Relay Business Banking Review 2023
Is It the Best Bank for Your Startup?
Last Updated: By TRUiC Team
When it comes to startup banking, you have a lot of options. In recent years quite a few online-only banks have popped up that offer convenient, inexpensive banking tools that are ideal for many startups. Relay is one of those online banking solutions, and it stands out as one of the best banks for startups that we have found.
Relay offers free business checking that doesn’t require a minimum balance, has no transaction limits, and no overdraft fees. It also gives you free incoming wire transfers as well as the option to open as many accounts as you need. There is also a premium option, Relay Pro, for $30 per month. Its added features, including free outgoing wire transfers and automatic importation of bills from QuickBooks Online, might make it worth the cost for some businesses.
There are a few drawbacks, however. As with many online-only banks, you can’t deposit cash into your Relay account, and any checks you deposit are likely to be held for six or seven business days.
In this review, we’ll tackle what you need to open a Relay bank account, its pros and cons, and what other Relay users say about using the platform.
Recommended: Check out Relay's online digital banking and money management platform.
Relay Banking Platform Eligibility Requirements
Opening an account with Relay is relatively easy, although there are a few requirements that you must meet. These include providing identifying information for stakeholders in the business and providing various business documents. The majority of business banking accounts require identification and business-related documentation, so these requirements are to be expected when opening a business checking account.
Relay requires the following from anyone with a 25% stake in the business:
- Government-issued photo identification
- Passport or Social Security number
- Personal address and phone number
- Business address and phone number
- Email address
Long story short, if you can qualify for a business checking account at any other banking institution, you can most likely qualify for an account with Relay.
Pros and Cons of Relay Banking Platform
Pros of Relay Banking Platform
- No monthly fees for free checking
- No minimum balance requirements
- No overdraft fees
- Unlimited transactions
- Get up to 20 business checking accounts
- Get up to 50 Mastercard debit cards
Cons of Relay Banking Platform
- No option to deposit cash
- No brick-and-mortar locations
- Deposited checks take six to seven business days to clear
Relay Business Banking
Relay is a convenient, affordable banking option for startups that don’t need to deposit cash.
Relay Banking Platform Pricing and Features
Relay is a convenient, affordable banking option for startups that don’t need to deposit cash. It doesn’t require a minimum balance and doesn’t charge overdraft fees. The free business checking account is free, so you don’t have to pay a monthly fee. And you don’t have to worry about overdraft fees.
All of these things make Relay a budget-friendly banking solution for your startup. But there is more to like for the right business. Relay lets you open up to 20 different accounts and use up to 50 debit cards, whether real or virtual. That lends a lot of flexibility if your business needs it.
The only significant drawback to Relay is its lack of support for cash deposits. If your business deals in cash, Relay probably won’t work for you. Some online-only banks offer ways to deposit cash, but Relay does not.
Rewards and Benefits
- No overdraft fees
- No minimum balance
- Free incoming wire transfers
- Up to 20 accounts
- Up to 50 debit cards
- Direct integration with QuickBooks Online and Xero
- $30 per month for Relay Pro (includes free outgoing wire transfers and upgraded bookkeeping features)
There are a few things that could make Relay undesirable, including the lack of cash deposits and the lack of interest-bearing accounts. But if those things are unimportant to you, the lack of fees and the flexibility of the banking solutions Relay offers could be ideal for your needs.
We aren’t the only ones who like Relay — there are plenty of satisfied customers that have reviewed Relay’s services.
Here are some verified customer reviews from Trustpilot by people who use Relay’s banking platform:
“Relay is a very good bank for your small business. The ability to have multiple sub accounts is a great way to organize your company. I can't wait until they add saving and or business credit/funding.”
“I'm a new small business and was dreading the account set up process. Relay was recommended to me by a friend and I'm already so glad to be banking with them. The set up process was very easy and I got efficient and friendly support for the 1 question I had during the application. Since then, it's been easy to manage my account, accept and send funds, and share account information with my team as needed.”
“When we started our LLC, we were referred to RelayFi as a very convenient, small business friendly, online banking service. At every turn, we’ve been very please with the services offered and the excellent customer service. In one instance, a series of mistakes led to a wire transfer going to the wrong account (not ours). With the help of RelayFi’s customer service leadership - the problem was quickly resolved. That effort cemented our relationship with RelayFi. We’re very satisfied customers!”
How Does the Relay Banking Platform Compare?
With so many banking options to choose from, it makes sense to compare them to ensure you get the right one for your needs. Let’s look at how Relay compares to another online banking solution, Brex.
Offers a lot of features and flexibility for small businesses.
Best for: Startups that want a free, robust banking solution and don’t need to deposit cash.
Offers many perks, rewards, and money limits.
Best for: Venture capital-backed startups and mid-tier companies that want to take advantage of the rewards program and high limits of the Brex charge card.
Final Thoughts on Relay
Relay is one of the most cost-effective online-only banking solutions we have found for small businesses. Its lack of fees, extra accounts and debit cards, and bookkeeping integrations are all features that most businesses will greatly appreciate. The only thing it really lacks is brick-and-mortar locations and cash deposits.
If you don’t need to deposit cash and don’t mind doing all of your banking online, you should take a closer look at Relay. It might be the business checking solution you are looking for!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Relay a real bank?
Relay is a financial technology company, not a bank. It partners with Thread Bank, Member FDIC, to provide banking services.
How does Relay make money?
Most of the money Relay makes comes from merchant fees that are paid when account holders use Relay debit cards.
What bank does relay financial use?
Relay uses Thread Bank, Member FDIC.
Can I deposit cash with Relay?
No, you cannot deposit cash with Relay. It is an online-only platform.