When I was writing recent overviews of Novo Bank and Bluevine offers, NorthOne Bank kept popping up. So, I did some poking and saw that this is an offer worth looking into. While they don’t offer free banking, their business accounts cost only $10 per month… sort of. So, let’s see what value you can truly get for the low price.
Here’s everything I could dig up about the offer:
- NorthOne Company Overview
- What is a NorthOne Business Account?
- How Does NorthOne Stack Up Against Rivals?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Takeaway
Now, let’s get the ball rolling!
NorthOne Company Overview
Most people looking for info on NorthOne want to know if the offer is legit, among other things. I’ll share what I know and you can decide for yourself.
NorthOne is a New York-based, for-profit company, founded in 2016 by Eytan Bensoussan and Justin Adler. The company has received $90.3 million in equity funding since its launch seven years ago — serious investors believe in the offer.
Prior to co-founding NorthOne, Bensoussan graduated from McGill University and served in various positions with companies like McKinsey & Company, Ferst Capital Partners, and the Forbes Finance Council. At that time, Adler was studying Psychology at Concordia, then held various marketing positions with Frank And Oak, Keeward, and SourceKnowledge.
NorthOne is a finance technology (fintech) company, not a bank.
The team has a strong combined background that would traditionally make for a long-term, successful business relationship. From this, I’d say they look legitimate and trustworthy. What do you think?
What is a NorthOne Business Account?
Like Bluevine and Novo, NorthOne is a “neobank.” Neobanks are usually serviced through established FDIC-insured institutions. In this case, the servicer is Bancorp Bank, which enables NorthOne to offer real-time payments, available as of a few weeks ago. This means that your business will have the ability to accept payments and receive funds instantly if you open an account.
NorthOne’s fee-free accounts give small business owners the opportunity to apply for and open an account in minutes, without the need to ever walk into a branch. They enable digital banking tools, send payments, deposit and withdraw, and automate budgeting.
Like Novo Bank, NorthOne is built with a profit-first-friendly framework. They provide a simple, business debit card for spending, accepting payments, and ATM access.
You can connect your NorthOne account to the financial tools you already use (if you’re using compatible products.
And, NorthOne connects easily to top accounting software like Expensify, Quickbooks, and Wave. And, accounts integrate with payment processors like Amazon Pay, PayPal, Shopify, and Stripe. While NorthOne doesn’t offer business credit options, using a NorthOne account in tandem with these payment processors could help you become eligible for a capital loan through one of the other companies.
Essentially, NorthOne accounts give your business a simple way to deposit, withdraw, pay, and get paid.
NorthOne enables cash deposits — not all online bank accounts do. With NorthOne, you can deposit cash through the GreenDot™ network, but there are some limitations.
- Daily limit: 4 loads max, for a total of $1,500.00 per day
- Weekly limit: 7 loads max, for a total of $3,500.00 per week
- Monthly limit: 20 loads max, for a total of $5,000.00 per month
Note: GreenDot locations may elect to impose smaller caps on cash transfers, so check your local ATMs and locations for more details.
Remember when I said that NorthOne supports profit-first? Let’s explore how that works.
NorthOne accounts have built-in “envelopes” that enable you to designate portions of your balance for specific, designated purposes. These envelopes are accessed on the mobile app or web app, to help you keep your money organized. You can set your account to send a set amount of money, either by amount or percentage, to each envelope from daily transactions.
This feature helps companies get a clear picture of where they’re spending, save, practice discipline, and avoid spending money they don’t have.
New, Real-Time Payments Network
Furthermore, just this year, NorthOne, along with Bancorp, joined the Clearinghouse’s new Real-Time Payments Network; this means that account holders are now at a competitive advantage with the ability to accept payments and receive funds instantly.
It sounds like a wire transfer-type situation because you have to give the sender your NorthOne routing and account numbers, but you will get the payment in seconds after they send it. Obviously, this is not a feature that you will be able to leverage with all of your customers because you shouldn’t share sensitive data with just anyone.
Note: the ability to send Real-Time Payments with a NorthOne account is coming soon, according to a customer service rep I spoke with.
No Peer-to-Peer Mobile Payments
On the other hand, if you need to process through Zelle, CashApp, or Venmo, the offer might not seem so cutting-edge. These types of instant transfer services are treated like ACH transactions, and take 1-3 days to process. This leaves some uninformed account holders with a bad taste in their mouth.
Currently, NorthOne does NOT have a Zelle integration to receive payments. They are working on adding a Zelle integration to their accounts, so keep checking back and follow the news for updates — they don’t have an expected date when this might happen.
With that said, you can use Cash App, Venmo, and the Real-Time Payments Network to receive funds quickly.
As with most banks (though, not all neobank accounts) There are fees imposed with the offer.
- Monthly account fee: $10
- Domestic wire fee: $15
- Expedited card mailing: $25
- Same-day ACH fee: $5
- Digital check fee: $4 per check
And, NorthOne provides a virtual card, with a different 16-digit number than the physical card, that you can use while you wait for your debit card to arrive in the mail. You may only have one virtual card.
Mastercard Small Business Debit Card
NorthOne issues Mastercard Small Business debit cards that can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
First of all, Mastercard is accepted at millions of merchants, suppliers, and utility companies worldwide. So, you won’t need to worry about where you will be able to use your card. Plus, Mastercard offers quite a myriad of benefits, even for basic debit cards.
All MasterCards come with zero-liability protection so you won’t pay for misuse or unauthorized purchases on your card. And, you can take advantage of free identity theft protection. If you opt-in, the system will monitor your credit and alert you to suspicious activity.
Mastercard’s Global Service provides 24/7 assistance for lost or stolen card reporting, emergency card replacement, and help finding an ATM if you need it.
None of this is beyond the norm for a business debit card, but it should bring you peace of mind, especially if you’re signing up with a neobank for the first time.
How Does NorthOne Stack Up Against Rivals?
I previously mentioned NorthOne’s top competitors, Novo and Bluevine. Let’s see how they contend next to one another.
NorthOne is the only bank of the three that charges a monthly fee. And, you can use a third-party app to send invoices from a NorthOne or Bluevine account, but this feature is built-in with Novo accounts.
None of these banks charge ATM fees themselves. With Novo, all third-party ATM fees will be reimbursed each month — NorthOne and Bluevine don’t currently offer reimbursement. Bluevine is the only account that enables you to earn interest on your business checking funds.
While NorthOne and Bluevine enable cash deposits, If you want to deposit cash into a Novo account, you’ll need to get a money order and then upload it through the app (not super convenient). And Bluevine is the only bank of the three that currently has a business credit offer, though NorthOne has stated that they plan to offer one in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is NorthOne a real bank?
Yes and no; NorthOne is a real fintech company, also known as a “neobank,” and NorthOne accounts are serviced through Bancorp, an established, FDIC-insured bank.
Is NorthOne FDIC-insured?
Yes, NorthOne accounts are FDIC-insured via their servicer, Bancorp Bank.
Can you use Zelle with NorthOne?
As of today, NorthOne does not have a Zelle integration. However, according to one company representative, they are working on creating one. To receive funds, you can use Cash App, Venmo, or the Real-Time Payments Network.
Does NorthOne bank have checks?
At this time, NorthOne only allows account holders to send checks. The recipient would receive the check within 3-9 days, and the service costs $4.
Does NorthOne report to credit bureaus?
NorthOne doesn’t offer any credit products for individuals or businesses, so there is no need for them to report to credit bureaus. And, opening an account does not affect your credit score in any way.
NorthOne has an interesting offer, for sure. In particular, the Real-Time Payments Network seems to be a leading-edge technology. However, if real-time payments aren’t a feature you need, Bluevine seems to have a more robust offer, as of today.
With that said, I typically recommend small business owners bank with local community banks and credit unions for optimal access to substantial business credit lines.
If you want to learn how to obtain up to $100K in business credit in as few as 30 days, join Business Credit Workshop today.