Carver Federal Savings Bank is an excellent small business banking service located in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Jamaica. As a black-owned, civic-minded bank committed to helping low- and moderate-income individuals and businesses build wealth, Carver Bank offers a range of affordable business banking solutions.
Its business checking products include Carver Community Business Free Checking, a free checking account that offers 1,000 free transactions; Business partner verification, a standard account for companies with a high volume of transactions; and Business Value Plus Interest Checking, a checking account that earns 0.15% APY on all balances.
A note: Carver Bank is an X-backed, FDIC-insured business financial technology platform.
How Carver Bank stacks up against its competitors
*Third party operator fees apply
When Carver Bank is a good fit
- You want a free business audit: It has a free business checking option called Carver Community Business Free Checking. It does not charge a monthly service fee and has no minimum balance requirements.
- You make 1,000 or fewer transactions per month: Carver Community Business Free Checking and Business Value Plus Interest Checking allow up to 1,000 fee-free transactions per month.
- You want to access business lending products: It offers small business microloans, business lines of credit and term loans.
- You need a bank that supports minority and women-owned businesses: Carver Bank is an African-American bank focused on supporting minority-owned and women-owned businesses. For every dollar contributed by consumers, it reinvests 80 cents in low- and moderate-income communities in the greater New York region.
If Carver Bank is not a good fit
- You need a bank with branches all over the country: It has just eight brick-and-mortar businesses in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Jamaica. The chase has 4,700 physical branches in all lower 48 states.
- You regularly make electronic transfers: It charges $25 for inbound transfers, $35 for domestic transfers, and $40 for international transfers. Businesses that make frequent bank transfers will be best served Relay, which charges no fees for incoming wire transfers, $5 for outgoing domestic transfers, and $10 for outgoing international transfers. With a Relay Pro account, all bank transfers are free.
- You want access to basic savings accounts: While it offers money market accounts and CDs, it has no core savings products. The first Internet bank offers both business checking accounts and interest-bearing savings accounts.
If you encounter one or more of these scenarios, check out our guide to the best small business checking accounts for more recommendations.
Carver Bank Business Checking Review
*Customers can also waive the monthly fee by maintaining a $50,000 total average balance across deposit and loan accounts.
**Third party operator fees also apply.
Carver Bank Business Verification Requirements
When opening a business bank account, Carver Bank will ask for the following:
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- A valid ID (such as a driver’s license or any government-issued ID)
Our guide to opening a bank account comes with a checklist of important business documents commonly required by banks.
Carver Bank Business Verification Features
Carver Bank offers up to 1,000 free transactions, a free Business Visa debit card, free mobile and online banking with bill pay and integration with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
Transactions without commission
Carver Bank’s two business checking accounts, Carver Community Business Checking and Business Value Plus Interest Checking, come with 1,000 fee-free transactions per statement cycle. After the limit, transactions cost 15 cents per item. Carver Bank defines transactions as checks paid, deposits, checks deposited, and Automated Clearing House (ACH) debits and credits.
Business Visa Debit Card
All Carver Bank checking products come with free Business Visa debit cards.
Digital banking options
Carver Bank offers two free digital banking services: online banking and mobile banking. With online banking, businesses can schedule payments, transfer funds, make payroll direct deposits, manage cards, view balances, transaction history, and check images. Mobile app available at iOS and Androidalso offers electronic statement viewing and remote deposit capture.
Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay integration
Carver Bank checking accounts work with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
Other Carver Bank Business Products
Carver Bank also offers special business verification solutions for landlords. These accounts, also called tenant security accounts, have no monthly maintenance fees, per item fees, or minimum balance requirements. It provides sub-accounts for deposits and monthly statements of main accounts in paper and electronic formats.
Money market accounts
Carver Bank offers two money market accounts for businesses: the Business Promo Money Market Account and the Business Premier Money Market Account.
- Business Promo Money Market: This account earns interest at a rate of 0.50% on balances of $24,999.99 or less and 1.65% on balances of $25,000 or more. The higher rate is only available for accounts that are linked to existing Carver Community Business Free Checking or Business Value Plus Interest Checking accounts.
- Business Premier Money Market: This account earns interest of 0.50% on balances of $24,999.99 or less, 0.75% on balances of $25,000 to $99,999.99, and 0.80% on balances of $100,000 or more .
Businesses that want access to Carver Bank’s highest interest rates should consider Carver Bank’s Business Drives. Rates range from 1.25% APY for a 91-day CD to 2.75% APY for a 60-month CD. The minimum deposit is $2,500 for a term of 12 months or less and $1,000 for a term of 18 months or more.
Loan products offered by Carver Bank include a small business microloan program, business lines of credit and business term loans.
- Microloan for small business: Businesses that need working capital for expenses such as payroll, equipment, office renovations and inventory can turn to Carver Bank to access low-fixed-rate microloans from $5,000 to $50,000.
- Credit lines: Carver Business Checking account holders can access lines of credit from $1,000 to $15,000.
- Time loans: Carver Bank provides term loans to businesses that need financing for equipment purchases, permanent working capital, leasehold improvements and expansion.
Business credit cards
Carver Bank offers credit cards with low rates, cash back and flexible rewards. Business credit cards come with free online expense reporting tools and mobile payment capabilities. Account holders can issue credit cards to their employees for free.
Pros and Cons of Carver Bank Business Verification
Among Carver Bank’s business checking products, Carver Community Business Free Checking and Business Value Plus Interest Checking are stronger options. Carver Community Business Free Checking offers 1,000 commission-free transactions with no monthly service fee. Business Value Plus Interest Checking also offers 1,000 fee-free transactions and earns interest at a rate of 0.15%. The $6 monthly fee can easily be waived with an average daily balance of $5,000.
Business Associate Verification, however, charges a $15 monthly service fee that can only be waived by maintaining an average daily balance of $25,000 or an average combined balance of $50,000 in deposit and credit accounts.
Carver Bank has branches in just eight New York City locations. However, it also offers free online and mobile banking with bill pay. Although Carver Bank does not have savings accounts, it does offer money market accounts and business accounts. It also has a decent selection of credit products and business credit cards.
Carver Bank Business Checking Alternatives
While Carver Bank is an affordable business banking option, other banking solutions can offer better ways to save, including ATM rebates, cash back and interest on deposits. Here are three alternatives to consider:
- New*: The best digital bank with free ATM usage. Carver Bank customers can only make free transactions at Allpoint and Carver Bank ATMs, while Novo gives customers more options for free ATM locations by offsetting all ATM fees at the end of each month.
- Grasshopper: The best digital bank for cash back on debit card purchases. Carver Bank only offers cash back on credit card purchases, while Grasshopper offers 1% cash back on all online and in-store debit card purchases.
- Blue vine*: The best for getting interest on deposits. Although Carver Bank offers interest checking through Business Value Plus Interest Checking, it only offers a rate of 0.15%. Meanwhile, qualified Bluevine accounts earn 1.50% interest on balances up to $100,000.
*Providers are financial technology (fintech) platforms supported by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and insured through bank partnerships (Middlesex Federal Savings for Novo and Coastal Community Bank for Bluevine).
Carver Bank’s Carver Community Business Free Checking and Business Value Plus Interest Checking checking accounts are great options for New York businesses looking for affordable banking solutions. Given the civic nature of Carver Bank, it is a particularly suitable choice for minority and women business owners, as well as those who want to support low- and moderate-income communities in the greater part of New York.