BlueVine expands into business checking

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BlueVine has made its business checking account widely available after a low-profile start.

The challenger bank released the beta version last October and quietly rolled out the account to the general public in July before announcing the move this week.

Since the checking account launched in beta last year, BlueVine — led by Eyal Lifshitz — has acquired more than 20,000 small-business owners as customers. Since late August the Redwood City, Calif., company has seen 15% growth in account registrations each week. Its customers range from businesses with $50,000 in annual revenue to those topping $2 million each year.

When customers log in, they will find checking, payments and lending information consolidated onto one platform.

Eyal Lifshitz, CEO and co-founder, BlueVine
Eyal Lifshitz, CEO and co-founder of BlueVine, built a checking account for small-business owners that doesn't charge fees and folds payment capabilities onto the same platform.

On the checking side, the account doesn’t charge any monthly or overdraft fees, and pays 1% on balances up to $100,000. The company runs its own know-your-business and know-your-customer checks when customers open an account, and says it makes its decisions within a minute.

After hearing from its customers that they wanted ready access to some key pieces of information, BlueVine made account and routing numbers available within one click and ensured the “transfer money” and “send payment” buttons were easy to find.

Customers can connect their external bank accounts in the BlueVine dashboard using Plaid. They can also share account information with third-party financial applications such as Expensify, Venmo and Xero that integrate with Plaid.

BlueVine Payments lets business owners pay utility providers, contractors, vendors and more through the bank account, a debit card or a credit card; the credit card method is still in beta. Users can search a directory of 40,000 payees or manually add details for their own payees. BlueVine sends the payments by ACH, wire transfer or check.

The checking account is provided by The Bancorp Bank, a $6.2 billion-asset institution in Wilmington, Del. Bill-pay funds are held by the $84.5-billion Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, Calif.

BlueVine was also active in the Paycheck Protection Program. It provided $4.5 billion in funding to more than 155,000 small businesses, including through a partnership with the food delivery service DoorDash.

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