Pros & Cons
- Early arrival of direct deposits
- Tools for bookkeeping, invoicing and tax preparation
- All-in one comprehensive mobile app
- Restrictions on mobile check deposits
Plans & Pricing
Operating a basic Lili account comes with no charges, irrespective of whether the account holds $10,000 or just $10. Nonetheless, there is a $25 per item fee in case of depositing an invalid check. Also, a second-time replacement of a lost debit card will cost the user a $5 fee.
A pro account is available as well, which for a monthly fixed cost of $9, offers advanced features including comprehensive banking, tax and expense management, and business solutions. A Lili Pro business debit card that provides cash back is also included in this account.
Lili has recently added two new account types: Smart, and Premium. Lili Pro previously offered pre-filled tax reports and unlimited invoices and payments. Those features are now only available with Lili Smart or Lili Premium.
In terms of ATM transactions, cash withdrawals are permissible at 38,000 MoneyPass ATMs throughout the country. A small surcharge may be imposed by the MoneyPass owner. Using a non-MoneyPass ATM incurs a $2.50 fee per transaction from Lili, on top of any fees charged by the ATM owner. For overseas transactions, this fee increases to $5 per transaction.
In 2019, Lilac Bar David initiated Lili, a banking enterprise specifically for freelancers – an expanding, yet inadequately served segment of the workforce. Before establishing Lili, she was the pioneering figure and the chief executive officer of Pepper, a company renowned for its forward-thinking approach in the realm of mobile banking. Lili, a digital-only bank (also known as a neo-bank), provides its banking services through the Choice Financial Group, and every account is safeguarded by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, with deposits insured up to a maximum of $250,000.
Features and Functionality
Lili’s unique position as a mobile banking solution for freelancers is further solidified by its built-in business management feature. Users can monitor their spending effortlessly, while visual aids like charts and graphs provide real-time insights into financial habits. Lili’s accounting tools further aid in determining net earnings and approximating income taxes.
Hybrid account options (Lili Pro)
Lili accommodates users who wish to utilize their account for personal and business purposes alike. The simple act of swiping left or right on any expense allows marking it as either “personal” or “business,” enabling users to keep their funds consolidated yet distinct.
Tax expense documentation (Lili Pro)
Lili’s business management tools include quarterly and annual reports that categorize expenses, aiding easy transfers to Schedule C during tax filings. Users still need to retain their receipts, but Lili’s app makes it simple to upload them and maintain a detailed expenditure log.
Automatic tax savings and emergency savings (Lili Pro)
Lili assists in estimating taxes and making quarterly payments to the IRS by enabling a “tax bucket”. This feature lets users set aside a portion of their income for tax payments, ensuring readiness for the estimated tax deadlines in April, June, September, and January. Lili also allows for the creation of a separate savings bucket for emergencies. By setting aside a small amount each month, users can build a financial safety net for lean periods, as opposed to relying on credit cards or personal savings.
Real-time alerts (Lili Pro)
With Lili, users can set up notifications to be alerted whenever money is transferred in or out of their account. The frequency of these alerts can be adjusted according to preference.
Ease of Use
The platform’s speed, simplicity, and effectiveness garner repeated commendation from users. The user-friendly nature of the Lili banking app boasts fluid navigation and a helpful chatbot. As an intuitive financial tool, Lili significantly aids in business organization, helping users clearly understand income and expense flow. Certain features, such as the ability to automatically deduct tax money with every deposit made into the Lili account, makes it easier for users to save for tax payments. Lili’s banking platform is not only efficient and straightforward but also particularly beneficial for small business operations.
Add-ons and Integrations
By opting for an upgrade to the Pro version, users can access tools designed to assist in expense management and freelancer tax planning, inclusive of features to calculate estimated tax bills and automatically reserve a percentage of income with each payment received. It further allows for expense categorization, addition of receipts to transactions, and generation of monthly expense reports.
Lili provides connectivity with payment applications like PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App. For individuals who generate income through online platforms like Uber, Lyft, or Shopify, the option to establish direct deposit for these payments is available. Moreover, this arrangement could potentially enable users to receive payments up to two days earlier than they would with conventional banks.
Users can efficiently manage their business finances using Lili, irrespective of the device in use. For desktop access, users can log in through the Lili web application. If the preference is for mobile access, the Lili business banking app is readily available for download from either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, providing convenience at their fingertips. Lili exhibits broad compatibility across a range of Apple devices. For iPhone and iPod touch users, the application requires iOS 13.0 or later versions to run smoothly. As for Mac users, the requirements are slightly more specific: the device must be equipped with macOS 11.0 or later and feature an Apple M1 chip or subsequent versions for optimal performance with the Lili application.
Lili offers customer support via phone and email during the week (9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time)
Phone SupportAvailable during business hours
FAQFAQs, guides, glossary, and e-learning products are available.
Lili’s free business checking account, with no minimum deposit requirement, is attractive for freelancers, independent contractors, and small business owners, especially those in the startup phase or those with fluctuating cash flow. Its powerful mobile banking app resonates well with those who manage their business via other mobile applications, such as rideshare or delivery apps. Qualifying is straightforward, with no need for extensive business documentation or a certain business age, unlike some other business bank accounts.
However, Lili might not provide all the financial services that other growing small businesses require. Its limits on cash and ACH outbound transfers may be inadequate for some. Businesses with substantial cash deposits might prefer a bank with physical locations for depositing, instead of relying on ATMs. Lili does not accept foreign funds or checks from non-US banks, making it potentially unsuitable for digital nomads with foreign income. Currently, it does not provide small business loans or a small business credit card.
Despite these limitations, freelancers, independent contractors, or startup small business owners operating as sole proprietors or single-member LLCs should consider Lili in their selection process.