7 Reasons Why Merchant Cash Advance Is a Great Alternative to Traditional Finance

Rajath Kumar

Businesses need additional finances either for growth in terms of scale or for expansion into newer product categories, or for geographical expansion. Sometimes, additional finances are also required for day-to-day operations. Going the traditional route via banks and financial institutions may not always work, especially for small business that are still in the process of building up their brand and market presence. The merchant can also withdraw from his/ her working capital loan. But, if the working capital limits are reached, and if the bank is unwilling to extend more working capital, then the merchant has to look for funds from other sources.

Fortunately, a whole new option of loans based on card swipes at POS terminals offers a great alternative to traditional finance. “Merchant cash advance” is a form of finance where sales from card machines can be used to raise loans. Merchants who allow their customers to pay with a credit or debit card can avail of such credit advance. Merchant cash advance loans are repaid by the POS partner on behalf of the borrower as a percentage of every sale registered on the POS machine.

When merchants accept credit/debit cards as a form of payment, the cards are swiped on a point-of-sale (PoS) terminal. Once the card and the sale amount is verified, the transaction is completed by entering a PIN number. Such sales are actually credit sales as banks credit the sale amount on the next day, or as decided with the merchant, after they deduct transaction charges.

There are several reasons why merchant cash advance is a great alternative to banks and other traditional lenders. Apart from the lengthy process and paperwork, the terms of traditional credit are much tougher for small businesses that have just set out on their entrepreneurial journey or are about to move into an expansion phase. Here is a quick look at why merchant cash advance loans are a better option for SMEs:

No collateral required

Merchant Cash Advance is a completely unsecured loan. The borrower isn’t required to pledge their property or assets to avail themselves of the loan.

Quick, easy loan disbursal

Merchant cash advance loans are usually disbursed easily and quickly as the onus to repay the amount is with the bank that provides the PoS terminal. Thus, merchant cash advance companies have to only ensure the regularity of the sales and the commitment of the merchant to be in business for the duration of the loan.

Hassle-free application

The borrower can apply for the loan by using a mobile device or a desktop, as long as the device is connected to the internet. The documents required can be scanned and uploaded at the time of the application. The borrower isn’t required to visit our office. This hassle-free application process provides for a comfortable experience to the borrower.

Assured repayment

As the onus to pay the instalment is with the provider of the PoS terminal, which is usually a bank, the merchant cash advance companies are reasonably assured of receiving repayments regularly, provided the merchant’s business has no issues. When the PoS terminal providers credit the merchant’s account with the proceeds of their credit card sales, they transfer a fixed percentage of these proceeds to merchant cash advance companies that have provided the merchant cash advance.

Flexibility of Repayment

The repayment of merchant cash advance loans can be pegged to the sales volumes. As a result, merchant can direct their PoS providers to pay less during low seasons. In the case of merchant cash advance loans, the merchants may also have the flexibility to structure their repayments to suit their ability to pay. Instead of making monthly repayments of the loan, they can opt to repay in weekly or fortnightly instalments as well.

Advance as a multiple of card sales

Merchant cash advance loans are ideal for merchants who have consistent credit/debit card sales. Merchant cash advance companies will first evaluate the credit worthiness of the merchant by verifying their past sales and business performance. Once merchant cash advance companies are satisfied, they will decide the basis of the loan advance and how much they can lend to the merchant. For example, Capital Float uses the monthly card settlement amount as the basis for deciding the loan amount. We lend up to 200% of the monthly sales made by the borrower from card swipes.

No pre-closure charges

Capital Float doesn’t charge the borrower any pre-closure charges if the borrower chooses to close the loan ahead of the agreed upon tenure. Additionally, we maintain complete transparency in fees and charges. The borrower is required to pay up to 2% of the loan amount as processing fees, while applying for the loan.

The usage of PoS terminals has significantly increased after the recent demonetization drive. The Government of India is pushing Indian banks to install PoS terminals so that the nation can progress towards becoming a cashless economy. With cashless transactions set to rise with card swipes and PoS machines, merchant cash advance loans will soon become a popular way of raising short-term funds to finance working capital requirements.

Capital Float is one of the few financial companies in India to offer merchant cash advance loans. We have already tied up with POS terminal vendors like Pine Labs, ICICI Merchant Services, Mswipe, MRL Posnet, Bijlipay, and more. We provide a merchant cash advance up to Rs. 1 crore for a convenient tenure of six months to one year.