Is Wave Money a good solution for a small business checking account? Here’s what you need to know.
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This post is provided for general information only. Please confirm the details and circumstances of your unique situation with your tax accountant or other appropriate advisor before taking action.
What is Wave Money?
Wave Money is a small business checking account offered by Wave. It’s an add-on to Wave’s free accounting software in case you need a business checking account or want to switch.
If you haven’t read up on Wave Accounting, it’s a great alternative to QuickBooks for smaller businesses with less complex needs. This includes basic freelance and independent contractor work.
How do you get Wave Money?
Wave Money is currently invitation-only to users of other Wave products. You can request an invitation here.
Once you get your invitation, you have to use a phone or tablet to download the app. You’ll then fill out the same basic application info you would for any other bank account. Approvals are instant, but you can’t use the account until you receive your debit card in the mail and activate it. It took about a week for the debit card to arrive.
What does Wave Money cost?
There is no minimum deposit or maintenance fees. There are other possible fees such as rush debit card replacements or overdraft fees.
What features does Wave Money have?
Wave Money has limited banking features. It is not a full-service financial services company.
- To add money you can
- Do a push transfer from another bank
- Use the Wave invoicing software to accept credit cards or bank payments
- Use another payment processor with Wave Money as your deposit account
- Deposit checks (Once deposited, checks require 5-8 business days before funds can be accessed. Maximum $5,000 USD per deposit and $20,000 USD in mobile check deposits per calendar month.)
- To send money you can
- Email a vendor or contractor to set up an ACH withdrawal or use ACH info they gave you. Although this is advertised as free, it tried to force me to sign up for the payroll service when I tried to add a contractor.
- The debit card can be used for purchases or cash withdrawals. The app allows you to locate no-fee ATMs nearby.
- If you use Wave invoicing, they waive the 1% instant transfer fee to immediately deposit paid invoices into your Wave Money account. The normal credit card or ACH fees of 2.9% or 1% still apply.
What does Wave Money not have?
- Cash deposits
- Physical checks
- Mail checks through the app
- Interest on deposits
- Linked bank accounts
- ACH push or pull transfers through Wave Money
- Physical branches
Why do you have to use an app?
This is the biggest annoyance of using Wave Money. Even though you can link it to your Wave Accounting to sync your transactions, you can’t use banking features on the desktop website. If you’re doing your bookkeeping or other business on a computer, you have to take out your phone or tablet to take care of your banking.
Is the app itself good?
The app is fairly easy to use and beats out other banks for the same tasks. There are large buttons that are clearly labeled. You can do just about anything you need to with 1-3 clicks.
If banking in an app is important to you, Wave Money is good if the account matches your needs.
Is Wave Money a good small business checking account?
I give a neutral to slightly negative recommendation on Wave Money.
There are many free small business checking accounts that you can access on a computer and have a full set of banking features. You can also link other banks to Wave Accounting or other bookkeeping software.
The most interesting feature, sending money, is tedious and requires using Wave Payroll, which I find overpriced compared to competitors. For receiving money, Wave is on par with other invoicing and payments providers, and you don’t need a Wave checking account to use their invoicing tools.
If you just want the basics that are available and are fine using the app, Wave Money should get the job done.