Good online bank for a US non-profit?
September 10, 2012 1:13 PM   Subscribe

What's a good bank for a US non-profit (501c3) to use? We need one that lets us do all our normal operations through the web.

We're a US non-profit, and we need a new bank. The main problem with our current bank (USBank) is that they assume we're all physically located with easy access to the branch. This couldn't be farther from the truth: our officers are in multiple states and countries.

So we're looking for a bank that's going to let us do all our normal operations online. Absolutely required features are the ability to add and remove people who have access to the account via the web, or at least over the phone. This needs to include getting people business ATM/debit cards (we still don't have a card for our year+ serving treasurer because it would require a physical visit to a branch several states away.) We also need to be able to transfer money, preferably internationally, without a visit to a bank.

Additional nice-to-have features would include a way to cut and mail checks online, some form of digital check-scan deposit, and reasonably good ATM coverage around the country.

I've looked at most of the online-only or online-first banks, but they don't appear to offer business accounts. For example, Ally's checking accounts (which I use personally) or ING's Orange accounts would be perfect, but they're for individuals, not businesses.
posted by jacobian to Work & Money (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Mine uses Wells Fargo's business account and also has officers in multiple states and countries. We were able to add me without a branch visit, I just had to sign a form and mail it back to the main branch that was near my treasurer's home (which is across the country from where I live). I then received an ATM/debit card from them, again, without a branch visit. ATM coverage around the country seems to be decent, depending on where you are located. It seems to fit all your absolute requirements.

We mainly use the account for international wire transfer, so I can only speak to checking balances and doing the wire transfers, but I've found it to be a functional online bank in those respects. Annoyingly, I have to log in separately to do those two things, or at least I haven't figured out how to check the balance and transaction history from the CEO Portal site where the transfers are sent.

FYI on the wire transfers though, it is so 'high security' that it is annoying. I have to change my password constantly and the password has to have all these certain security features (numbers, etc), and I can't reuse my past 6 passwords. So of course I'm trying to write down/email myself with the password every time because I can't remember it - really secure. I recommend having a password system so you'll always know what yours is (i.e. passworD1, passworD2, etc). Then you have a PIN and one of those fancy digital keys you have to carry with you. If you cannot approve the transfer by 4pm EST on the day it is scheduled, it must be rescheduled, and we need it to be approved by both the treasurer and myself (if you modify the transfer in any way you cannot also approve it), so I would say the transfer gets delayed for one reason or another (can't get to approve on time, can't remember password, didn't have the key code thing on me when I needed it, etc) almost every month. That's my only complaint, and the interface is a little clunky.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 1:26 PM on September 10, 2012

How big is your non-profit, and how stable are your reserves? If you're small, definitely pay attention to their policies as when they'll release deposited funds. Some banks (ahem, Chase) will take as long as a week.
posted by snickerdoodle at 7:21 PM on September 10, 2012

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