Merchant cash advance

Quick facts

A merchant cash advance is a type of business cash advance. It is designed with retail businesses in mind. If your business takes regular payments through a card terminal, you can use your recent takings as the basis for this kind of loan.

A merchant cash advance uses your card terminal to ‘secure’ lending and get cash fast. You don’t need to have valuable assets but you do need a good volume of card transactions every month. The lender takes payments as a proportion of your revenue. This means that when things are going well, you pay more back each month, but if your business is going through a lean period you pay a smaller amount.

With a merchant cash advance, the lender works directly with your terminal provider (i.e. the company that processes transactions for you) so they can see how much money is flowing through your business. That means that unlike other types of lending, the lender does not need to carry out credit checks or scrutinise your accounts. The percentage the lender takes for repayments is never in your business’s bank account, but instead is ‘taken at source’ – in the same way that most people pay income tax.

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