Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a die-hard fan of credit unions for business banking. As a rule, I recommend owners use small community banks and credit unions for business checking. So, I even surprised myself when I fell intrigued with Azlo Bank. After reading the wildly mixed reviews, I had to do a write-up.
Today, we’re going to analyze the online-only business banking offer from Azlo. Here’s what’s in store:
- Azlo Business Checking Account Overview
- Is Azlo Bank Safe?
- What You Really Get With Azlo Business Banking
- Azlo Business Account FAQs
- Azlo Business Banking Competitor Analysis
- Final Takeaway: Should You Open an Azlo Account?
Read on to get the full scoop before you go sign up all willy-nilly (choosing a business checking account is a huge decision).
Update: On January 7, 2020, Azlo bank announced to users that their parent bank, BBVA US, has made the strategic decision to close Azlo. They stated that nothing would happen to existing accounts right away, and that they were letting users know early. This is not good news, but we are hopeful that they will find a new bank to service their offer.
Update: As of Fall 2022, Azlo has not reopened. Users looking for a similar offer might consider Novo or Bluevine instead.
Azlo Business Checking Account Overview
Azlo is an online-only business banking offer designed for freelancers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profits. Their core offer is a forever-free, no-fee checking account that can be managed from home. And, for $10 per month, you can access advanced invoicing and budgeting features as well as premium content and accountant access.
Who Owns Azlo Bank?
Azlo is owned by BBVA, the US subsidiary of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, based in Madrid and Bilbao, Spain. Publicly-owned BBVA branches are located throughout the world. The current CEO Is Javier Rodríguez Soler, who was named to the position in 2019.
Javier has been with the company since 2008, has a strong background in investments and corporate development, and appears to be plenty qualified.
Where is Azlo Located?
Azlo’s official headquarters are in San Francisco. In addition, they have offices in Portland, Los Angeles, Birmingham, and New York City.
Is Azlo Bank Safe?
One of the top queries business owners have about this banking offer is whether or not it’s safe. The best indicator of funds safety in the United States is insurance through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC). Through this protection, if a bank fails, the US government assures that your money is safe.
FDIC insurance currently grants protection for $250K in deposits per account per financial institution.
Is Azlo Bank FDIC Insured?
If you peek in at the FDIC’s institution directory, you won’t find Azlo on the list of insured banks, which might scare you off. But, Azlo is insured through their partner bank, BBVA. In other words, your funds will be protected if, for some reason, the bank fails.
What You Really Get With Azlo Business Banking
Up to this point, you might still be wondering what’s so special about this offer.
“C’mon, Joe. There are plenty of online checking account offers that sound just like this one. What’s the big deal?”
Am I right?
Now, let’s explore the essence of Azlo’s magic so you can find out how it lured me in.
Some of the standard features of a free account are:
- Unlimited transactions
- $0 minimum balance
- $0 overdraft fees
- Acccesss to 55K no-fee ATMs
But, that’s not all. Below, you’ll find more about what makes this offer stand out.
Hassle-Free Online Checking Account Application
You can apply for a banking account with Azlo in less than five minutes. You’ll need your Articles of Organization or other official business license, your photo ID, social security number, and your business’ EIN. Rather than gather hard copies of everything and drive or fax them to a banker, you can simply upload your documents directly from the online application.
Once you’ve submitted the app, Azlo will review and you’ll get an email when you’ve been approved. Expect the approval process to take between 2-3 business days.
Convenient & Flexible Initial Deposit
It can take some time to transfer operations from one bank to another. In some cases, most of your funds can already be tied up, which makes large initial deposits inconvenient. You won’t have that issue with Azlo.
In fact, the first deposit into your Azlo business bank account can be as little as $10 or as much as $1K.
Unlimited Direct Invoicing
Rather than use a separate invoicing platform, with an Azlo account, you can send unlimited invoices to customers and clients without leaving your banking dashboard.
You can personlize your invoices with your company name, brand logo, and custom fields. In addition, you can save client information to draft and create future invoices in just a few clicks. See more about advanced options in the Azlo pro section below.
Azlo Envelope for Budgeting
One of the first accounting lessons you learn in business is to set money aside for your taxes. A digital envelope makes it easy by automating your savings.
When you configure your account, you can select an amount to set aside as a percentage. With each deposit, this amount will then be saved into an envelope. When you need to spend the money, simply select your envelope and release the funds for instant access.
Affordable Instant Transfers
Most features of an basic Azlo banking account are free, however one very common elective feature will come with a fee: instant (ACH) transfers. To send money out of your account instantaneously will cost $2 and to receive it will cost 2% of the total transaction.
So, for a $200 instant transfer into your account, you’ll pay $4, which is a pretty competitive rate. Pro users will pay less.
Business Tools & Integrations
It’s always smart to make sure your business tools play well with one another. Azlo has partnered with several brands so users can integrate their banking seamlessly with the tools they already use. My best guess it that they will continue to roll-out more partnerships as demand increases.
As of today, you can connect an Azlo bank account with Bench, BigCommerce, Coterie, FreshBooks, Gusto, PayPal, Quickbooks, Shopify, Square, Stripe, Thimble, and Xero.
Azlo Pro Features
For $10 per month, you can upgrade to leverage some additional features. In many cases, these features can save money that might otherwise be spent on external tools and software.
- Advanced Invoicing – Enable the ability to schedule and automate invoicing to clients and customers.
- Unlimited envelopes – In addition to setting money aside for taxes in your first envelope, you can put funds into multiple envelopes, say for large purchases, payroll, and other expenses.
- Azlo envelopes goals – Set budgeting goals and automatically schedule allocation into the appropriate corresponding envelopes.
- Accountant access – Give your accountant direct access to your account without sharing your personal login information.
- Reduced instant transfer fees – Pro users pay half the amount for instant transfers at just $1 for outgoing funds and 1% for incoming funds.
- Premium content – You’ll also be able to access gated content that includes in-depth guides about business management, marketing, advertising, and financial management.
For many companies, the pro offer is worth at least $10 in software savings alone. If you have the need for any of the above features, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Azlo Business Account FAQs
There are still over a handful of common questions unanswered. Let’s address them.
Does Azlo accept Zelle?
While Azlo can be connected to third-party platforms, Zelle does not allow uers to pay with business debit cards.
Does Azlo have a debit card?
Yes, an Azlo card is a Visa debit card that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.
Does Azlo work with PayPal?
Yes, you can connect an Azlo account to PayPay, Stripe, or Square. And, clients and customers can pay Azlo invoices with PayPal.
How do you deposit cash into Azlo?
To deposit cash into an Azlo account, you will need to deposit it into a linked bank account, then transfer the funds to your Azlo baking account.
How many accounts can you have with Azlo?
You can open one Azlo account per business. To open multiple Azlo accounts, you will need to connect them to multiple legal business entities.
Does Azlo have checks?
Azlo does not offer personal checks. Checks printed by using an Azlo account number and routing number will not work. To pay expenses by check from an Azlo account, you can use a third-party partner to send a mailed check.
Azlo Business Banking Competitor Analysis
I always encourage readers and Business Credit Workshop members to shop around before they make a financial decision. Since Azlo isn’t your only option, let’s see how they compare to the other top offer in thier niche (Note: I was going to add Seed.co to this list, but they have some growing to do before they can really compete).
Azlo Bank vs Novo Bank
|Initial Deposit Required||$10||$50|
|Automated Budgeting (Envelopes)||Yes||No|
|Business Tool Integrations||12||7|
|ATM Fees||Free at BBVA Compass & Allpoint ATMs||Refunds All ATM Fees|
|Business Financing||Streamlined Kabbage Business Loans||No|
|Business Tool Savings||No||Cash Savings with Merchants Like Stripe, Google Cloud, Quickbooks, & More|
In a nutshell, Azlo has an amazing offer that wins on several fronts — $0 non-sufficient funds fees, invoicing, and envelopes, as a few examples. But, Novo offers some impressive cash savings worth looking at.
Final Takeaway: Should You Open an Azlo Account?
If you’ve made it this far and you still like what you hear, yes, I recommend you look into opening an Azlo account for business checking. However, if you’re interested in learning how to build business credit and access up to $100K in funding within 30 days, I recommend a different type of account. Join the Business Credit Workshop today to learn more.