A business approaches a merchant through an application which can be online and the provider after reviewing the relevant documents offers the business in question the amount requested for a slice of future sales mainly recovered through credit card sales. Payments are thus made on a daily or weekly basis to the provider as opposed to the conventional fixed payment deposits provided by banks and other financial institutions. Repayment is directly obtained from the payment processors which the providers mostly form a partnership with.
Even though MCA may in some way resemble a loan, there exists a difference between cash advances and loans.
MCA mostly favor small retail businesses who generally do not qualify to obtain regular bank loans maybe because they do not have a strong credit standing or haven’t operated much to ensure the same.
Advantages of MCA over conventional bank loans
1. Does not require a collateral
Unlike normal bank loans that require one to offer a piece of security which the party will be willing to forfeit in case of default, MCA does not rely on this in order to offer businesses cash. Only credit sales records are required and reviewed before one is financed. This aids small businesses who have not yet achieved much in assets.
2. Payments are flexible
Payments of MCAs are generally flexible as opposed to bank loans since they vary proportionately with the business’ credit sales volume. This comes in handy during periods of low sales registered as opposed to conventional loans whereby the interest rates are fixed, and one is required to pay the amount agreed regardless of the sales registered. This disadvantages the business in times of low sales volume.
MCA are processed faster as compared to other loans thereby offering businesses in need faster access to income. Once the relevant documents have been reviewed and creditworthiness established, cash in question is injected to the recipient accounts normally in a few days or a couple of weeks maximum.
4. Focus on business performance
Unlike other financial institutions which lay their assessment on the individual creditworthiness, credit position, and financial standing to offer a loan, MCA focuses on the underlying business performance to deduce creditworthiness. This is through assessment of the sales volume mainly between 3-6 months before the request. MCA generally focuses less on the creditworthiness of the owner and have higher rates of approval since repayment is tied to the credit card purchases
5. Automatic repayment
Since repayment is performed automatically based on merchant’s undertakings with regards to transactions, late charges cannot be accrued from skipped due dates as experience with conventional bank loans.
6. Less paperwork
Since payments are normally done automatically by a merchant, there is no space for paperwork which reduces bulkiness.
Since funding is processed faster after review, MCA provides a quick answer for business emergencies as exposed to bank loans who time to process loans alongside a long procedure which would render bank loans ineffective for emergencies.
Merchant Cash Advance as well comes with a number of setbacks as compared to conventional sources of funding
Advantages of conventional loans over MCA
1. MCA is costly
MCA is more expensive as compared to traditional financing. Since the funding does not exceed a year, providers set the interest rates at higher notch which other traditional lenders set. Also, lack of federal laws governing MCA gives room for unscrupulous business undertakings; for example, some companies may choose to offer more than a business can repay. State usury laws which control fixing of interests as well do not include MCA providers as they are exempted from it.
MCA lastS shorter than other conventional banking options normally not more than 12 months and this impacts on the credit rates which are normally higher due to less time of recovery.
3. It is impossible to save by prepaying MCAsince the factor rate applies regardless of how long the business takes to offset the advance. This means that earlier payment does not guarantee anything to the business save for other financing options where somebody can offset the balance or debt owed through early payment.
Alternatives to MCA
Businesses as well may have other options away from MCA. These include:
i) Business credit card- this is a useful way of covering expenses as one earns returns instead. It, however, requires a personal guarantee.
ii) A business line of credit- money is received in lump sum and repayment done in a week or monthly basis. This is acquired through banks which may offer up to 100,000 dollars without requiring collateral.
iii) Term loans- this is whereby a person borrows a set amount often repaired over a fixed amount of time. Repayment may thus lust for a longer period