The increase in the number of these companies and brands has led to a direct impact of the financial institutions that give these businesses loans to start or expand. For this reason, banks and other conventional financing institutions have become pickier on who they grant loans hence rejecting loan requests of most small businesses. Coincidentally, small business owners have discovered the concept of Merchant Cash Advance.
Understanding the concept of Merchant Cash Advance
A Merchant Cash Advance, also known as an MCA is a non-conventional type of loan that is offered by Merchant Cash Advance Companies in exchange for a certain percentage of credit card sales made by the company. For instance, the financiers and the businesses can agree that the financier will be taking ten percent of each credit cards sale. In other words, it can be looked at as a purchase of future credit card and debit card sales receivable on the side of the financiers.
The Merchant Cash Advance, unknown to many, does not fall in the category of loans. The reason is that their modes of repayment significantly differ from those of loans. Unlike traditional lending firms, Merchant Cash Advance Companies do not ascribe to rules on matters like interest rates; therefore, they determine their own interest rates.
Methods of repayment for Merchant Cash Advance
Traditionally, when this concept was coming up, there were two modes of payment. This was either within a period of two years or on a daily basis depending on the sales made by credit cards as well as debit cards. Over the years, MCA companies have come up with three basic methods of repayment. They include:
The ‘lock box’ method- it requires that all credit card sales made by the business be deposited into a specific bank account that is operated by the financiers. The financiers then deduct their portion according to the percentage they agreed upon with the business. The financiers later send the remaining amount to the company. This method is also known as the ‘trust bank account withholding’ method.
The split withholding method- it requires that the company that processes the credit cards splits the card sales automatically in accordance with the agreed-upon percentage. Therefore, the two parties receive their money independent of the other.
The ACH withholding method- it requires that when a credit card sale is done, the financiers automatically receive all the relevant credit card information of the customer. With this information, the financiers deduct their owed percentage of the sum of the sale directly from the card holder’s checking account.
Most MCA companies, as well as the small businesses, prefer the split method as opposed to the Lock Box method. The reason is that the Lock Box method takes roughly a day for the company to receive their portion of the credit card sale sum after the financier has deducted their share.
Why choose Merchant Cash Advance over traditional loans?
Despite the high-interest rates that Merchant Cash Advance companies charge, most business owners opt to use Merchant Cash Advance over traditional loans. The reasons are:
• Merchant Cash Advance takes a shorter period to process loans as opposed to traditional lending institutions.
• Merchant Cash Advance does not look too deep into the credit score and credit details of business owners. Instead, they look into the performance of the business and the potential for success. This is because repayment is dependent on the business performance and independent of the business owner.
• The amount paid back to the Merchant Cash Advance companies can vary depending on the quantity of credit card sales made. This means that during a low season, the sum paid back to the financiers is less hence reducing financial strain and making it easy to manage and maintain the cash flow of the business.
• Finally, Merchant Cash Advance offers an alternative to businesses that have been declined loans by the bank and other lending institutions.
The Merchant Cash Advance Industry
The Daily Founder describes this industry as one of the fastest growing in the economy. In the year 2013, reports showed that the industry was responsible for funding over a hundred businesses and had spent a rough amount of three billion dollars. Other than funding, the Merchant Cash Advance industry hosts an annual gala in New York where small business owners are invited to network, get educated on issues to do with finance as also get training.