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The Future of Banking: A Look at the Best Startup Banks in 2023

February 6, 2024

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Introduction

Are you a startup in search of the best startup bank in 2023?

With so many banks competing for your business, it can be difficult to know where to turn. That is why we have put together this guide to assist you in selecting the best startup bank for your needs.

In this article, we'll review four top banks that cater specifically to startups: Mercury, Brex, Chase and Meow.

But before we dive into those options,it’s important to note why SVB (Silicon Valley Bank) and First Republic Bank (FRB) are not on the list: SVB was one of the preeminent banks for tech startups but due to its recent failure, it is obviously no longer an option. Even before its failure, levy did not recommend it due to outdated technology. FRB is in a similar boat with hard to use and not overly friendly technology. 

Best Startup Banks for Startups and Small Businesses

The best startup banks for startups should provide new businesses with an excellent low or no-fee checking account, business support products, and specific services geared toward startups. These providers also have outstanding lending products, with loans and lines of credit that can assist newer businesses with needed funding for growth and expansion.

All providers offer products and services that benefit the growth of all businesses, including startups. Those products and services should be scalable to help you as your company grows.

Here are the 4 best banks for a startup business:

Meow

Meow delivers modern, compliant investing for corporate treasuries that may offer some protection from the risks of inflation and offer crypto-sourced yields.

Features

  • Best for all businesses of all stages and sizes.
  • 4.7%* US Treasury Bills offered at BNY Mellon Pershing.
  • 4.3% with a FDIC Insured Checking account*.
  • Robust audit that evaluates controls over security, availability and confidentiality.
  • 24x7 Live security dashboard.
  • Different security access to view balances, download statements or execute transactions.
  • Customizable security policies and configurable admin approvals to add users to the account, update security policies or move money.
  • Two-factor authentication
  • No sneaky fees - No withdrawal fees, No wire fees, No platform fees.
  • 0-1 business days withdrawals.

Pros:

  • Open account in 10 mins.
  • No paperwork, No commitment

Cons:

  • Takes more than 3 days to approve the account

Mercury

Mercury is best for early-stage startups looking for fee-free digital banking solutions and access to cash back credit cards and investor networks. 

Features:

  • Secure and insured up to $1M by the FDIC — far above the industry standard of $250K.
  • Earn interest with Mercury Treasury product if you have more than $250,000 in Mercury accounts and request Treasury
  • Set customer user permissions for your team members
  • Create auto-transfer rules for your accounts
  • Integrate accounts with QuickBooks and Xero accounting software
  • Virtual debit cards available right away, with physical debit cards arriving in the mail in a few days
  • Physical checks unavailable
  • Business payment integrations with Shopify, Stripe, Zapier, Amazon, and PayPal
  • Email customer service available
  • Savings account provided when you open checking,
  • Other products include Mercury Treasury, capital and venture debt and credit card

Pros:

  • No minimum deposit to open an account
  • Physical and virtual debit cards
  • Treasury product offers outstanding yield on balances over $250,000

Cons:

  • Account approval is not instant
  • Needs $50,000 balance to open an IO corporate card
  • Requires above $250,000 balance to open a Mercury Treasury account

Brex

Brex is best for venture-backed startups looking for fee-free digital banking services with access to rewards-earning credit cards and financial modeling tools.

Features:

  • No fees on money transfers, including ACH, checks, and wire transfers, both domestic and international
  • No opening or maintenance fees
  • Uncapped rewards and 10–20x higher limits on Brex Mastercard with no personal guarantee
  • Spend management for accounting automation and accuracy
  • Partner perks with businesses such as AWS, Apple, QuickBooks, and UPS
  • Powerful mobile app with expense tracking and integrations with popular financial and business software
  • Deposits can be spread among 10 member banks that are FDIC-insured for a maximum of $1 million ($250,000 each)
  • Customer support via chat seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific time or by email

Pros:

  • No minimum balance or opening deposit requirement
  • No opening or maintenance fees
  • All ACH and wire transfers are free

Cons:

  • No ATM card option
  • No physical locations and cash deposits in an account
  • Tightened qualification requirements may leave your business unable to obtain an account

JPM Chase

Chase offers an outstanding, brick-and-mortar banking experience, with a great account opening bonus, easily waived monthly fees, and built-in card acceptance.

Features:

  • Manage debit, deposit, and ATM card settings for individual employees
  • Deposit checks, view account balances, pay bills, and make transfers through the mobile app
  • Integrates with QuickBooks and other leading accounting software
  • Free debit card, mailed within 10 business days of application approval
  • Physical checks’ costs, depending on type ordered
  • Chase Merchant Services
  • Live customer support online or in branch during business hours
  • Other products include business savings, CDs, lending products, credit cards, merchant services, and collection services

Pros:

  • $300 bonus when you open an account
  • Easy-to-waive monthly fee
  • Built-in card acceptance with QuickAccept℠ via the Chase MobileⓇ app

Cons:

  • Limited number of free transactions
  • ATM fees not reimbursed
  • Fee for cash deposits of more than $5,000 per statement period

Key Takeaways

When it comes to selecting a bank for your startup, there are a lot of factors to consider. Each of the four banks we've reviewed in this article offers unique features and benefits that may be appealing to your business, depending on your specific needs and goals.

Ultimately, the best startup bank for your business will depend on a variety of factors, including your industry, funding needs, and growth goals. However, diversify across at least two of these for safety and carefully consider the options available to make an informed decision that will help your business thrive in 2023 and beyond.

We can help

At Levy, we help early-stage founders streamline and automate regulatory and legal ops, HR, and finance so you can focus on what matters most — your business.

We can provide sufficient information to guide you in starting a limited liability company in Arizona. In this way, you can avoid some common mistakes and errors that people usually face in the process.

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Note: Our content is for general information purposes only. Levy does not provide legal, accounting, or certified expert advice. Consult a lawyer, CPA, or other professional for such services.

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