Financial Management

Streamline Your Startup's Financial Operations with Mercury: A Complete Guide

Mercury is a financial technology company designed to simplify banking and financial management for startups and small businesses. It’s a go-to financial system for many startups who are looking to streamline the often complex and time-consuming financial tasks that entrepreneurs face. 

You can call it the first-choice bank for startups —and here are a few pointers to that: 

  1. Digital-First Banking: Mercury provides a fully online banking experience, eliminating the need for physical branch visits. This is particularly beneficial for tech-savvy startups that prefer managing their finances digitally. Setting up a Mercury account is straightforward and can be done entirely online. This saves time and reduces the bureaucratic hassle often associated with traditional banks.

  1. No Hidden Fees: Mercury accounts come with no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, and no overdraft fees. This cost efficiency is crucial for startups that need to manage their finances tightly. Plus, it has a transparent pricing structure that ensures that startups can plan their finances without worrying about unexpected charges.

  1. Comprehensive Financial Tools: Mercury’s platform features an integrated dashboard where startups can manage all their banking needs, including checking account balances, tracking transactions, and making payments. Tools for categorizing and tracking expenses help startups maintain a clear overview of their spending, which is essential for budgeting and financial planning. The bank also provides insights into cash flow, spending trends, and other financial metrics, helping startups make informed decisions.

  1. Payment Solutions: Startups who plugin to Mercury have a plethora of banking options at their disposal. These include FDIC-insured checking accounts, savings accounts, business checking accounts equipped with both virtual and physical debit cards, as well as Mercury Treasury accounts. Additionally, startups can tap into venture debt financing for further financial support. ACH transfers provide a convenient means of fund transmission. Moreover, Mercury collaborates with partner banks such as Evolve Bank and Choice Financial Group to furnish startups with a tailored suite of financial services.

  • Mercury supports ACH transfers, allowing startups to handle payroll, vendor payments, and other recurring transactions efficiently.
  • Domestic and international wire transfers are available for larger, one-time payments, enabling startups to manage global transactions seamlessly.
  • Mercury offers both virtual and physical debit cards, providing flexibility for in-person and online purchases. These cards can be managed directly from the Mercury platform, including setting spending limits and tracking transactions.

  1. Security and Control: Mercury employs robust security measures such as two-factor authentication, encryption, and real-time transaction alerts to protect user accounts from unauthorized access and fraudulent activities.

  1. Integration and Accessibility: Mercury integrates seamlessly with popular accounting software such as QuickBooks, Xero, and others, simplifying the reconciliation process and ensuring accurate financial records. Plus, it’s accessible from desktop computers as well as mobile devices through the Mercury mobile app, providing startups with the flexibility to manage their finances anytime, anywhere.

Who is Mercury For?

Mercury is an ideal banking solution for many VC-backed startups.

It is well-suited for customers with deposits exceeding $250,000 who need a sweep account to maximize FDIC insurance coverage. Businesses seeking access to venture funding will also find Mercury advantageous.

However, as startups grow, they may need more advanced features like multi-entity support, comprehensive AP automation, and other critical financial operations capabilities. Mercury’s AP automation platform has some limitations and can be expensive.

Specific features you will find on Mercury: 

  1. Mercury Vault: This feature empowers customers to seamlessly transfer uninsured deposits among a network of FDIC-insured banks. By leveraging Mercury's partner banks and sweep networks, customers can obtain up to $5 million in FDIC insurance.

  1. Mercury Treasury: An automated cash management account, Mercury Treasury enables customers to invest surplus funds in lower-risk, highly liquid mutual funds. This ensures that idle money generates returns, rather than languishing in low-interest or non-interest-bearing accounts. This option is exclusively available to customers whose cash balances surpass their FDIC insurance limits. As of August 9, 2023, the annual rate stands at up to 5.42%, with a minimum deposit requirement of $250,000.

  1. Mercury Venture Debt: This financing solution is tailored for venture-backed startups, offering them founder-friendly funding to extend their financial runway without relinquishing equity.

  1. Mercury IO Mastercard: Account holders can acquire this credit card without undergoing a credit check or facing annual fees. With a 1.5% cashback incentive on all purchases, the earnings are automatically deposited into the Mercury account. Additionally, founders can issue virtual employee corporate cards, streamlining access to necessary resources without bureaucratic delays.

Setting Up Your Mercury Account

Step 1: Required Documentation: Before you start, make sure you have the necessary documentation ready. You will need:

  • Your business entity information (e.g., LLC, C-Corp)
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Personal identification documents (e.g., passport, driver's license)
  • Your company’s official formation documents

Step 2: Visit Mercury’s Website and click on “open account” on the home page

Step 3: Create an Account: You will be prompted to create a user account. Enter your work/business email address and create a password. You might also need to verify your email address through a confirmation link sent to your inbox. Answer a few questions from the system to enable it to identify what category your business falls under

Step 4: Provide Business Information: Fill in the details about your business, including:

  • Business name
  • Callsign (A username that you can use)
  • Business address
  • Business type (LLC, C-Corp, etc.)
  • Industry
  • Description of your business activities

Note that all these 

Step 5: Enter your personal details:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Contact information (phone number, address)

Step 6: Upload Required Documents: You will need to upload scans or photos of:

  • Personal identification (e.g., passport, driver’s license)
  • Proof of your business entity (e.g., Articles of Incorporation, Operating Agreement)
  • IRS document showing your EIN
  • Any additional documents Mercury requests to verify your business and identity

Step 7: Verification Process: Mercury will review the information and documents you have submitted. This verification process can take a few days. Mercury might contact you if they need additional information or clarification.

Step 8: Account Approval: Once your account is approved, you will receive an email notification. You can then log in to your Mercury account.

Step 9: Set Up Your Online Banking: Log in to your Mercury account and set up your online banking preferences. At this stage, you can: 

  • Set up multi-user access if you have team members
  • Order physical and virtual debit cards
  • Integrate with accounting software or payment processors (like QuickBooks, Stripe, PayPal)
  • Fund your account

Financial Management and Operations: Credit Card Management

Mercury offers comprehensive financial management and operations tools tailored for startups. With Mercury, businesses can handle banking tasks efficiently, including credit card issuance and management, managing accounts, processing payments, and tracking expenses. 

Issuing and overseeing company credit cards via Mercury is designed to be straightforward and user-friendly, leveraging Mercury’s digital platform to provide control and oversight. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Issuing and Overseeing Company Credit Cards via Mercury

Step 1: Set Up Your Mercury Account: If you haven't already, start by opening a Mercury business bank account. 

Step 2: Apply for a Mercury IO Credit Card: Once your Mercury account is active, log in to the Mercury dashboard and navigate to the section where you can apply for the Mercury IO credit card. Complete the application form with your business details. Mercury will review your application and notify you upon approval.

Step 3: Issuing Credit Cards to Employees:  In your Mercury dashboard, go to the card management section. Select the option to issue new credit cards. You will need to provide details for each employee, such as their name and email address.

  • Customize spending limits for each employee card based on their role and business needs. This helps control expenses and ensures that spending stays within budget.
  • Choose whether to issue virtual cards, physical cards, or both. Virtual cards are useful for online transactions, while physical cards are needed for in-person purchases.

Step 4: Activating and Distributing Cards: Employees will receive instructions on how to activate their cards. Physical cards will be mailed, while virtual cards can be activated immediately through the Mercury platform. Provide employees with their physical cards once received. Ensure they understand the activation process and any company policies related to card usage.

Step 5: Integration with Accounting Software: Integrate Mercury with your accounting software (such as QuickBooks or Xero) to automate the reconciliation process. This ensures that all expenses are accurately recorded and simplifies financial management. Use Mercury’s reporting tools to generate detailed expense reports. This helps in budgeting, financial analysis, and preparing for tax filings.

Best practices for monitoring expenses:

  • Use the Mercury dashboard to monitor all transactions in real-time. This allows you to keep track of spending and ensure that all purchases are business-related.
  • Configure alerts for specific transactions or spending thresholds. This helps in quickly identifying any unusual or unauthorized activity.
  • Utilize the expense categorization feature to organize transactions. This simplifies bookkeeping and helps in generating accurate financial reports.
  • Conduct regular reviews of all transactions to ensure compliance with company policies. This can be done weekly or monthly depending on your business needs. Approve legitimate expenses and flag any suspicious or non-compliant transactions for further investigation. Based on spending patterns and business needs, you can adjust the spending limits for each card at any time through the Mercury dashboard.
  • Ensure that all security features, such as two-factor authentication and transaction alerts, are enabled for additional protection.
  • If a card is lost or you suspect fraudulent activity, you can instantly lock the card through the Mercury platform. This prevents any further unauthorized transactions.
  • Perform regular audits of card usage and transaction history to identify any potential issues early.

Advanced Features for Startups: Multi-Currency Management

Managing multiple currencies is crucial for startups engaged in international operations, offering several benefits such as:

  1. Multi-currency management enables startups to expand their operations globally, reaching new markets and customers without being limited by currency barriers.
  2. Startups can offer competitive pricing in local currencies, enhancing their competitiveness in international markets. This flexibility can attract more customers and drive business growth.
  3. Holding funds in different currencies allows startups to hedge against currency fluctuations. They can strategically convert funds when exchange rates are favorable, minimizing the impact of currency volatility on their finances.
  4. Offering pricing and invoicing in customers' local currencies enhances the overall customer experience, reducing confusion and friction in the purchasing process.
  5. Multi-currency management simplifies cross-border transactions, making it easier for startups to pay suppliers, contractors, and vendors in their local currencies.

How to Manage Different Currencies within Mercury

Mercury provides tools and features to help startups effectively manage multiple currencies within their accounts:

  1. Multi-Currency Accounts: Mercury allows startups to hold funds in multiple currencies within a single account. This simplifies currency management and reduces the need for separate accounts for each currency.
  2. Currency Conversion: Startups can easily convert funds between different currencies directly within the Mercury platform. The conversion process is seamless and can be done at competitive exchange rates.

  1. International Wire Transfers: Mercury supports international wire transfers in multiple currencies, enabling startups to send and receive payments globally without the need for third-party currency exchange services.

  1. Currency Insights: Mercury provides insights into currency holdings and exchange rate trends, helping startups make informed decisions about currency conversions and hedging strategies.

  1. Integration with Accounting Software: Mercury seamlessly integrates with popular accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero, allowing startups to accurately track multi-currency transactions and maintain financial records.

  1. Customer Invoicing: Startups can generate invoices in different currencies using Mercury's invoicing tools, making it easier to bill international clients and customers.

  1. Currency Reports: Mercury offers detailed currency reports, allowing startups to monitor currency balances, track exchange rate fluctuations, and analyze currency-related expenses.

Integrating Mercury with accounting software and other business tools enhances efficiency, accuracy, and automation in financial management for startups. Here's an overview of how Mercury integrates with various tools:

  1. Accounting Software Integration: Mercury offers seamless integration with leading accounting software solutions to enhance financial management for startups:
  • QuickBooks: Integrates automatically with QuickBooks, synchronizing financial data to ensure accurate and up-to-date records.
  • Xero: Streamlines reconciliation and eliminates manual data entry errors, providing a comprehensive view of financial transactions.
  • Wave: Syncs transactions, invoices, and expenses with Wave, simplifying bookkeeping and financial reporting for small businesses and freelancers.

  1. Payment Processing Integration with Mercury: Mercury integrates with several leading payment processing platforms, enhancing financial management for startups:
  • Stripe: Seamlessly reconciles Stripe transactions within the Mercury platform, simplifying accounting and financial reporting processes.
  • PayPal: Syncs PayPal transactions with Mercury accounts, providing a consolidated view of all financial activities.
  • Square: Manages sales transactions, tracks revenue, and reconciles payments more efficiently, particularly for small businesses in retail and hospitality.

  1. Expense Management Integration with Mercury: Mercury integrates with leading expense management platforms to streamline tracking and categorizing expenses for startups
  • Expensify: Automates expense reporting, improves compliance, and provides greater visibility into spending patterns.
  • Receipt Bank: Captures and digitizes receipts automatically, reducing manual data entry and enhancing accuracy in expense tracking.

  1. CRM and Sales Integration with Mercury: Mercury integrates with top CRM platforms to streamline financial processes and sales management for startups:
  • Salesforce: Syncs customer data, invoices, and payments between Salesforce and Mercury, enhancing sales and revenue tracking.
  • HubSpot: Tracks revenue, invoices customers, and manages payments within HubSpot, improving financial visibility and streamlining sales transactions.

Step 1: Determine which integrations would benefit your startup the most. Consider accounting software, payment processing platforms, expense management tools, CRM systems, and other business applications.

Step 2: Identify tools that integrate seamlessly with Mercury. Check Mercury's website or documentation for a list of supported integrations.

Step 3: If you haven't already, sign up for a Mercury account and complete the registration process.

Step 4: Set Up Integration with Accounting Software

  • Choose the accounting software you use or plan to use (e.g., QuickBooks, Xero).
  • In your Mercury account dashboard, navigate to the settings or integrations section.
  • Follow the prompts to connect your Mercury account with your chosen accounting software. You may need to authorize access and provide login credentials for both platforms.
  • Customize integration settings as needed, such as specifying which data to sync (e.g., transactions, invoices) and how frequently synchronization should occur.

(Repeat the process for payment processing integrations, expense management tools, or CRM systems).

Step 5: Test Integrations: After setting up each integration, test it to ensure that data is syncing correctly between Mercury and the integrated tool. If you encounter any issues during testing, review integration settings and consult documentation or support resources for troubleshooting guidance.

Step 6: Monitor and Maintain Integrations: Periodically review integration settings and performance to ensure that workflows are running smoothly. Update integration settings or configurations as your business needs evolve or if any changes occur in the integrated tools.

Ensuring Security and Compliance

Mercury prioritizes the security of its users' financial data by implementing robust protocols and features. Here's a detailed overview of the security measures in place:

  1. Encryption: Mercury employs industry-standard encryption protocols to secure data transmission between users' devices and their servers. This ensures that sensitive information, such as account credentials and transaction details, remains protected from unauthorized access.

  1. Two-factor authentication (2FA): Mercury offers two-factor authentication as an additional layer of security beyond passwords. Users are required to provide a second form of verification, such as a unique code sent to their mobile device, to access their accounts. This helps prevent unauthorized access even if login credentials are compromised.

  1. Real-Time Transaction Alerts: Mercury provides real-time transaction alerts to users, notifying them of any suspicious or unusual activity detected on their accounts. This allows users to take prompt action in the event of unauthorized transactions or potential security breaches.

  1. Fraud Detection: Mercury employs sophisticated fraud detection algorithms to continuously monitor account activity for signs of fraudulent behavior. Suspicious transactions are flagged for further review, and appropriate action is taken to prevent financial loss.

  1. Card Controls: Users can manage their debit cards directly from the Mercury platform, including setting spending limits, restricting transaction types (e.g., online purchases, ATM withdrawals), and temporarily locking or unlocking cards. These controls help prevent unauthorized use of debit cards and minimize the risk of fraud.

  1. Secure Data Storage: Mercury stores users' financial data in secure, encrypted databases, protected by multi-layered security measures. This safeguards sensitive information, such as account numbers and transaction history, from unauthorized access or data breaches.

Tips for Maintaining Secure Operations

  1. Use Strong Passwords: Create strong, unique passwords for your Mercury account and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. Consider using a reputable password manager to securely store and manage passwords.

  1. Enable Two-Factor Authentication: Enable two-factor authentication for their Mercury accounts to add an extra layer of security. This helps protect accounts even if passwords are compromised.

  1. Regularly Monitor Account Activity: Regularly review their account activity and transaction history for any suspicious or unauthorized transactions. Promptly report any discrepancies or concerns to Mercury's support team.

  1. Keep Software Up to Date: Ensure that devices and software used to access Mercury accounts are kept up to date with the latest security patches and updates. This helps protect against known vulnerabilities and exploits.

  1. Educate Users About Phishing Risks: Educate your team about common phishing tactics used by cybercriminals to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information. Remind them to be cautious when clicking on links or providing personal information, especially in unsolicited emails or messages.

  1. Secure Devices and Networks: Secure your devices and networks with antivirus software, firewalls, and encryption. Use secure, private networks when accessing Mercury accounts, especially when conducting financial transactions.

Compliance and Reporting in Mercury

Maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements is essential for startups and businesses, and Mercury offers features to facilitate compliance and streamline reporting processes. Here's an overview:

Compliance Features Provided by Mercury

  1. Know Your Customer (KYC): Mercury implements robust KYC procedures to verify the identity of users during account setup. This helps ensure compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations and prevents fraudulent activities.
  2. Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Checks: Mercury conducts ongoing AML checks to monitor account activity and identify any suspicious transactions that may indicate money laundering or other illicit activities.
  3. Transaction Monitoring: Mercury employs sophisticated transaction monitoring algorithms to detect and flag potentially suspicious or fraudulent activities. This helps businesses comply with regulatory requirements related to fraud prevention and financial crime detection.
  4. Data Encryption and Security: Mercury prioritizes data security and implements encryption protocols to protect users' sensitive information, ensuring compliance with data protection regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Using Mercury for Regulatory Reporting and Compliance Checks

  1. Transaction Reporting: Mercury provides tools and resources to generate detailed transaction reports, which can be used for regulatory reporting purposes. These reports include information such as account balances, transaction history, and other relevant financial data.

  1. Compliance Checks: Startups can use Mercury's platform to perform compliance checks, such as AML screenings and KYC verifications, to ensure that they are meeting regulatory requirements. Mercury's automated compliance checks help businesses streamline the compliance process and minimize manual effort.

  1. Audit Trails: Mercury maintains comprehensive audit trails of account activity, allowing businesses to track and document changes made to account settings, transactions, and other relevant data. These audit trails serve as evidence of compliance with regulatory requirements and can be used for internal audits or regulatory inspections.

  1. Integration with Accounting Software: Mercury integrates seamlessly with accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero, allowing businesses to streamline regulatory reporting processes by automatically syncing financial data between Mercury and their accounting systems. This integration ensures accuracy and consistency in regulatory reporting and compliance checks.

  1. Customizable Controls and Alerts: Mercury allows businesses to set up customizable controls and alerts to monitor account activity and flag any potential compliance issues. For example, businesses can set spending limits, transaction alerts, and other parameters to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and internal policies.


  1. What Bank Does Mercury Use?

Answer: Mercury partners with Evolve Bank & Trust to provide banking services to its customers. Evolve Bank & Trust is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), offering security and protection for deposited funds.

  1. How to Close a Mercury Bank Account

Answer: To close your Mercury bank account, you'll need to contact Mercury's customer support team directly. You can reach out to them via email at or through the in-app chat feature. They will guide you through the account closure process and assist with any necessary steps.

  1. Where is Mercury Bank Located?

Answer: Mercury does not operate physical branch locations. It is an online-only banking platform, allowing users to manage their finances entirely through its digital platform and mobile app. However, Mercury is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

  1. How Do I Contact Mercury Bank?

Answer: You can contact Mercury's customer support team via email at or through the in-app chat feature available within the Mercury platform. Additionally, you can visit the Mercury website for more information and support resources.

  1. How to Deposit Money in Mercury Bank

Answer: Mercury provides multiple convenient options for depositing money into your account, allowing you to choose the method that best suits your needs.

  • Direct Deposit: Set up direct deposit with your employer or clients to have funds deposited directly into your Mercury account.
  • Mobile Check Deposit: Use the Mercury mobile app to deposit checks by taking photos of them with your smartphone camera.
  • ACH Transfers: Transfer funds from another bank account to your Mercury account via ACH (Automated Clearing House) transfer.
  • Wire Transfers: Receive funds from domestic or international sources by providing your Mercury account details for wire transfers.

  1. What are the cons of using Mercury?


  1. No Cash Deposit Capability: Mercury does not allow cash deposits, which sets it apart from many other online business checking accounts. This makes it unsuitable for companies that handle cash transactions from customers.
  2. Withdrawal Delays for Treasury Funds: Withdrawals from Mercury Treasury typically take 1-2 business days to reach your account, but in some cases, it can take up to 5 business days. These delays could cause cash flow issues for businesses needing quick access to funds.
  3. Investment in Money Market Funds: Mercury Treasury invests in money market funds. This difference might affect the level of security and direct ownership of the investments.
  4. Venture Debt Risks: Venture debt involves specific terms and conditions to ensure timely repayment, which may restrict how founders operate their businesses. Defaulting on a secured loan can lead to the loss of company assets, potentially disrupting or terminating business operations.
  5. Limited Cash Management Solutions: Mercury does not support multi-entity management and lacks advanced finance features such as fully integrated AP automation and comprehensive expense management. This limits its effectiveness as a comprehensive cash management solution for growing startups.

But Mercury is still your best bet

Despite its shortcomings, Mercury remains an attractive option for startups due to its tailored design and user-friendly platform. Specifically created for early-stage businesses, Mercury offers a straightforward online banking experience with easy account setup and no monthly fees. This accessibility is crucial for startups that may not have substantial initial funds, as there are no minimum balance requirements.

Mercury also provides valuable integrations with popular accounting and financial tools, which streamline financial management and reduce the need for manual data entry. This can save startups considerable time and resources, allowing them to focus on core business activities. Additionally, Mercury's robust online platform supports digital and remote banking, ideal for startups operating in flexible, remote-first environments.

Access to venture capital networks is another significant advantage of using Mercury. The platform's strong connections within the VC community can provide startups with potential opportunities for funding and networking, which are critical for growth and development. 

Moreover, Mercury Treasury offers competitive treasury management, allowing startups to earn interest on idle funds and optimize cash management. While there are some limitations, such as withdrawal delays, the benefits can still be significant for managing a startup’s finances effectively.

Mercury's fee-free banking model, including free domestic and international wire transfers, can significantly reduce operational costs for startups. This cost-efficiency, combined with strong security features like two-factor authentication, robust encryption, and FDIC insurance coverage up to $1 million through its partner banks, provides startups with a secure and economical banking solution.

In summary, Mercury's design, cost-efficiency, integration capabilities, and security features make it a compelling choice for startups, despite its limitations.

Sign up now

Ready to take your startup's financial operations to the next level? Sign up for Mercury today and unlock the full potential of your business. Whether you're looking to streamline your accounting processes, simplify expense management, or optimize cash flow, Mercury has the tools and resources you need to succeed.

If you have any questions or would like a demonstration tailored to your startup's specific needs, don't hesitate to reach out to Mercury's customer support team

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