June 9, 2022

Relay Financial Review

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Relay Financial offers online banking services for businesses. Yes, it is free. But, is it the right platform for you? Find out.

Relay Promotions
No-Fee Business Checking

Overall Score

4.6

Checking

5.0

Customer Service

4.0

Mobile App

4.5

Fees

5.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Up to 20 checking accounts
  • Up to 50 debit cards
  • $0 monthly fee
  • No cash deposits
  • No paper checks

Bottom Line

One of the best online business banking accounts for large teams

Relay Financial is an online banking and money management platform. It was built with business owners in mind and feedback from them as well.

They offer an array of thoughtful tools designed to make your life easier. These tools help you focus on what really matters: your customers, your clients, and your business' needs.

In a thorough breakdown of Relay Financial, you'll see all they have to offer. Also, how they stack up to similar competitors. This can help you decide if opening a bank account with them is the right choice for your business.

What is Relay Financial?

Relay Financial is a fintech company that provides banking services to businesses. They are in partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust, an FDIC member.. They also offer a range of other services designed to make managing business finances smooth and easy.

Relay Financial Overview

  • $0 monthly or overdraft fees
  • $0 opening deposit
  • Up to 20 checking accounts
  • Up to 50 debit cards
  • No cash deposits
  • No check orders

Relay lets business owners have specific permissions for employees and partners. This allows them to perform actions related to the business' bank account without sharing login information.

Users can set up automated payments on a recurring schedule, issue debit cards to their staff, track spending, and more.

Relay Financial accounts also integrate with popular accounting, payroll, and other business-related software and platforms.

They offer a free standard plan and Relay Pro. The latter has a $30 monthly fee.

Relay has options for accountants and bookkeepers as well. They offer a free plan and a paid plan charged on a per-client basis.

Relay Free Financial Features

We've taken a broad look at Relay Financial. Now, let's dig into the various features and services they have to offer.

Multiple Checking Accounts
With Relay, you have the option of opening up to 20 unique checking accounts. Such a feature keeps your finances truly separate from your business needs.

Mastercard Debit Cards
With a Relay account, you can order up to 50 virtual or physical Mastercard debit cards. This means there are no bottlenecks to your spending.

Payments
Paying your vendors is crucial for keeping your business running smoothly. With Relay, you can make payments easily via ACH bank transfer, wire transfer, or check.

Member Accounts and Permissions
Relay users can provide their staff with select access to financial accounts. Not every member of your team needs the same level of control with spending. That's why they offer custom permissions and spending limits set for each team member.

App Integrations
In an increasingly digital world, integrations make a huge difference. In terms of productivity, convenience, and speed. Relay allows for many integrations, including:

Mobile Banking
Relay offers banking services for web, iOS, and Android operating systems. You don't always have to access a computer and Relay has no physical branches. However, they know that access to your accounts wherever you are is crucial.

ATM Access
Relay offers users access to 32,000 ATMs across the country. This is possible because they are a member of the Allpoint ATM network. Although Relay is an online banking platform, you get access to ATMs.

Enriched Transaction Data
Relay provides information about vendors, including category, location, website, and more. This makes managing transactions through your banking dashboard easy.

24/7 Customer Support
Relay users have 24-hour email support and an online support center. Phone support is available from 9am to 5pm ET, Monday to Friday.

Relay offers a premium account called Relay Pro. It costs $30 per month. Extra features include:

Automatic Bill Imports
You can set up automatic imports of your bills from Xero and QuickBooks Online.

Free Transfers
Same-day ACH transfers and domestic and international wire transfers are all free with Relay Pro.

Bill Payment
Relay Pro users can manage all of their bills from one dashboard, and pay them in batches. They can also set up automated multistage bill approval systems.

Accountants and bookkeepers who sign up for Relay or Relay Pro accounts get extra benefits. They can use a client portal, flexible permissions for team members, and the Relay Partner Program. This program offers increasing revenue share and decreasing monthly fees as they add clients to Relay.

Free outgoing wires
With Relay Pro, it's free to send both domestic and international wires.

Fees to Look Out for

You won't have to worry too much about fees when banking with Relay. Many of their services are offered entirely free of charge. However, there are some fees you should be aware of.

Monthly Fee[1]
The Relay Standard plan is offered entirely free. There are no monthly fees for up to 20 checking accounts.

The Relay Pro plan is a fixed $30 per month. The price is per business or per client for accountants and bookkeepers.

There is no minimum balance for either plan.

With the Relay Standard plan, you'll pay the following:

  • $5 Outgoing Domestic Wires
  • $10 Outgoing International Wires

How does Relay Financial make money?
Relay offers so much for free. This might make you wonder how they make money. Part of their revenue comes from monthly fees for the paid Relay Pro plan. They also share merchant fees with Mastercard every time account holders use their Relay Debit Cards.

Is Relay Safe?

Like any banking partner, Relay takes security seriously. Both in regard to your money or your data.

Relay offers its banking services in partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust, which is a member of the FDIC. This allows them to provide users with FDIC-insured accounts for up to $250,000.

Their Mastercard partnership allows them to provide a zero-liability policy on the Relay Debit Card. That means you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges.

And if someone does get hold of your debit card, you can freeze it instantly. You only need a single click from your Relay account.

Relay also employs two-factor authentication. They use popular authenticator apps to prevent unwanted access to your accounts.

How Does Relay Compare?

Relay Financial isn't the only banking platform offering services targeted toward business owners. Let's take a look at how it stands up to some of its most popular competitors.

Relay Financial vs NorthOne
NorthOne is another business banking app that provides services similar to Relay. But, for a low monthly fee of $10 and a free one-month trial.

Rather than individual checking accounts, NorthOne employs a system called Envelopes. This helps with budgeting and financial management.

Domestic wire transfers through NorthOne are $15,[2] slightly higher than the rate for Relay Standard.

A NorthOne account will cost you more than a Relay Standard and less than a Relay Pro account. But, where it stands out, is in terms of app integrations. If you use a range of apps to manage your business, NorthOne may be the right choice for you.

Some of the apps you can link include:

Relay Financial vs Bluevine
Like Relay, Bluevine also offers a free business checking account. You also get the potential to earn interest on deposits.

Many of Bluevine's features are very similar to those offered by Relay. But, Bluevine only offers two subaccounts, as opposed to the 20 offered by Relay.

What sets Bluevine apart from Relay is their business lines of credit. These can go up to $250,000, with interest rates starting at 4.8%.[3] They are revolving lines. This means your credit restarts as you continue payments.

What to Look Out for When Choosing a Bank

Picking the right banking service for your business--big or small--is a decision that you shouldn't make lightly.

At best, your bank is a partner. One who understands your needs as well as or better than you do. Who makes your life easier by providing useful tools to keep your business running smoothly.

The worst-case scenario is that you find yourself tied to a bank that's uninvolved and uninterested. And, it sees you as just another number on the balance sheet. Managing your finances becomes a chore. That slows you down and keeps you from making your business all that it could be.

However, that's only the worst-case scenario. With a little research and critical thinking, you can surely make a good choice.

Bottom Line

Relay Financial is a trustworthy, flexible option for small business banking. Especially for businesses that would benefit from a large number of checking accounts or debit cards for staff. You can open up to 20 checking accounts and up to 50 staff debit cards. Debit cards come with custom permissions for each team member.

For business owners looking for the widest range of app integrations, consider NorthOne. For those interested in business lines of credit in addition to deposit accounts, consider Bluevine as an alternative.

References

  1. ^ Relay. Plans & Pricing, Retrieved 5/16/2022
  2. ^ NorthOne. Pricing, Retrieved 5/16/2022
  3. ^ Bluevine. Line of Credit, Retrieved 5/16/2022
Relay

No-Fee Business Checking

  • $0 monthly service fee
  • $0 minimum opening deposit
  • Open up to 20 individual business checking accounts
  • Issue up to 50 Mastercard┬« debit cards to your team
Banking services provided by Evolve Bank & Trust; Member FDIC.
Novo

Free Business Checking

  • $0 monthly service fee
  • $50 deposit to unlock all features
  • Unlimited ATM fee rebates
Banking services provided by Middlesex Federal Savings F.A., Member FDIC

Jeremy Harshman is a protector of art and writing at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at jeremy.harshman@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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