D4 Commerce

Can You Open a Physical Bank Account in the US from India?

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NO. If you are living in India and have a small business in the US, then you cannot have a physical bank account in the US, unless you travel there and get your physical bank account open, or have a co-founder who can help you with it.

That being said, however, there are alternative options called Neo Banks through which you can open a bank account online in the US while sitting in India. 

What Are Neo Banks?

Neo Banks are the banks that do not have any physical presence, which means digital-only banking platforms that operate only online. The best part about these banks is that they are at lower cost and in many cases even free. 

There are two types of Neo Banks

  1. Full Stacked Neo Banks

They have their own banking license.

  1. Fronted-Focused Neo Banks

They are not your typical banks but Financial technology (Fintech) companies that partner with traditional banks.

Eligibility For Opening An Account In Neo Banks

This is the main list of documents that most Neo Banks requires. This list can vary for different banks.

*Note: all these documents must be uploaded online while creating the account.

LLC Approval Documents

Identification– this will mostly include a scanned picture of your passport, your phone number, and other contact information.

LLC address

EIN number

You might also be interested in reading our blog on How To Send Money From US to India For FREE

Best Neo Banks For Your Small Bussiness

Different businesses have different banking needs. Here is our list of Top Picks, along with detailed descriptions, so you can choose the one that suits your business the best.

1. Relay Bank

If you are someone who likes to stay at the top of your cash flow, then this bank is the best bet for you. 

Benefits Of Relay Bank

  • No account fees, overdraft fees, or minimum balances.
  • Up to 20 individual checking accounts.
  • Payments and deposits via ACH, wire, and check.
  • Deposits from payment processing providers like PayPal, Stripe, Square, and more.
  • 50 virtual or physical Visa® or debit cards.
  • Ability to set transaction and withdrawal limits on employee debit cards.
  • Deposits are FDIC insured.

Features

Savings AccountNone
Transaction feesPayments
• Unlimited transactions 
• Free ACH and check payments
• Domestic outgoing wires: $5
• International outgoing wires: $10

Deposits
• Unlimited transactions 
• Free ACH and check deposits 
• Free incoming domestic and international wires
• Free cash deposits and withdrawals at AllPoint+ ATMs
FinancingNone
Advanced FeaturesRelay Pro for $30/month, you get:
Unlimited outgoing domestic and international wires
• Same-day ACH transfers
Account IntegrationsQuickBooks Online, Xero and Gusto 
Customer ServiceYou will get customer support via Email, chatbot, or phone

Cons Of Relay bank

  • Cannot deposit cash or order checks.
  • Limited phone support (9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday). However, Email support is available seven days a week.
  • Long hold time for deposited checks (up to 6-7 business days).

Why Should You Choose Relay Bank

Built-in bookkeeping features: 

Relay is designed to be a bank account and cash management service. It offers direct integration with QuickBooks Online and Xero, so you can seamlessly sync transaction data with your accounting software. 

Relay Pro offers additional bookkeeping features. These include setting approval workflows for bill payments and automatically importing unpaid bills from QuickBooks or Xero. You can also connect your Relay account to PayPal, Stripe, Square, and Venmo.

2. Brex

Their main focus is on enterprise and venture-backed startup customers. If you have a small business, then you should probably look out for other alternatives.

This bank is best suitable for medium to large businesses. 

Benefits

  • No account fees or minimum balances
  • They do not have any Debit cards but have amazing cashback rewards for Credit cards
  • Account integrations with QuickBooks Online, Xero, Sage, and Netsuite.

Features 

Checking AccountsUpto 8
Savings AccountNone
Transaction feesPayments
Unlimited transactions
Free ACH and check payments
Free outgoing and international wires

Deposits 
Unlimited transactions 
Free ACH and check deposits 
Free incoming domestic and international wires
FinancingStart-up funding available with certain requirements
Customer ServiceCustomer support via Email or Phone

Cons

  • Credit limit fluctuates with cash in the bank. For startups, this can make available credit less predictable than is ideal.
  • No debit card.
  • Only available to medium to large startups and scaled companies.

Why Should You Choose Brex

  • If you are a tech startup, then it is the best bet for you. Brex offers a ton of banking, expense management, and cashback rewards on card spend, making them a great fit for enterprise businesses that spend a lot and require robust employee spend management.
  • Brex partners with various third-party banks, all of which are FDIC-insured which means your money is secure up to the value of $250,000.
  • You can earn returns on your funds, by investing them into a money market fund.

3. Mercury

If you aim to build a high-growth, digital-first technology startup, then Mercury is the best option. Along with all the basic banking features, they also give founders access to a venture debt product that facilitates fundraising for seed, series A, and DTC rounds through their investor network.

Mercury’s strong startup community, basic banking features, and low fees make it an excellent fit for your business.

Benefits

  • Mercury offers a curated investor list and a networking program that connects founders with investors 
  • They also provide tech perks like Amazon Web Service, Hubspot, and QuickBooks Online discounts. 
  • No account fees, overdraft fees, or minimum balance.
  • Advanced digital tools including API access to automate and customize your banking.
  • FDI insured.

Features

Checking accountUpto 15
Savings Account1 saving account per business with 0.001% interest
Transaction FeesPayments
Unlimited transactions 
Free ACH and check payments
Free outgoing domestic
Free USD international wires, otherwise 1% FX fee is applied

Deposits
Unlimited transactions 
Free ACH and check deposits 
Free incoming domestic and international wires
CardsOne physical debit card per user, unlimited virtual cards
FinancingStartup funding available with certain requirements
Account IntegrationsQuickbooks online and Xero

Cons

No cash deposits

Sole proprietorships and trusts can’t open an account

Why should you choose Mercury

  • Mercury bank account was designed to cater to the needs of startups and small businesses. It is a perfect solution for digital businesses including E-Commerce businesses.
  • With Mercury, you can easily manage your account through a mobile app, which allows you to check your balance, view transactions, receive online payments, monitor spending, and transfer money.
  • Mercury also gives access to its banking software. With this access, you can customize and automate your Mercury account by designing internal dashboards, making bulk payments, creating transfer rules, automating reconciliations, and more.

Click on the link to check out the step-by-step process of How To Open An Account in Mercury Bank in a very easy-to-understand manner.

4. Novo

It is a simple yet powerful option for a small Ecommerce Startup. Novo makes it easy for business owners to keep everything in one place a checking account, budgeting tools, savings reserves, and invoicing.

Benefits

  • All ATM fees are refunded.
  • No monthly fees or account fees.
  • Integrates with popular tools like Stripe, QuickBooks, and Shopify

Features

Minimum Balance50$
Checking Account1 checking account, plus 5 envelopes
Savinga AccountNone
Transaction feesPayments
Unlimited transactions 
Free ACH and check payments
Free outgoing domestic and international wires
1.5% transaction fee for Express ACH

Deposits
Unlimited transactions 
Free ACH and check deposits 
Free incoming domestic and international wires
Cards1 physical card for business, Virtual cards available for LLC’s
FinancingNone
Account integrationsQuickBooks Online and Xero
Customer serviceCustomer support via phone or email

Cons

  • No cash deposits
  • Charge overdraft fees

Why should you choose Novo

  • Integrations with Etsy and Shopify enable users to see revenue held in online storefronts. Invoices can be created directly in Novo and sent to customers for ACH or Stripe payment, streamlining your business workflows. 
  • In addition to business checking tools and features, Novo offers Novo Reserves, a way to set aside money for specific purposes, such as taxes, payroll, or other expenses. As part of your Novo account, you can create up to five Reserves for multiple budgets and goals.

You might also like to read our blog on How To Get A US Phone Number From India [Free and Paid]

5. BlueVine

Along with the basic features, for small businesses, BlureVine also provides additional features including paper checks, the ability to earn high interest on your checking account balance, accepting cash deposits, and even small business financing.

Benefits

  • No account fees and minimum balance to start.
  • Provides FDIC insurance up to 250,000$.
  • Gives 2.00% APY on account balances of up to $250,000.
  • You can invoice directly through Bluevine Business Banking, unlike many other Neo banks they don’t rely on third-party Invoice services.
  • Lets you deposit cash

Features

Checking Accounts1 checking account, 2 subaccounts
Savings AccountNone
Transaction feesPayments
Unlimited transactions 
Free ACH and check payments
$15 outgoing domestic wires
No international wires

Deposits
Unlimited transactions 
Free ACH and check deposits 
Free incoming domestic wires
Cards1 physical debit card per bussiness
FinancingLine of credit available up to $250,000
Account IntegrationQuickBooks Online
Customer ServiceCustomer support via phone and Email

Cons

  • They charge $15 for outgoing wire transfers.
  • The fee of $4.95 per deposit if you do it through the Green Dot network. Which can be costly on cash deposits of a few hundred dollars or less.

Why Should You Choose It

  • If you run a business that runs heavily on cash, then it is the best option, they let you deposit cash at more than 90,000 participating locations.
  • Bluevine’s business line of credit offers rates as low as 4.8% on credit lines up to $250,000

Also, check out our blog on How To Earn In Dollars From India

Before Signing Off,

Reading about all these banks at once can be overwhelming. I have tried to simplify it for you in the table below.

Quick Summary Of All The Banks

Relay BankFor businesses that want proper cash flow management
BrexFor medium to large-scale startups, which are backed by VCs
MercuryBest for small and medium E-commerce and tech startups
NovoBest for small e-commerce startups
BlueVineFor businesses that rely heavily on cash deposits

In case you are still confused, I would suggest you consider Mercury Bank. It gives some great services for small business, is quite safe and secure, and have nominal to zero fees for most services.

Reach Out To Us,

We hope that this blog was helpful, to help you find the right bank for your business. If you have any questions related to your US bank account, then our team would love to assist you. Reach out to us through the comments or through our website.

Before Signing Off

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