What is Mercury?

Over 100,000 startups trust Mercury for their banking* needs. With everything from checking and savings accounts to credit cards, treasury management, and venture debt, it’s hard to believe that the underlying platform isn’t technically a bank.

Let’s take a deeper look into how Mercury works and what it offers.

How does Mercury operate?

Mercury is a tech company, not a bank — which puts it in a strategic position to provide protection and peace of mind for startups.

It accomplishes this by working with regulated partner banks to unlock secure access to the banking system. But rather than simply build on top of these partner banks, Mercury has engineered much of what is considered “core banking” — like processing ACH files and other money movements — in-house so that customers can send and receive money safely and seamlessly.

Beyond this, Mercury’s checking and savings accounts are insured for up to $5M — 20x the standard per bank limit of $250K. More on that soon.

Account basics

To apply for a Mercury account, you’ll just need to be the beneficial owner of a U.S. company — that means providing your federal EIN, your company’s official formation documents, and a picture of your government-issued ID (e.g., a passport or U.S. driver’s license). Once you become a customer, you’ll have access to a checking account and a savings account to start with.

Here’s the pricing breakdown for every Mercury checking account:

  • $0 in monthly/overdraft fees
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • $0 to send and receive ACH
  • $0 to send and receive checks
  • $0 to send and receive domestic wires & international wires (in USD)
  • 1% currency exchange rate

You even have the flexibility to open additional checking accounts — these can be used to optimize your cash flow by bucketing funds for purposes like operations, expenses, and marketing.

$5M FDIC insurance through Mercury Vault

Mercury’s checking and savings accounts are armed with up to $5M in FDIC insurance by default through Mercury Vault, thanks to the fintech’s partner banks and their sweep networks.

Sweep networks are a way to strategically maximize FDIC insurance by spreading customer deposits across multiple FDIC-insured banks, saving customers the trouble of having to open and manage accounts at each one. Through this mechanism, customer funds are diversified, reducing the impact of any single point of failure. In the case of Mercury, customer deposits are distributed across up to 20 banks across its partner banks’ sweep networks.

Additionally, Mercury Vault prompts users with suggestions for how to protect any funds beyond the insured $5M amount — specifically, by moving them into Mercury Treasury’s Vanguard money market fund, which is predominantly composed of lower-risk U.S. government-backed treasury products.

Debit and credit card offerings

Mercury’s product stack includes a debit card and its IO credit card. Both cards can be issued to individual employees or in bulk via Google Workspace, as virtual cards or physical cards, with options for custom controls to keep company spending in check. There’s even room for tiered user permissions, customizable transaction limits (daily, weekly, or monthly), as well as the ability to lock cards to specific merchants (think: Google Ads cards for your marketing team).

To help make sure you never miss a credit payment, you can set limit-based autopay rules. Whenever you dip below a certain level of available credit, these rules can trigger a full — or partial — payment toward your balance.

Rather than force customers to learn confusing point systems and jump through hoops for manual redemption, Mercury’s IO credit card delivers automatic, monthly 1.5% cashback on all domestic and international spend, which gets deposited directly into a user’s Mercury account. Meanwhile, all of this spending can be conveniently tracked from a single online dashboard.

Security and customizable user controls

Scaling with confidence is a lot easier if you know your funds are safe. That’s the hypothesis behind Mercury’s security approach.

In addition to using airtight encryption protocols on accounts, data, and card information, they also enforce an uncompromising system of multi‑factor authentication to reduce the risk of a customer’s account getting into the wrong hands.

Beyond that foundational layer of security tech, users have free reign over customizable guardrails that help them maintain control over company spending and account access at the granular level — even as their company scales. These controls include tiered user permissions — like view‑only access for bookkeepers and card‑only access for new employees — as well as multi-admin approvals that make it easy to define the initiators and approvers of every payment.

Finance automations

As a founder, your job is to work with your team to bring your startup’s vision to life — not to spend time on tedious banking chores. Guided by this principle, Mercury’s time-saving tools and features are designed to help your finance team eliminate inefficiencies and streamline accounting processes like paying invoices and performing reconciliations.

Here are just a few of the things you’re able to do with Mercury’s finance automations:

  • Make invoice payments on autopilot using drag-and-drop bill pay
  • Create percentage-based auto-transfer rules to put profits first
  • Search for — or filter by — any payment or any field
  • Generate custom statements instantly
  • Sync transactions to your accounting software like QuickBooks, NetSuite, or Xero
  • Schedule payments in advance

Treasury management

Customers carrying balances of at least $500K have the option to make their excess cash go even further with Mercury Treasury’s yield-earning mutual funds, whose portfolios are funded through Morgan Stanley and Vanguard.

With five investment strategies differentiated by runway, burn, and risk appetite, Mercury Treasury is a tool that helps startups customize and automate their own cash management strategy. The automation comes in through auto-transfer rules, which users can create to make sure money is automatically allocated from other accounts to Treasury, so that all founders have to do is sit back and watch their runway grow.

For those with account balances over $25M, there’s an even higher touch option called Mercury Treasury Solutions with Morgan Stanley. This product gives users access to personalized portfolio management from Morgan Stanley’s experienced team. See more detailed disclosures for both products on Mercury’s Treasury page.

Special offer

Mercury’s customer base spans everything from startups and ecommerce companies to venture capital firms.

Head here to apply for Mercury in minutes. You can do it on your laptop, from anywhere.

Not sure about Mercury yet? Take their free customizable demo for a spin.

*Mercury is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust®️; Members FDIC. The Mercury Debit Cards are issued by Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust, Members FDIC, pursuant to licenses from Mastercard.