Online Business Bank Account

This article will help you select an online business bank account during this time of rising bank fees and charges.

You may already have a personal bank account, but you need a separate bank account for your business.  This is to segregate personal from business transactions. This separation of the two activities is essential for financial control of each separate function and also for the preparation of income tax and any other statements and reports.

An online business bank account is the way of the future.  Many of the functions of business, including bank accounts, are possible to do online more efficiently than any other way.

Why an ONLINE business bank account
is the way to go

It will probably be lower cost than a “brick and mortar” bank account.  It can be better adapted to online banking than a traditional bank with some online features.

Does it have to be an online bank account, or will regular checking work?  Businesses often start and operate with just a checking account.  An online account may help you separate business income and expenditures into categories to use for tax and control purposes without buying accounting software.

What online business bank account FEATURES do you need? 

Here is a list of banking account features, requirements and limitations.  Use this list to consider what you might need to have in a banking account, or accounts.

    Account types – checking and savings
    Minimum balance requirements
    Limitations on transactions -
        number of checks, debit transactions, or bill payouts per month
    Overdraft protection – how is it set up?
    Transfers of money between accounts
    Linking to other accounts     
    Fees applied - to deposits, wire transfers, and other service
        (including fees for over-drafting, late payments, etc.)
    Interest paid on accounts (if any)
    Period for a deposit to be available for checking   
    Remote deposit of checks – by use of a check scanner or
        by wireless phone app
    Debit cards and credit cards – look at fees and benefits,
        such as grace period on purchases   
    Lending – lines of credit, term loans, equipment leasing, SBA loans

Compare the availability and costs of banking features. Consider what you need and ask questions.

Loans insured by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) may be your best bet when purchasing a home business in the US. If you think you will need a loan, your prospective bank should offer SBA insured business loans. 

What features you CAN GET
with a pure online business bank account

    Online commercial banking services, including:
            Business deposit accounts
            Business credit cards
                Quicken and Microsoft Money compatible
                25-day grace period on purchases
            Merchant accounts
    Remote deposit of checks using a check scanner (faster than a mobile app)
    Receivables management
    Payables management
    Commercial lending
    Certificates of deposit         

What features you CAN GET
with a large bank with many online capabilities

    Bank anytime, anywhere via mobile device, ATM, online and phone
    Free online banking, bill pay, mobile banking, Mobile Deposit®.
    No monthly service charge, no minimum balance requirements.
    Optimized for small, mobile businesses
        Up to $5k cash processing per month at no charge
        Visa check card for each account signer
        Mobile deposit available
        Free mobile banking, online banking, and bill pay
        5 in-branch withdrawals &/or checks per month
        All other transactions unlimited
        2 in-branch deposits at no charge
        No surcharge at bank ATMs
        Account alerts
        Online statements included
    $100 minimum opening deposit

From BBVA Compass - small business banking features           

What PROBLEMS can you have
with online banking?

    Delay before deposits are available for withdrawal
    Communications with a real person when there is a problem
    Higher minimums and fees when you are starting a business -         
        make sure you understand the initial account operation
    Deposits of cash may not be accepted

EXAMPLE of features of a purely online bank operating in the United States

    No brick and mortar banking locations
    24/7 customer service
    “Competitive” rates and fees
    Banking by phone, chat, computer or mobile device

Summary of features advertised by Ally Bank.