NorthOne describes itself as a ‘better bank account for your business,’ and that’s precisely what the platform delivers. Founded in 2017 by Eytan Bensoussan and Justin Adler, and launched in the US mid-2019, NorthOne fills that gap in the market for high-quality, digital, app-based banking for businesses. Convenience, practicality, and additional business-focused features are the key when it comes to making this business banking service stand out from the crowd.
But is NorthOne the ideal choice for your business needs? We take a closer look at what this relative newcomer to the online banking scene has to offer. From accessibility to functionality, availability to the positives of picking this particular platform, we cover it all. Read on to find out more and discover if NorthOne might be the right fit for you:
NorthOne is part of the newer evolution of online banking for customers in the US. Providing FDIC-insured business banking entirely through your smartphone, this platform is designed for modern businesses with modern needs. You do everything else through your smartphone, so why not your bank account too? NorthOne provides all you’d expect from an online bank account. Debit cards, secure payments, ATM withdrawals, deposits, and even mobile checks are included as standard with transparent pricing for all their services readily available online.
While these are all staples for every kind of online banking, NorthOne has diversified its services specifically for small businesses, freelancers, and startups. That means allowing for multiple company cards, team banking, and more from one convenient location. It also offers businesses a way to halve their bookkeeping costs by streamlining the process and connecting with a whole host of common small business platforms such as QuickBooks and Xero.
NorthOne isn’t a platform that’s developed for the general public. Instead, it’s a diversified digital banking app that’s designed to work for small businesses, freelancers, and startup companies individually. As such, many of their services are targeted directly towards that specific niche. This means making banking for several employees – or for one, self-employed individual – as practical and easy as possible with the day-to-day processes they require.
While some platforms choose to move into the business sphere after success with the individual, personal banking, NorthOne has been built from the ground up for its specific purpose. That means researching and interviewing businesses ahead of time to understand their requirements. Something that NorthOne mentions prominently on their website as part of their development process. Their website even proudly features a ticker of how many ‘business builders’ are using their services in real-time – just over 130,000 at the time of review.
Features such as reporting on cashflow, multiple cards per account, and inclusive budgeting options make NorthOne particularly convenient for businesses, especially when combined with dedicated tax accounts and integration with various accounting tools. Many of these additions may not be useful to the average private bank account – but for small businesses of all shapes and sizes, these kinds of features can be cost- and time-saving in real and tangible ways.
Currently, NorthOne is specifically a North American service – something that’s stated up-front on their platform. The business cards that are used for the platform are MasterCard, issued by Radius Bank under MasterCard USA. This means that, while the cards can be used anywhere that accepts MasterCard debit, your actual account would have to be based in the USA. While NorthOne currently has Toronto office – and was initially Canada-based – there’s no information yet about the service becoming available to Canadian small businesses, freelancers, or startups. This is likely due to the more stringent regulations and requirements involved in setting up any form of FinTech in the country.
As with any modern online bank account, NorthOne is designed to complete your full sign-up process through your smartphone screen. You can download the NorthOne app via the Google Play or App Store, and from there, you’ll be walked through an easy and practical sign-up process. As with any online banking process, you’ll need to provide a few details. As a business banking app, that means details about your business or freelancing information – so address, SSN, corporation information, and all the other basics for thorough identification.
Once you’ve pressed the submit button, NorthOne then goes on to review your details and approve your account. Their advertised time from submission to approval is three minutes, though this, of course, can vary according to a range of different factors. Once your account is live, all you need to do is get yourself set up as you usually would. You can deposit cash via any of the approved methods such as ACH, wire, or mobile check.
Create sub-accounts, define rules, and get your integrations going to save that much-needed money and time. Once setup is completed, the whole of NorthOne is available to you to use as much as you’d like. Your account’s only limitations involve the number of transactions you carry out a month – which is reflected in your specific tier of account, from the $10 starter through to the $50 rocket ship tier.
For freelancers and small businesses in the US, NorthOne is certainly a promising-looking option. The fact that all accounts start on the ‘starter’ level and are adjusted to suit your demand and requirements will benefit many – reducing admin requirements and ensuring you’re getting the best value for your money. Likewise, integration with popular accounting and reporting tools is a highly valuable resource when tax season rolls around, especially for businesses without the means or size for dedicated accounting.
MasterCard’s use for debit cards is also an excellent benefit for startups and small businesses, allowing transactions to be made in thousands of locations across America – and even during travel – without the need to jump through hoops. Likewise, the ability to make quick and easy payments and quickly create team banking accounts can be a massive benefit to the average business that is looking to streamline and simplify often time-consuming and complicated processes when implemented with traditional banking.
Are there any downsides to NorthOne? For very small businesses and freelancers, this platform may not have as many benefits as it would for a slightly larger company – where transaction tracking and regular reports are needed to stay on top of more substantial budgets. If you’re going solo or you’re a team of two or three, the pricing tiers of NorthOne may also seem prohibitive, especially if you frequently need to wire transfer money often at anything from $10-$25 each time.
That slight bias towards larger small businesses and teams is reflected in the features that NorthOne offers. Cashflow insights, agile banking, team-based budgeting, multiple cards, and more are valuable to small businesses and startups. Still, they may not be essential for a single freelancer, where it may be more cost-effective to pay per-transaction than for the account itself.
It’s also worth noting that the company has had a few negative reviews online regarding the quality of their customer service. As well as cases of accounts being closed or becoming inaccessible with money in them. Though these do not appear to be in the majority by any means, it’s worth looking at customer feedback before committing to any specific online banking service.
If you’re a US small business or a startup, or a freelancer with a need for high-level reporting on your income and outgoings, then NorthOne is a viable option for you. With a host of great features to reduce time and enhance the banking process, plenty is going for this platform. As always, doing your research is step one to finding a service that works for you – but on paper, NorthOne isn’t a bad fit by any means.