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

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.

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How to cater and scale technology for a start-up in rapid growth

There are multiple stages in a start-up. At an early stage, most tech start-ups usually include two founding members – a business head and a tech head leading the validation efforts. Further down the line, we notice parallel and vertical streams of teams leading the initial growth of the company. It’s usually at this stage or after this stage, where the business has some solidarity to it and the focus on building tech for a large and scalable model begins. The following points made in this post have been laid out in view of a mature start-up.

Be Agile

Following an agile methodology for development is a no-brainer for any start-up. The environment is fast paced, catering to a dynamic business where release cycles are frequent. Often, the common pitfalls of this method also show a lack of emphasis on planning and documentation while customer expectations sometimes are not clear. To mitigate this, a hybrid of agile and waterfall approaches enables start-ups to move towards a mature business. To do so, the start-up must;

– Identify problems of the business

– Prioritize the need of the hour for the business

– Allow for high level architected solutions for each problem

– Build feature specs

– Execute in sprints (ideally 2 weeks) for maximum output to customers

Extensibility

Your business logic and data is your Intellectual Property. As a Fintech company, this becomes the most critical piece of software development. It is important to protect your data while also facilitating growth with the exact same data. How do you draw this balance?

Build your logic and algorithmic layer around your data and an external layer that does not directly interact with your data set. This permits external endpoints to be consumed by growth partners as well as reduces development efforts for building tech for internal teams.

Micro-services

Enterprise applications are often built using a monolithic approach or as a single unit. Although it’s a natural approach to development, it can be frustrating because of multiple dependencies on modular structure and deployment to the cloud also becomes a challenge.

In contrast, Micro-services architecture equips you to independently deploy services or pieces of software without large dependencies on other services. These services or pieces of software ultimately add up to become a single application while running its own suite of processes and mechanisms.

Additionally, in a Fintech setup, technology is built to cater multiple teams – both internal and external and having a micro-services architecture easily allows horizontal scaling.

Reusable code

In a start-up, it’s a good idea to prototype development. Prototyping facilitates quick delivery of a piece of software and a better understanding of future product development.

Post prototyping, it’s important to pick the right framework for a full-fledged and scaled application. This is where building code that can be re-used in multiple services becomes a factor of efficiency in development. Building custom libraries (back-end or front-end) and even choosing the right frameworks ensure ease of development across resources and knowledge transfer. A choice of using AngularJS as a front-end framework allows for creating directives specific to custom applications and promotes reusable components.

Build vs Buy

A classic point of debate and contention is always build versus buy. There are multiple points to consider while making such decisions in a growth stage start up to create a fine balance between the two.

Often, out of the box or integrated solutions provide quick solutions for increased productivity to a business need but come at several costs, such as pricing and rigidity of use. Sometimes these solutions are not compatible with existing software or custom solutions.

Custom-built solutions provide competitive advantages, builds intellectual property and fit a specific business need but also comes at several costs, such as time for development and uncertainty in product definition.

A hybrid approach can be an effective way of mitigating the disadvantages of build or buy approaches. At times, building on top of or integrating an existing product into your custom built solution adds greater value to the overall business product. An example of such a solution can be integrating a good workflow management tool into your custom CRM application.

Dev Pathi

Dev has been involved with startups for the past 5 years since he returned from US. He has launched several mobile apps that have been well accepted in the Indian startup scene.

In New York, he worked with Conde Nast helping them move their web infrastructure from an enterprise setup to an open source setup.
Dev manages the technology development initiatives at Capital Float.

Oct 24, 2018

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Offers and Benefits at GIFF

We understand your working capital needs as an SME, and hence bring you the best of credit products in a comprehensive finance bonanza that extends from July 1 to September 30. Capital Float’s Great Indian Finance Festival or ‘GIFF’ offers you a one-stop shop for your working capital needs where you can choose loans with easy terms in an informed and beneficial way.

Why GIFF?

Taking a loan can be a stressful and arduous process for small business owners—from lengthy applications to intense verification and delayed disbursals. We at Capital Float know that timing makes all the difference. We wish to empower you to do what you do best—focus on your business. So let us take care of all the funding issues. You can focus on fuelling your ambitious plans while we power your growth engine by offering you the best of credit lines.

Here’s What You Gain

Not only does the Great Indian Finance Festival mean ease and speed of credit, it translates to something much more. It makes life easier for the growing pool of SMEs we engage with.

Gold: Avail a loan in the Flash Sale, and walk away with gold worth up to ₹10,000, depending on the loan amount borrowed.

Plummeting interest rate: It’s time to rejoice and tap into a great opportunity. Interest rates will be as low as 16%. A great boost for your business at a super-affordable rate is waiting round the corner!

Speedy application process: Now, there’s no need to wait in long queues at the bank. If you have an Internet connection, you can avail the best loan for your business on your smartphone, tablet, or from the comfort of your desktop. It takes less than 10 minutes to apply, and our cutting-edge processes help us disburse your loan in less than 3 days.

Let’s Celebrate Credit

We have already devised credit products that are attuned to the needs of small and medium enterprises. Here is what we have curated for the three-month online finance bonanza:

Merchant Cash Advance: Whether you are a restaurateur or a retail owner, there’s a high chance a majority of your revenue comes from clients’ card payments. You may then need to have consistent card settlements and short-term investments to meet your working capital needs. Merchant Cash Advance is your go-to loan, allowing you to access quick finance of up to Rs 1 crore, depending on your monthly card settlements. What’s more, you can avail of a loan that’s up to 200% of your monthly sales from card payment machines. In addition, the loan tenure ranges from 6 months to a year, on flexible payment terms. Fill out an application form in 10 minutes, get it verified within hours and get funds in as little as 3 days! All this happens thanks to our trusted partnerships with point-of-sale card machine vendors such as Pine Labs, Mswipe, ICICI Merchant Services, MRL Posnet and Bijlipay.

Unsecured Business / Term Loans: Business is about passion, but you may not always have received the backing so far. Our Term Loans and Unsecured Business Loans are tailor-made for you. We understand the worthiness of a positive cash flow and, based on this, are willing to lend you the short-term funds you need to grow and diversify. Our Term Finance helps you meet your working capital needs from Rs 1 lakh up to Rs 50 lakh over a tenure of 6 months to 3 years. Moreover, you don’t need to pledge collateral to get the loan.

Online Seller Finance: We understand the competitive world of e-commerce— the shrinking lead times, fluctuating levels of inventory, constantly changing pricing decisions and sky-high customer expectations. Our Online Seller Finance loans are designed for eCommerce merchants operating on online marketplaces. The funds received can be used to expand to other product segments, increase inventory or pay suppliers. We have partnered with leading online portals like Amazon, PayTM, Myntra, Shopclues eBay, etc. to service merchants like you operating on these marketplaces. We customise this credit line to your unique business needs, by analysing your monthly sales, projected revenue and other factors.We provide an unsecured loan up to Rs 1 crore or up to twice your monthly sales which mean that you no longer have to worry about expensive collateral to build your business online. No pre-closure charges and flexible repayment terms like fortnightly repayment will take your mind off financial burdens and let you focus on business growth. With the right documents and data, our Online Seller Finance can be disbursed within 3 working days.

Each of these credit offerings will run under Flash Sales, so watch out for announcements on the site. Each Flash Sale will run for 3 days and you can win exciting prizes apart from big discounts. So gear up to catch the right moment, and the right loan offer.

Clearly, GIFF is a goldmine of opportunities designed to serve SMEs across India. We will go along with you every step of the way, to help you realise your business ambitions! Visit www.capitalfloat.com/giff to know more.

Oct 24, 2018

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A digital prescription for the pharma industry

Pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself our because it is pain, but because occasionally can procure great pleasure.

Oct 24, 2018