Azlo Bank Review: Simple, Free Small-Business Checking


Is Azlo’s fee-free business banking actually a good deal? Let’s find out.

3.1 out of overall
No checking fees
Nationwide availability
Checking accounts only
No option for writing checks

One business’s favorite bank is another business’s nightmare—at least when it comes to Azlo. Some business owners will love its fee-free checking and its totally online operations. Other business owners will hate that they can’t write checks or get anything but a simple checking account.

Which camp will you fall into? We can’t tell you that, but we’re here to help you figure it out.

We’ll explain what kinds of businesses will like Azlo, dig into what Azlo has to offer, and tell you what customers have to say about this online bank.

Azlo is best for businesses that want no-frills checking at an unbeatable price.

We put Azlo at the top of our ranking of the best banks for small-business checking, thanks to its free (yes, free) business checking accounts, widespread availability, and solid customer reviews.

That doesn’t make Azlo right for every business owner, though. Businesses that deal primarily in cash, regularly write checks, or have complex banking needs will find Azlo frustrating and insufficient. (We’ll explain why in detail below.)

But if you’re a freelancer or you own a small online store, Azlo might be the perfect business account for you. After all, it’s free, it’s convenient, and it probably meets your (simple) needs.

Azlo fast facts
FeatureTD Bank
Online banking
Mobile banking
In-person banking
Branch locations
N/A
ATMs
55,000
24/7 support
Customer service options
Email, phone

Need to deposit checks or accept direct deposits? Can do. Want to withdraw cash from an ATM? Sure thing. Want to send out invoices to your clients? Okie dokie. Just need a business bank account to keep your business finances separate from your personal money? Perfect.

Unlike traditional banks, Azlo is available in all 50 states. So whether you’re a freelance photographer in Alaska or the owner of an online clothing boutique in Florida, you can bank with Azlo. (Unless your business is a limited partnership or limited liability partnership—or you’re in the business of gambling, cryptocurrency, or cannabis—then it’s a no-go. Sorry.)

Online banking

Azlo is an online-only bank, so you’ll do everything on the web or through its mobile app. Not sure you can make that work? Take a look at our comparison of online banking vs. in-person banking.

So if free, simple business checking is what you want, then let’s dive into exactly what Azlo has to offer you.

Azlo checking accounts

Unlike many other banks and credit unions, Azlo has just one type of business bank account: checking accounts. No money market accounts or interest-bearing checking accounts here—Azlo keeps things simple.

But what does Azlo’s checking account look like?

Azlo small-business checking account
FeatureAzlo Checking
Minimum opening deposit$0
Monthly service fee$0
Transaction fees$0
Minimum account balanceN/A
ATM fees$0, if in network
Open an accountApply Now
Data effective 10/10/19. At publishing time, rates, fees, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Well, it looks pretty simple, to be honest. Azlo doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees. It doesn’t charge transaction fees, minimum balance fees, or even overdraft fees. And so long as you use one of the 55,000 ATMs in the Allpoint ATM network, you won’t pay ATM fees either. It’s fee-free checking at its simplest.

Your fee-free checking account will come with an Azlo card—a Visa debit card you can use just like any other debit card—so you can easily pay for business lunches, buy printer toner from your favorite office supply store, or withdraw cash from an ATM.

Put simply, Azlo’s checking accounts are simple and—in most cases—free for business owners to use. So what’s the catch?

What you need to know about Azlo bank accounts

As we mentioned earlier, Azlo accounts have some big limitations. You can’t make cash deposits—at all—into your account. And while you can deposit checks, Azlo only lets you deposit checks up to $10,000 (with a $20,000 limit per month) on your mobile device, though it may raise your limit over time. Sure, you can mail in larger checks to deposit, but isn’t the point of online banking that you can do everything online?

Likewise, Azlo doesn’t let you write checks from your account. Even if you order checks elsewhere with your Azlo account information, they won’t work. If you’re in dire need of a check, Azlo does offer a check writing service. It will mail a check directly to your recipient. But again, that’s not the most convenient choice.

Oh, and many customers report that transactions—including check deposits, balance transfers, and payments—take longer with Azlo than they would with larger banks.

The Azlo/BBVA connection

While Azlo might be a new player in the business banking world, it’s backed by BBVA—a well-respected bank that’s been around since 1964. In fact, all your funds will technically be held by BBVA.

Now, for many freelancers or online store owners, these are non-issues. After all, most of your money gets deposited directly into your account anyway, and you rarely write checks to people.

Some business owners have told us that they use Azlo as a secondary account—easy to do, since it’s free and available everywhere. Here’s how one nonprofit uses Azlo as a supplement to its primary business checking account:

We do also use an Azlo account, but this account is only used for wire transfer donations, since it does not have any incoming wire fees or overdraft fees. This allows us to make our account details public as nobody can overdraft it, even if they have the account number and routing number. The Azlo account’s transfers, check deposits, and bill payments take significantly longer so we prefer to use [our primary] account for everything other than wire transfer donations.

In other words, Azlo’s limitations don’t have to be deal-breakers. For many business owners (maybe you?), the simplicity of free online checking is all they need.

But you should be aware of what Azlo is and isn’t capable of before you sign yourself up or go recommending Azlo to all your business owner friends.

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Other small-business products and services from Azlo

Remember how Azlo has only one type of bank account? Its other financial products and services are pretty limited too (at least, in comparison to traditional banks). But we did find a couple services that might interest you.

Small-business financing

Need funding? Azlo can help. You can apply for financing through Azlo’s Mission Street Capital (an option you should see in your bank account dashboard).

These loans—lines of credit, more specifically—come from Kabbage. That means you have to meet Kabbage’s normal application criteria, like having been in business for one year and making at least $50,000 in annual revenue. Also, businesses from the following states are ineligible:

  • Iowa
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

If you apply and get approved, you’ll continue to manage your new financing through Azlo’s Mission Street Capital. Convenient, right?

You can learn more about Kabbage loans in our Kabbage review.

Invoicing

Azlo also offers invoicing services. It lets you create and send (digital) invoices. Then you can accept payments through a variety of means, including Stripe, PayPal, Square, checks, and ACH bank transfers.

No need to have extra invoicing software to run your freelance business—Azlo lets you make and send as many invoices as you want.

Connecting with other software

Finally, you can connect your Azlo account with bunches of other software and services.

Maybe your business depends on accepting credit card payments, for example. No problem—you can link Azlo to popular point-of-sale systems, like Stripe, Square, and PayPal.

Or maybe you’re more concerned about keeping your books in order. Great! Azlo connects to all sorts of small-business accounting software, including Xero and QuickBooks Online.

Basically, if your software or service can link to a normal business bank account, you can link it to your Azlo account.

What customers say about Azlo

By now you know what makes Azlo great, and you know why it’s not for everyone. But don’t take our word for it—let’s check out what Azlo bank reviews from small-business owners have to say.

On Trustpilot, Azlo has a 3.4 out of 5 TrustScore, which is better than average.1 Positive reviews cover pretty much what you’d expect: they love that it’s simple, entirely online, and free. Many reviews also praise Azlo’s customer service, reporting that it helped them solve any problems that came up.

Then you have the negative reviews. They complain about long wait times on check deposits or bank transfers, and several people report bad experiences with customer service. Some people complain that Azlo closed their accounts, but they don’t include much context. You’ll also see reviews from people who were denied bank accounts—sometimes because they weren’t US citizens, and sometimes for mysterious reasons.

The bottom line?

Know what you’re getting into with Azlo. While the quality of its customer service might vary, you’re much more likely to be happy with your bank account if you understand what it can and can’t do.

The takeaway

Azlo’s banking services can be a great value to small businesses, but they’re not for everyone. While some business owners will love the lack of monthly service fees and other fees, other business owners will find Azlo’s unique limitations impossible to work with.

So make sure you understand your business’s banking needs, and make sure you understand what Azlo has to offer.

And if the two happen to be the same? Then congratulations! Looks like you found a business banking match made in heaven.

Not sure Azlo is quite right for you? No problem. You can always open accounts with one of the other best online banks for small business instead.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources

  1. Trustpilot, “Azlo