What is it? How does it work?
Merchant cash advance is a one-time capital infusion in the form of a lump sum into a business. This is done in exchange for a fixed royalty taken up on a set period. Since its inception, it has recorded about 1 million business users according to the report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Merchant Cash Advance captures the human nature of avoiding lengthy and tiresome routes to get to something since it provides for short and easy money borrowing services.
It is a modern way of money lending which appreciates the use of technology as compared to the traditional bank loans. The application process for MCA is so simple, fast and efficient. The application form is provided for online where the entrepreneur fills in the required details and submits the form for approval. Normally, the approval time ranges from between 24 to 48 hours as compared to traditional bank loans that would take up to a week to approve and sometimes, the banks may fail to give loans.
Merchant Cash Advance has not been considered as a loan, and thus it is not regulated by any federal rules or regulations. The danger in this is that the lenders may end up inserting clauses in the agreement to their advantage. It is therefore advisable that before borrowing, the entrepreneur reads, understands and seeks clarity where needed before making commitments.
Unlike traditional banks that required collateral before issuing loans, the MCA does not require collateral. This, in essence, eliminates the chance of one losing their property in the event that they cannot service their loan. Instead, it relies on business cash flow from credit cards, debit cards or bank deposits. The only requirement is to supply four months bank statements and that the business has to have been running for six months to a year with a revenue of between $4000 and $5000. However, failure to meet these requirements does not completely spell doom for a prospective borrower; the chances just become slim.
The funding amount is dependent on monthly bank deposits or credit card swipes. The higher the credit card swipes the higher the chances of getting more credit. Merchant Cash Advance is therefore ideal for industries such as restaurants, bars, retail shops, salons among many others provided that there is a steady flow of customers using credit cards or debit cards.
Another advantage of MCA is that there is no requirement for the credit-worthiness of an individual or the business. This is a departure from the traditional bank loans where the requirement for creditworthiness was mandatory. This simplifies life for small business entrepreneurs or those businesses that have a struggle picking up.
MCA has been viewed as a bridge between one’s business plans or ideas and achieving them. This is because it comes in handy when emergency finances such as an expansion of the business premises, expanding the client base, increase in service delivery or payment of employers arise.
Is it good for all businesses?
However, it is not recommendable for all businesses. This is because it can prove to be expensive especially when business returns are not turning out to be what was expected. It is therefore important for an entrepreneur to foresee and predict chances of business prosperity before borrowing. Factoring rates can be as high as 30% meaning; a borrower may end up with little to no profit which in essence defeats the whole logic of business. In addition to that, it has an impact on the cash flow of the business since repayment is charged directly from the business account. It is important to note that the pros outweigh the cons, but the decision entirely lies on the intending borrower.
Repayment of Merchant Cash Advantage is automated in most cases. The borrower, therefore, does not need to worry about refunds for as long the business is running. The repayment can be made on a daily basis, and it is dependent on the flow on the flow of business. This is to mean that repayment is proportionate to the sales of the day. The higher the sales on a particular day, the higher the deductions and thus the lesser the time used in repayment of the sums borrowed.
Stacking is not advisable. It is described as getting of another MCA before completing repayment of the existing one. It likened to getting a loan to pay another loan. This means that factoring rates will pile on each other and upon repayment; one may be left with little if nothing to gain from the amount borrowed.
There are more advantages in using MCA than the traditional bank loan facilities. Merchant Cash Advance is the way to go.