Merchant Cash Advance programs
A Risk Worth Taking
There is a risk to cash advance providers and a fairly high risk (hence the higher cost to the merchant for the money), but they use cash advance sophisticated models to determine the future likely credit card purchases. They also offer the cash with relatively short payback periods to help mitigate risk.
Although approval isn’t as difficult as it is for most bank loans, few cash advance providers will approve new merchants without a history of credit card transactions. Even fewer will approve sums larger than what merchants can reasonably expect to earn from credit card transactions in a year.
The provider of the merchant cash advance takes all of the risk, the risk is high, but since it is paid out of projected future sales, it is typically a risk worth taking. Seasonal businesses that need cash to carry them through lean seasons or merchants who have an unexpected downturn in business (say because of road construction, building repairs or extended illness) might find a need for a cash advance until business picks up again.
However, merchant cash advance companies say that ailing businesses are not the only merchants interested in this kind of program. Many types of businesses are often underserved by traditional funding institutions. Take for example a restaurant, it could be a very successful business, but a traditional bank wants to see tangible assets. Perishable foods or used restaurant equipment just won’t make the cut, even if that restaurant is packed every night.
There are many examples of times when owners of healthy small businesses could use cash to help build their businesses but can’t get the traditional funding necessary.
Merchant Cash Advance programs are cash flow friendly, especially during seasonally slow periods. Traditional loans and leases require a set payment every month, whether the business has made a sale or not. Because payments are calculated as a percentage of sales, if sales are growing, the amortization could be quicker, but if the proprietor experiences some interruption or downturn in business, the payments will be lower.