checking account. For any type of wire service, however, Bank of America will charge a fee that will vary based on your location.
Overall, although a Bank of America business checking account will have limitations and fees where digital accounts like Wise and NBKC do not—these accounts are worthwhile alternatives if you’re looking for the more personalized, experienced service a brick-and-mortar bank offers.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, only you can decide if Wise is the right business bank account for you. However, considering the lack of fees, online and mobile accessibility, and integrated payments platform associated with this bank account, there’s no doubt that Wise can well serve a variety of business owners.
In particular, Wise seems to be a noteworthy option for newer and smaller businesses, especially those that have invoicing needs—like B2B or service-based businesses—and could truly take advantage of Wise Pay. Along these lines, Wise could also be a particularly compelling bank account for freelancers and other newly self-employed professionals.
On the other hand, of course, as a newer product, Wise is lacking in certain areas—most notably deposits and branch access—and you might look into top alternatives if these limitations are problematic for your business.
Ultimately, you’ll want to make a list of exactly what you need in a business bank account—thinking about factors like fees, deposits, transactions, wires, added features, and more—this way, you can compare different business bank accounts and determine if Wise, or any other option, stands up to your established list of qualifications.
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.