Nearside financial technology: Small business owners need all the help they can get to compete, and at first glance, Nearside seemed to offer that. The company provided tools to help small business owners grow and get ahead, allowing them to form an LLC in minutes and receive a business bank account designed to fit their needs. The problem? It was not a bank, and the services it provided left people unsatisfied and, in some cases, in dire straits. Now, the company is set to close its doors by the end of the year.
Closing its doors: Samantha Carrasquillo, a customer at Nearside who has since removed all funds from her account after issues with fraud, alerted Grit Daily that she received a message today about Nearside closing its doors. The company stated that the decision was due to macroeconomic conditions and will include the closure of business bank accounts provided by Piermont Bank. Account closures will occur on December 23rd, when any transfers using the account will be declined.
- Nearside warned customers to transfer their funds to an external account effective immediately since they will lose access next month.
- While economic conditions are poor and have affected many companies, other factors might have contributed to Nearside’s closure, including numerous negative reviews and notoriously poor customer service that left people unable to access their own funds.
LLC services: Nearside offered its customers a small business starter pack that included helping them start an LLC. The selling point was the company turning complicated paperwork into a simple form and taking care of the hassle on behalf of the small business owners that chose to use its services.
- However, one customer reported on Trustpilot that while the LLC paperwork was filed, Nearside took over ownership of the business name.
Business banking: Another service offered by Nearside was a free business bank account designed for small businesses. They promised no sign-up costs, monthly fees, cashback rewards, and more. However, what was not right out in the open was that all of the banking services went through another entity called Piermont Bank.
- The bank was also responsible for issuing the Nearside Visa® Debit Card.
- Piermont Bank is not Better Business Bureau accredited, and it has several negative reviews in places like Google reviews that paint it in a bad light.
- Now that Nearside is closing down, customers will no longer have access to the accounts provided by Piermont.
Customer service: Dependability is vital for small business owners who have to handle more themselves. That makes customer service and quick resolutions a must, and that is precisely where many had a problem with Nearside. Customer service was open for limited hours, and even then, many found it hard to get clear resolutions to their problems.
- Customers reported unreliable automated systems during business hours and difficulty ever speaking to a human about their issues.
- The poor customer service resulted in cards and accounts being locked when they were needed and some customers not having access to their funds.
- Samantha Carrasquillo is one of the customers who has had a poor customer service experience. She said that nobody at Nearside would help when fraud was linked to her account, stating, “I had to go through VISA to get any help.” On the other hand, she did receive a message about them canceling their line of business credit at one point, which she did not even have.
Better Business Bureau: Shockingly, Nearside has a BBB Rating of F, largely because the financial services company never answered or resolved most of their complaints, something seen on both the BBB website and Trustpilot. They are also not accredited and are pulled down by numerous negative reviews.
- Customers reported losing access to features after opening an account, while in more serious cases, they lost the ability to move money from their accounts. Moreover, customer service remained ineffective when these things happened, with some reporting being hung up on.
- Others have reported unclear communications in situations where their accounts were closed abruptly. In some instances, that included the account owner’s funds being inaccessible for an extended period as the return of the money was delayed, hurting their business.
The simplicity and features offered by Nearside attracted many small business owners. However, inefficiencies in customer service and failure to deliver to the point that many felt it was a scam might have ultimately put the nail in Nearside’s coffin during these tough economic times.