Novo vs Relay Checking Accounts

Update: January 2, 2024

By: Tom Macken

We’ll help you choose between Relay and Novo checking accounts.


Comparison table
Pricing and services
Means of payment and collection
How to choose

Both Novo and Relay. Choices, choices. Which bank best suits your company’s needs? Starting a small business involves several decisions, one of which is finding a bank that fits your needs. Check out the table below for a side-by-side comparison that should help you make a decision.

Relay vs Novo: Summary comparison

The table below compares two different business banks.

Service typeBusiness commercial accountBusiness commercial account
Formation countryCanadaU.S.
Year it was formed20182016
Priceing (from)Starting from nothing up to $30 a month$0 per month
# of clients150,000
Banking cardMastercardMastercard

Relay Financial is an online banking platform located in Toronto, Canada that caters to small companies by providing them with features such as limitless transactions and interfaces with payroll and bookkeeping software, as well as numerous accounts, specific user permissions, and cheap costs.

The Novo Checking Account, offered by Novo, a direct lender launched in 2008 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is accessible to residents of all 50 states. Novo is a Green Dot Bank-backed financial platform that provides free checking accounts and access to funding via Novo Funding. American Express also bought Novo that year (2021).

Relay and Novo similarities

Relay and Novo are not traditional banks but rather internet banking alternatives. Customers’ deposits are protected up to the maximum amount allowed by the FDIC since they are guaranteed by the bank that serves as their parent.

Both institutions will not charge you a fee to receive a domestic wire transfer, and you will not be charged to use an ATM that is part of their network. The Relay debit card may be used everywhere Visa or Mastercard are accepted. In addition, Novo users can tap into over 19,000 in-network ATMs for no additional charge, and Relay debit cards may be used at more than 32,000 Allpoint cash machines to withdraw cash without incurring any fees.

Together, Relay and Novo provide:

  • A corporate bank account accessible over the Internet
  • There are never any charges incurred, whether monthly, overdraft, or for maintaining a certain level.
  • Credit Card for Banking Purposes
  • Mobile software
  • Interoperability between accounting programs

When it comes to services, both Relay and Novo can simply sync information like invoices, payments, and payees with accounting software like Quickbooks. No minimum initial deposits are required, and neither bank charges a fee for exceeding your daily transaction limit or for sending money by electronic funds transfer.

Remember that signing up for service with these two companies is simple and fast. A bank account for your company may be set up digitally in a matter of minutes.

Their user interfaces are simple and straightforward, whether you access them via their mobile apps or their website. Relay and Novo are designed for freelancers, small enterprises, and self-employed people who want a low-cost banking option. Unfortunately, neither bank provides any interest rates that result in an annual percentage yield.

Relay and Novo differences

This section compares Novo and Relay to highlight their differences. Here’s a table that breaks out the key distinctions.

Cash Machine Fees$0There are no withdrawal fees while using an ATM outside of their network. No matter where you are in the globe, Novo will cover your ATM withdrawal expenses.
ChecksWhen using Relay to pay bills, you may send checks anywhere in the United States at no additional cost.Don’t have the ability to use a standard checking account. The app’s users may get their payments in the form of checks by just using the app.
Domestic Wire Transfer Fees$5 for outgoing transactions; $0 for transactions coming inDomestic wires cannot be sent from a Novo account, but international wires may.
Checking plansChoose from the free and 30 dollars/month options.1 plan fee-free

You may choose one of these 2 checking accounts based on the many ways in which it differs from the other.

Unlike Relay, which offers two versions (the free Standard plan and the $30 per month Pro plan), Novo only offers one free monthly plan. Additional accounting capabilities are available to firms using Relay Pro.

The price for sending a domestic wire is $5, while receiving a domestic wire is free, when using Relay; while using Novo, ACH transactions done using the app are free of charge.  Let’s go further into the specifics of the Relay and Novo deals now that we understand more about the commonalities and distinctions between the two banks.

Differences in Cost, Features, and Support between Relay and Novo


There are some distinctions in the overall price, the programs, and the service provided by the two banks, even though both cater to proprietors of small businesses and independent contractors. The following is some data on the deals that are available from Rela and Novo.

Free offerYesYes
Monthly fees$0$0
Transaction fees$0$0
Number of accountsUp to 20 accounts1 account
Cash DepositsNot providedNot provided
Monthly transactionsLimitless no. of transactionsFree of charge unlimited transactions, free of charge ACH transfers, and free of charge inbound wire transfers
Line of creditn/aNone

Both Relay and Novo are quite competitive with regard to their monthly rates, since they do not charge any fees for the initial setup or ongoing maintenance and allow for an unlimited number of daily transactions. Users of the Novo mobile app are able to deposit checks into their accounts using the mobile app, while users of the Relay online dashboard are able to send checks to their customers using the online dashboard.

On the Relay online dashboard, you will enter your customer’s name and details, and the Relay Support team will issue the check to the customer the very next working day.

Although neither Relay nor Novo provide any facilities for making cash deposits, none of these banks will charge you any overdraft fees, monthly fees, or fees for making transactions.

Other services


Both Relay and Novo are excellent options for small companies looking for bank accounts since they do not charge any fees for business checking, they provide integrations, and they do not demand a minimum balance.

Each draw from your commercial credit line with Novo Funding is a new 6-, 12-, or 18-month installment loan, based on your qualification and loan amount. You are permitted to take out a term loan with a minimum amount of $500 for a period of six months, $10,000 for a period of twelve months, and $20,000 for a period of eighteen months.

Although Relay does not provide loans, it does provide comprehensive accountancy and banking services to ease money planning at a reasonably cheap price as part of its Relay Pro plan. This plan is only available to Relay customers.

Payment and collection methods offered by Novo and Relay

Payment methods

The following is a table that compares the various payment options provided by Novo and Relay.

Card typeMastercardMastercard
ChecksYes, with the use of the online dashboard as well as the Relay Support teamYes, by using the mobile application
Wire transfersYesYou are unable to send domestic wire transfers using your Novo account.
International wiresYes, ten dollars goes out, but nothing comes in.Wise allows you to send money to anybody in the world.
ACH transfersYesYes

Means of collection

The following is a list of the several ways of payment that may be used with these 2 accounts.

ChecksYes, via remote deposit checks using the Relay app Yes
Wire transfersYesYes
ACH wiresYesYes
International transfersYesYes

The international wire transfer costs for Relay Standard are $10 for outgoing wires and $0 for incoming wires. On the other hand, these expenses are included at no additional cost in the Relay Pro plan.

Picking between Relay and Novo?

Both Relay and Novo provide enticing, but distinctively different, online checking accounts for commercial enterprises. So how exactly should you go about making your decision? When deciding which option to go with, these are some of the most important considerations to bear in mind:

  • Services: Depending on the requirements of your company, there may be some corporate checking accounts that are more appropriate than others. Relay is unique due to the fact that it does not demand a minimum balance, does not charge monthly fees, provides comprehensive transaction data, and integrates with Quickbooks.
  • Novo also provides its users with the opportunity to send limitless customised invoices and receive payments online without charging a monthly cost or many other types of fees. In addition, Novo does not charge a setup price.
  • Are you going to be engaging in any international transactions at all, or perhaps a significant number of them? If this is the case, you should be informed that the charge for outgoing wires with Relay is ten dollars, but the fee for incoming wires is zero dollars.
    • Customers of Novo do not have the ability to directly transmit international wires; nevertheless, there is a workaround available in the form of an interface with Wise.
  • Accounts: Business owners who bank with Relay have the ability to create up to 20 bank accounts, issue up to 50 debit cards (virtual or real), invite members of the team, assigning responsibilities and permissions, and set spending limitations. In addition, Relay allows business owners to manage expenditure limits. Because of this, Relay is an excellent choice for a company of a medium size that is constantly expanding.
  • Other: In addition to the aforementioned benefits, members of Novo get unlimited access from over 19,000 in-network ATMs, while clients of Relay have access to 32,000 Allpoint ATMs at no additional cost for making cash withdrawals. In addition to the aforementioned features, Relay also offers its customers who utilize Relay Pro its own Accounting solutions, despite the fact that both banks have connections with accounting software.

For further information:

There are numerous additional business accounts that may be opened, and some of them are definitely worth investigating. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may choose to pick Bluevine, or even Chase bank, the biggest bank in the United States.

Bank of America might be the right choice for customers seeking for a financial institution with a big number of branch locations, whilst Capital One provides a comprehensive range of financial goods and services to companies of all sizes.

Please feel free to have a look at our comparison of commercial bank accounts to learn more about the many banking options available to companies.


Is Relay a good checking account?

Relay is a great business checking account because it has a clean interface, new features, and no fees for opening deposits, overdrafts, ATM fees, or international wires that come in. It also works with accounting software like Quickbooks.

Is Novo checking worth it?

It is true that Novo is a fantastic checking account since it provides a user-friendly dashboard with advanced features, zero monthly fees, a variety of possibilities for integration, and is perfect for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and self-employed individuals.

What are the alternatives to Relay and Novo?

Bluevine, Kabbage, and even Chase, the biggest bank in the United States, all provide banking options that are well suited to the needs of small company owners. The banking options provided by Capital One and Bank of America are likewise rather satisfactory.

Editorial Manager

Tom is the founder of He reads the offers, deciphers the details including features, pricing, included services and more to find you the best products and services.


Comparison table
Pricing and services
Means of payment and collection
How to choose

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