Lili Bank Review

lili bank
lili bank card

Freelancers constantly work toward accomplishing personal goals, business objectives, and client objectives. But dedicating meaningful time toward organizing finances can be a struggle without a plan. Lili Bank is a financial services provider that helps freelancers track expenses, budget for tax season, and successfully operate their business.

This article provides a full review of Lili Bank, the positives, negatives, and array of features that users enjoy. We dive into all you need to know about the company, its customers, and what sets it apart from its competitors. You will also learn about the many features and how it makes a freelancer’s life easier. If Lili Bank is not for you, we also provide some other alternatives.

Lili Bank Verdict

Lili Bank helps freelancers of all industries build a solid foundation for money management. Its sign-up process is quick and easy. We also liked that there are no hidden fees, which other competitors pass on to the customer. However, it might not be the best option for someone who enjoys managing their finances through a computer.

We were impressed with the benefits and features that users receive. The free account offers essential tax planning tools, an easy “swipe left or right” expense management process, and an extensive ATM network. Although the bank does not have invoicing tools, it is an excellent “beginner” program for freelancers looking to get on the right track.

About Lili Bank

Lili Bank is a financial services provider for contractors and freelancers. It delivers helpful tax planning resources and other tools to assist professionals in overseeing their expenses. According to the Lili company website, the company’s mission is to “empower freelancers with tools and services designed to improve their work, their life, and their balance.”

Based in New York City, Lili has a foundation of three values:

  • Freedom – the company has systems in place to remove financial obstacles for its members
  • Design – the company provides experiences geared toward the user’s financial well-being
  • Together – the company creates a network with its brand, designed to bring its users closer together within the freelancer community

Lili Bank Customers

The ideal customer for Lili banking is a small business owner who prefers a free digital bank account. It is also perfect for someone who does not want minimum balance requirements. Lili Bank customers also choose the platform because of the following reasons:

  • Mobile banking only
  • Integrated resources and tools to organize expenses and tax information
  • Capacity for under $6,000 in monthly check deposits

What types of business owners does Lili Bank serve? Small businesses come in many forms. Below are the different types of freelancers that enjoy the benefits of Lili Bank. Lili helps with industry-specific tax deductions like cell phone bills, mileage, entertainment, home office or studio, liability insurance, software, subscriptions, and more.

  • Freelance Artists
  • Freelance Makeup and Hair Artists
  • Freelance Housekeepers and Cleaners
  • Freelance Childcare Providers and Nannies
  • Freelance Graphic Designers
  • Freelance Delivery Drivers
  • Freelance Caterers and Chefs
  • Freelance Subcontractors
  • Freelance Video Editors
  • Freelance Videographers and Photographers
  • Freelance Writers

Lili’s website also has a simple tax calculator for each type of business owner. The freelancer can input their total expenses, and the website will tell how much they will pay in federal income tax, self-employment tax, and state income tax.

Lili also has a blog with insightful articles for each type of freelancer. Users can learn how to start a freelance business, how to gain new clients, productivity tips, and more.

What is Special About Lili Bank?

Why should someone choose Lili Bank over other financial services options? Apart from the simple sign-up process, no hidden fees, and helpful financial resources, there are many reasons why Lili Bank stands out.

  • Nonexistent fees – Lili charges zero monthly fees, does not require a minimum balance, provides unlimited fee-free business transactions, and no opening deposit minimum. A Lili Bank account gives access to complimentary mobile check deposits, ACH transfers, and cost management resources.
  • All-inclusive tools for taxes and expenses – the mobile app is full of tools that help prepare for taxes and manage business expenses. Lili enables freelancers to organize expense categories by simply swiping left or right. Users can also download expense reports, produce receipts for transactions, and monitor expenditures in real-time.
  • Cash deposits and ATM access – Lili provides all users with a business debit card, which helps withdraw cash for free at over 38,000 specialized ATMs. The mobile application also shows the specific locations of ATMs nearby.

Lili Bank: Pros

In addition to the special advantages of Lili Bank listed above, there are several more positive qualities that the financial services company has to offer:

  • Unlimited number of no-fee business transactions
  • No minimums for opening deposits or balance requirements
  • Easy-to-use tools for tax planning, managing expenses, and organizing other financial information
  • Wide range of accessible ATMs via the MoneyPass network, which is all no-fee machines
  • Green Dot locations offer convenient cash deposits
  • Feature for early payments, which allows the business owner to get funds a couple of days quicker than with a standard bank account

Lili Bank: Cons

Lili Bank does have its downfalls. It is essential to understand the shortcomings before moving forward with the service. Below is a summary of the drawbacks to consider with Lili Banking.

  • Only Mobile Access – Lili Bank only provides online web access for the beginning application. Users cannot access their digital bank account through the web after that.
  • Limited Business Features – Lili does not enable account-holders to receive or send wires, utilize a checkbook, send or receive invoices, or form a joint account. Account-holders are also unable to own more than one business debit card.
  • Cannot Use EIN in the Application Process – Lili does not accept employer identification numbers when applying for an account. This policy limits users to apply with personal information, such as a Social security number.

How Lili Bank is Regulated

Because Lili Bank is a financial institution, it is subject to standard federal laws. This regulation extends to the way the company collections personal information. Federal law sets requirements for Lili bank to obtain data, verify it, and document the necessary information for each person who creates an account.

The funds in the business account are held and administered by Choice Financial Group. This bank also issues the business debit card. It is an equal opportunity lender that is also FDIC insured.

When it comes to international transactions with the debit card, the funds convert to U.S. currency based on the card network’s regulations and rules.

How to Open a Lili Bank Account

Once members complete the application process, they receive a confirmation of approval. Most users can access their accounts immediately. Active members will only be able to access their accounts via the mobile app. All actions related to funding the account and overseeing expenses will take place within the app. Users can deposit funds through ACH transfers, direct deposit, mobile checks, or platforms like PayPal.

It is also important to note that people can sign up for an account both online and on the phone application. This application process includes identical steps to complete and turn in the application. Upon application approval, users then download the application and merge the device with a verification code. Lili will send this information via email or text message.

Who is Eligible to Open a Lili Bank Account

Anyone over 18 years of age and a valid social security number can open an account with Lili Bank. The process should only take about three minutes. The Lili Bank website mentions how opening an account will not affect your credit score. According to the company’s terms and conditions, it reserves the right to lay down additional restrictions.

Lili Bank Features

Lili delivers a set of diverse tools to make financial planning much easier for a freelancer. Designed for small businesses, Lili offers helpful tax tools, no account fees, mobile bank capabilities, a VISA debit card, early payment options, and automatic savings.

Tax Tools

Lili understands that planning for taxes can be complex and time-intensive for busy freelancers. The service provides simple and straightforward tools like a tax bucket, expense management, and expense reports.

The tax bucket feature allows users to allocate a percentage of revenue into a tax bucket automatically. This helpful feature ensures that there is a reserve of funds ready to satisfy the tax liability. We like this tool because it reduces the stress and headaches of any “unexpected” tax expenses at the end of the year.

Users can remain organized through Lili’s expense categorization. It allows users to track and monitor expenses in real-time, which helps reduce the annual tax bill. Lili has this feature because it is easy to lose a receipt or forget a small expense. When it is time to make a purchase, it is as simple as swiping left or right to indicate a life or work expense. Lili takes care of the rest.

When you choose Lili, there is no need for manual spreadsheets. The mobile app automatically generates quarterly or yearly expense reports. The transparency allows users to know precisely what they spend. These reports also help outline an accurate budget for future quarters and years.

No Account Fees

One of Lili Banking’s best features is zero account fees, including no fees for foreign transactions or overdrafts. Lili also does not require an initial deposit. There are also no ATM fees across Lili’s 38,000+ network of locations in the United States.

All account holders receive a black VISA debit card along with their business checking account. All online and in-person merchants accept payment because it is VISA. You also receive strong protection from unauthorized card users.

Mobile Banking

Since Lili only offers a mobile option for banking, it made sure to provide as many banking features as possible. In addition to zero account fees and nonexistent balance requirements, users can also receive payments up to 48 hours earlier with the direct deposit feature.

Transparency is also a massive factor with the Lili mobile bank component. Users can receive notifications each time money comes in and out of the account.

Lili also offers multiple options for cash and check deposits. Account-holders can visit over 90,000 retail spots across the United States, including Walmart, CVS, RiteAid, and more. Depositing a check into the digital bank account is as simple as snapping a picture through the mobile application.

When it comes to mobile payments, you can add your Lili business card to your wallet. This feature allows you to send and accept payments through Google and Apple pay.

When it comes to mobile payments, you can add your Lili business card to your wallet. This feature allows you to send and accept payments through Google and Apple pay.

VISA Debit Card

The Lili Bank debit card, backed by VISA, provides the ultimate experience of banking for freelancers. The card comes in a sleek black design and helps track your expenses in real-time. When you swipe the card through any merchant, you receive a pop-up notification on your phone. The notification will prompt you to assign the purchase toward a “work” or “life” expense.

One downside is that Lili does not allow users to carry multiple debit cards or enable you to use a joint account. The card will take anywhere between 1-2 weeks to be delivered after you sign up. The app gives you a real-time update on where your card is and when it will be delivered. Once the VISA debit card gets delivered, you can activate it through the mobile application’s home screen.

Get Paid Early

Lili Bank offers another useful free add-on with its direct deposit capabilities. Within your checking account, you can receive funds up to 48 hours early through a direct deposit. Traditional banks will generally require one or two days of processing before the money hits. When you receive payment via direct deposit only, your money is accessible much quicker.

Automatic Savings

Budgeting for tax season can be an afterthought for busy freelancers. With Lili’s automatic savings feature, you can automate your savings. Lili helps you do the math in naming a percentage to set aside. Its estimation tool tells you how much you need to allocate toward your “tax bucket,” and then the rest is easy.

Lili Bank Alternatives

If Lili Bank is not for you, several quality competitors offer comparable services. See below for a couple of valuable alternatives to Lili Bank.

NorthOne

northone

NorthOne provides a viable option for a freelancer searching for an online bank account. Although you must pay a monthly fee of $10, it offers no-fee transactions, a wealth of ATM access locations, and various digital resources.

Compared to Lili Bank, there are many more ATMs available at 300,000. It also has an invoice feature, which Lili Bank does not provide. You can also integrate your account with other business platforms, such as Shopify, QuickBooks, Square, Expensify, and Stripe.

The $10 monthly fee is a drawback, but you receive various features that Lili Bank does not have. However, users may get hit with more incidental charges. Account-holders also do not receive a reimbursement for ATM costs enforced by various banks.

N26 Bank

n26 bank

N26 Bank does not charge a monthly fee, much like Lili Bank. There are also nonexistent fees for foreign transactions.  It also allows account holders to get paid early and enjoy no-fee transactions throughout its ATM network.

The budgeting capabilities and mobile application are what separate N26. Users can build specific “transaction tags” and assign them to withdrawals and purchases. The app allows you to make deposits from PayPal and Venmo, add money through the debit card, and gain access to a reliable customer support team.

Lili Bank Review: The Bottom Line

Lili Bank certainly provides value to freelancers through its budgeting tools, ATM access, and integrated tax and expense tools. For someone trying to get organized with their finances, Lili Banking for freelancers helps them focus on what matters: producing meaningful work. Although the service is mobile-only, it makes up for it with its no-fee features. Users receive a lot of value for a free banking service in Lili.