If your small business accepts regular credit card payments from consumers, you’ve probably heard of merchant cash advances or retailers cash advances.
Many small business owners, on the other hand, are unfamiliar with how merchant cash advances operate and are uncertain if they are the best business financing choice for them.
We’ll define a merchant cash advance and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using this type of small business financing.
What is a Merchant Cash Advance?
Many people mistakenly assume that merchant cash advances are the same as business loans. This is not the case. A merchant cash advance, on the other hand, is the purchasing of the company’s potential credit card receivables.
Your lender will give you a lump sum payment after you’ve completed the cash advance application process. After that, a portion of the company’s potential credit card receivables can be used to pay off your debt. A small business loan, on the other hand, has pre-determined repayment conditions.
The Disadvantages to Getting a Merchant Cash Advance
While having access to quick cash with no strings attached sounds appealing, there are several drawbacks to getting a merchant cash advance that you should be aware of before applying:
- Interest rates are likely to be high
The cost of merchant cash advances is one of the main reasons why companies avoid them. Although the fees charged by each lender differ, a merchant cash advance can cost you more in interest than other types of business financing.
Merchant cash advance providers are exempt from certain interest rate limits and restrictions because cash advances are considered “short-term” funding. As a result, their approvals are often linked to a high annual percentage rate (APR).
- There might be restrictions
Another disadvantage to obtaining a merchant cash advance is that there might be “fine print” that restricts your company when you are repaying your debt.
Wording that prevents the company from switching credit card processing companies is a common restriction to be aware of. Changing locations or changing hours of service are examples of prohibited changes.
- Problems will arise if credit card sales are not received
In certain instances, companies accept a combination of credit card, cash, and possibly even checks as payment methods. Although merchant cash advance companies usually do not have this issue, they do sometimes have a clause in their contracts that prohibits businesses from providing discounts for non-credit card payments.
In certain cases, offering discounts to consumers who pay with cash may be considered a violation of the agreement. You won’t be able to meet your commitments on time if you don’t have regular credit card sales. As a result, certain cash advance companies may have policies in place to encourage non-credit card payments.
The Advantages of Getting a Merchant Cash Advance
Although merchant cash advances are not for everyone, they may be beneficial to certain entrepreneurs.
Here are some of the most important advantages to consider:
- Remittance based on the company’s credit card sales on a regular or weekly basis
The remittance structure is one of the most appealing aspects of earning a merchant cash advance. A standard term loan requires a company to make a fixed payment regardless of whether or not its customers have paid their invoices.
This can place a burden on a company that has slow paying customers or a fluctuating cash flow. As previously stated, a portion of your business’s credit card revenue is used to satisfy your obligation with a merchant cash advance.
As a result, if you have a slow sales month, you would not be charged as much as during peak seasons.
- Payments are made on an automated basis
Payments are immediately deducted from your business’s collected credit transactions when you remit a merchant cash advance. This means you won’t have to take time out of your day to make the payments, and you’ll have a much lower risk of incurring late fees.
If you have a habit of forgetting to pay your bills, knowing that your cash advance remittance is handled for you can be reassuring.
- Funds are collected in a timely manner
The process of applying for a business loan from a bank can take weeks or months to complete.
If your company requires urgent working capital, you can’t afford to go through a lengthy lending process just to find out that you don’t qualify for a loan.
Funds can also be available in less than a week with a merchant cash advance, and many lenders can close deals in less than 72 hours.
Also Read: Why Small Business Loan Is so Important
- There is no need for additional collateral
Even if your company has properties or assets, you may not be able or willing to put them up as collateral for a business loan.
Lenders usually only need a portion of the business’s projected revenue receipts as collateral. As a result, all other business assets remain available for use as required.
When applying, the most important thing to remember is that although it can be a valuable tool in some cases, it also comes with risks.
Make sure you understand all conditions and fees before deciding to try this financing option, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
After you’ve gathered all of the data, you can assess if your company will benefit from a merchant cash advance.