Mercury Banking for Startups Review 2023

Mercury Bank Review image - 4.9/5

Disclaimer: Mercury is a financial technology (fintech) company, not a bank. Startup banking services are provided by its partner banks Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust, Members FDIC.

Mercury is a relatively new online-first banking platform offering checking and savings accounts designed for tech-focused businesses and startups. It’s not available to sole proprietorships, but it’s a great fit for many other business structures and it’s free to use. No monthly fee, fee-free transactions, and API access make this a great choice for startup banking services.

This review takes a look at what Mercury bank has to offer and how it stacks up with the competition.

Recommended: Open an account with Mercury and earn a $200 bonus when you deposit $10,000 or more. Get started today.

Pros and Cons of Mercury Bank

Pros

  • Up to $5 million in FDIC insurance
  • No monthly fees
  • No transaction fees
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • Free wire transfers
  • Access to more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs in the Allpoint network for cash withdrawals
  • Powerful digital tools including API access to customize your banking experience
  • Access to venture debt financing

Cons

  • Not available to sole proprietorships
  • Can't accept cash deposits
  • Savings account rate is negligible

Best Digital Banking Platform: Mercury

With up to $5 million in FDIC insurance, Mercury is perfect for high-growth tech startups. Start your banking journey today and enjoy a $200 welcome bonus when you deposit $10,000 or more.

Visit Mercury

Mercury Bank Eligibility Requirements

Unlike many other banking options, Mercury Bank does not open accounts for sole proprietorships. It’s also unavailable to trusts or businesses in certain sectors, like marijuana, adult entertainment, and online gambling. 

Mercury Bank does offer FDIC-insured accounts to most other types of U.S. companies, as long as you have a federal employer identification number. If you have one and you are any other business structure than a sole proprietorship, you should be able to qualify for an account. 

  • Basic details about your company, including your Social Security number and information about any co-founders
  • Information about owners with 25% or more ownership
  • Information about officers who have control over finances, such as your chief financial officer
  • Government-issued ID for you, co-owners, and financial officers
  • Business formation documentation
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) verification from the IRS
  • A history of deposits and purchases within your account (Mercury will decide when you can deposit checks based on this information)

Mercury Bank is careful to get all the information it needs to verify your company. But once you provide that information, the qualification process is fairly simple. Mercury will let you know if you qualify within five to seven business days. 

Mercury Bank Pricing & Features

Mercury Banking is pretty impressive as far as business checking account options go. It offers free checking and savings accounts for companies without any transaction fees. The lack of fees can be a real cost saver and is notably different from some other, more mainstream business banking options. 

A significant advantage of the platform is a product called Mercury Vault, which uses a sweep network system: customer deposits are distributed across a network of FDIC-insured banks rather than being held by a single banking institution. Founders need assurance that their operational cash and payroll funds are secure, and a standard $250,000 FDIC insurance often isn't enough. This enables Mercury to offer up to $5 million in FDIC insurance through their partner banks, Evolve Bank & Trust and Choice Financial Group.

Additionally, customers whose cash exceeds their FDIC insurance limit can move those funds into Mercury Treasury. This automated cash management account provides you with the ability to invest surplus funds into U.S. government securities and money market funds, offering a potential for higher returns.

Another product offering worth mentioning — especially for founders looking to grow — is Mercury Venture Debt. Venture debt is a type of loan provided to early-stage, growth-focused companies, typically those backed by venture capital funding or private equity funds. If this sounds right for you, learn more and apply on their website.

There are only a few areas where Mercury is lacking compared to some other business banking solutions. The fact that sole proprietors cannot get an account is unfortunate.

Additionally, Mercury is not a good fit for cash-focused businesses, since you can’t make cash deposits. And the low savings account rate is nothing to get excited about. 

All that being said, if you want free banking with an excellent online toolbox, Mercury is ideal. 

Rewards and Benefits

  • No monthly fees, no transaction fees, no transfer fees, no minimum opening deposit requirement, and no minimum balance requirements
  • Free wire transfers, domestic and foreign (for currency exchange, there is a 1% conversion fee on the USD amount)
  • Fee-free ATM access (ATM owners may still charge a fee)
  • Cash management option Mercury Treasury can yield up to 5.26% annually ($250,000 minimum deposit)
  • Digital tools to send and receive payments, track cash-flow analytics and monitor spending
  • Can create virtual debit cards
  • Edit spending limits, freeze your virtual cards, and more through the mobile app
  • Add unlimited team members to your account with either admin access or bookkeeping access
  • Integrate with third-party business tools like QuickBooks
  • Read-write API access so developers can customize how your business uses Mercury

Customer Reviews

Mercury Bank has lots of positive reviews, mentioning its superiority to standard big banks and the way it caters to tech companies. Some complain of slow account approval, but generally customers seem to like Mercury Bank and are glad to be using it. 

Here are some verified customer reviews from Trustpilot by people who use Mercury Bank: 

“Been a mercury customer since the early days after trying out all the big business banks - Chase, Wells Fargo, Silicon Valley Bank, Capital One. Mercury has been the best experience by far. Easy (and free) ACH payments, ability to link multiple accounts even across different businesses entities, and amazing customer service. Don't bother looking anywhere else. Highly recommended!”

“Mercury is a phenomenal platform to use on a daily basis. Between cost savings and headache reduction I HIGHLY recommend ditching whatever you use now and move to Mercury. I'm CEO of a growing tech startup (for important review context).”

“You'll really keep waiting for their account approval. They take weeks for approval. Communication is not excellent, but it's good. I've seen reviews where they just shut your account down after approving. I've never experienced yet!”

Final Thoughts on Mercury Bank

Mercury seems intent on making online banking as inexpensive and functional as possible for startups and tech-focused businesses. It’s not available to sole proprietorships, but for any other business it delivers efficient money management solutions without charging fees for the privilege. 

The only area where Mercury falls short is with cash deposits since you can’t deposit cash into your account. But overall, it is an excellent option for your business banking needs.

Recommended: With up to $5 million in FDIC insurance, Mercury is perfect for high-growth tech startups. Start your banking journey today and enjoy a $200 welcome bonus when you deposit $10,000 or more. Apply Now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Mercury a good bank for business?

Yes, Mercury Bank is a good bank for most businesses. However, sole proprietors cannot use Mercury’s accounts.

Is Mercury a real bank?

Mercury is a financial technology company that works with Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust, Members FDIC. 

Is Mercury Bank secure?

Mercury Bank is secure because it works with multiple FDIC-insured partner banks.

How long does it take to open a Mercury business account?

It typically takes Mercury five to seven business days to approve an application for a business bank account.