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> UK > Financing > Top 10 cash advances for small businesses in the UK

Top 10 cash advances for small businesses in the UK

By Emily Sorensen|2019-01-08T15:19:48+00:00January 7th, 2019|

Roughly speaking, there are two types of cash advance providers: 1) finance companies open to any eligible, registered business, and 2) card payment companies that offer cash advances as an additional extra for using their services.

They all have this in common:

  • You pay one flat fee for the advance and no interest, additional fees or early repayment charges.
  • The repayment of the advance amount + added fee is made through a fixed percentage deducted from your future card takings. Pretty fair for those with fluctuating sales, as you only pay when you earn; when you have a slow month, you pay little. Sell a lot and you pay more.
  • You do not repay through cash earnings.

Let’s look at the ten best cash advance providers for small businesses in the UK. We’ve identified three card payment providers (1-3 below) and seven finance specialists (4-10 below) offering cash advances to businesses with a minimum monthly card turnover of £500-£5,000. Others tend to require a higher card turnover from merchants.

1. iZettle Advance

iZettle is a popular card reader company in the UK. Existing users can qualify for a cash advance (fittingly called iZettle Advance) through their iZettle account. After picking an available advance amount and agreeing to the flat fee and repayment percentage, you get the funding within 1-2 days depending on your bank.

iZettle logo
How to qualifyOpen to existing iZettle users with a steady history of card payments through them
Available creditUnspecified
Expected repayment time12 months
Time from submission to receiving advanceWithin 48 hours

To qualify, you need to have processed card sales consistently for several months through iZettle, and at a certain sales volume. iZettle does not give specific numbers to aim for – they just contact you when they decide you qualify for the advance. Since iZettle has an ecommerce platform too, you may also be able to repay via the online sales you make through that.

Reasons to choose it:

  • You’ve been using iZettle for some months and want to stick with them for convenience.
  • You want to repay both through ecommerce and point-of-sale turnover.

2. PayPal Working Capital

PayPal’s near-instant cash advances, PayPal Working Capital, are open to existing PayPal business users who have processed sales through them for a while. Eligibility is determined by your account behaviour, so you need to have a history (at least three months) with PayPal before you qualify for an advance. Repayments are done through the card takings you receive via PayPal.

PayPal logo
How to qualifyNeed to have had a PayPal Business account for 3+ months and sell £9,000+ through it a year
Available creditUnspecified
Expected repayment timeUnspecified
Time from submission to receiving advanceInstant in PayPal account

It’s easy to apply: just fill in an online form, and you will get an instant decision automatically upon submission. Once you accept the fixed advance fee and repayment percentage, you will receive the funds almost instantly in your PayPal account.

Reasons to choose it:

  • You’ve been selling via PayPal and want to stick with them for convenience.
  • You need money urgently.

3. Worldpay Business Finance

Worldpay offers a cash advance called Worldpay Business Finance to merchants who already use Worldpay for their card transactions. The service is delivered by Liberis, a merchant cash advance lender backed by the British Business Bank Investments arm owned by the UK government.

Worldpay logo red text
How to qualifyNeed to demonstrate card takings of over £1,000 in the past 4 months
Available creditUp to 100% of your average monthly card takings
Expected repayment timeVaries
Time from submission to receiving advance24 hours (estimation)

You apply by calling Worldpay or requesting a callback from them. After accepting the advance amount, flat fee and repayment percentage, you will see the money in your account soon after. Worldpay isn’t specific about timing, so you will have to ask them directly about this on the call.

Reasons to choose it:

  • You’ve been accepting cards through Worldpay for some time and want to stick with them for convenience.
  • Your business sells through multiple channels (card machines, ecommerce, phone payments) through Worldpay and want to repay through all these sales.

4. Capify Merchant Cash Advance

Previously known as United Kapital, Capify is one of the largest global providers of alternative finance. They offer a Merchant Cash Advance, loans and card machines for SMEs. Repayments are deducted from your existing payment processor, i.e. you can apply for a cash advance even if you’re not using their card machines.

Capify logo
How to qualifyNeed to have traded for 6+ months and make at least £3,500/month
Available creditUp to 150% of your average monthly card takings
Expected repayment time6-12 months
Time from submission to receiving advanceWithin days

With Capify, you get decision within minutes of your application, after which it should be quick to receive the funds (it varies depending on your particular card processor). You’re given a dedicated account manager to answer all your questions, and it’s possible to top up your funding after 60% of the advance has been repaid.

Reasons to choose it:

  • You want a dedicated account manager for queries.
  • You might need more funds again before the current advance is paid up.

5. Liberis Business Cash Advance

Liberis is backed by the UK government and accredited by the Plain English Campaign for their clear communication about their services. Their Business Cash Advance offers no-nonsense funds for SMEs, with the option to reapply for more once it’s paid off.

Liberis logo
How to qualifyNeed to have have traded for 4+ months and make at least £2,500/month
Available credit£2,500-£300,000
Expected repayment timeUnspecified
Time from submission to receiving advanceWithin days

You can manage your account with them via their online myLiberis portal and have the option to speak to a customer service person when needed. Liberis has won several awards for their service, and 80% of their merchants use them more than once, so you can expect their service to be top-notch.

Reasons to choose it:

  • You want a high standard of customer support.
  • Clear communication is important to you.

6. Merchant Loan Advance

Merchant Loan Advance specialises solely in the merchant cash advance sector. To qualify for their Merchant Cash Advance, you need to be using a card machine (any card processor is fine). It is through the terminal payments that repayments will be deducted.

Merchant Loan Advance logo
How to qualifyNeed to have traded with a card terminal for 3+ months, with a monthly card turnover of £2,500+
Available creditUp to 150% of your average monthly card turnover
Expected repayment time4 – 18 months
Time from submission to receiving advance<24 hours – 5 days

You apply online through a quick application form. During the time you’re repaying the advance, you can keep track of it through the monthly statements they send you. After a certain percentage of the advance has been paid off, you can apply for more funds or extend the advance term if needed.

Reasons to choose it:

  • You might want to apply for more funds before the advance is fully paid up.
  • Your primary turnover is processed through a card machine.

7. Liquid Finance

As one of the original providers of cash advances in the UK, Liquid Finance is very experienced in the sector. They are the only cash advance provider regulated by the Finance Conduct Authority (FCA) that has a fully automated, in-house split funding process independent from an acquirer. They require at least 6-12 months’ trading before you can qualify for an advance.

Liquid Finance logo
How to qualifyNeed to have traded for 6-12+ months with an average monthly card turnover of £3,500+
Available creditUp to 100% of your average monthly card takings
Expected repayment timeNo deadline
Time from submission to receiving advanceWithin 10 working days

The repayment percentage is usually below 20%, but reportedly, they have no deadline for paying up. It takes up to 10 days to receive the funding after approval, and it’s possible to top up or renew the funds, which more than 80% of their customers choose to do.

Reasons to choose it:

  • You’ve been trading for a while and can wait up to two weeks to receive the funds.
  • You want greater control over your cash flow through their split funding process (ask them for details).

8. Merchant Money

Merchant Money takes a personal approach to their customers, thriving on getting to know the merchants they’re dealing with. They offer secured and unsecured loans, and their Merchant Cash Advance often only takes a couple of hours to reach your bank account from approval (which normally happens within 24 hours).

Merchant Money logo
How to qualifyNeed to have traded for 6+ months with an average monthly card turnover of £5,000+
Available creditUp to 100% of your average monthly card takings
Expected repayment time3-14 months
Time from submission to receiving advanceOften within 24 hours

To qualify for an advance, you need to be using a traditional PDQ machine (i.e. card machine) and have a monthly card turnover of at least £5,000. After four months, you can top up the cash advance, should you need more funds. They can work with any acquirer you’re currently using.

Reasons to choose it:

  • You want a highly personal service that looks at your needs as a business.
  • You need access to funds fairly urgently.

9. Quick Capital

Quick Capital can approve merchants making only £500+ a month through debit and credit card payments. To qualify for their cash advance, you need a merchant account and a card terminal you’ve traded through for at least six months. They accept businesses that also offer ecommerce, implying that repayments may be possible through your online turnover too.

Quick Capital logo
How to qualifyNeed to have traded for 6+ months with an average monthly card turnover of £500+
Available creditUp to 100% of your average monthly card takings
Expected repayment timeWithin 7 months
Time from submission to receiving advanceWithin 72 hours

Once you have paid 60% of your advance, you can top up the funding if needed. They might lure you with an attractive deal to get you to switch to a card machine from Handepay (their merchant service partner) when you apply for a cash advance, so do be prepared to ask questions to avoid ending up in a long, expensive terminal contract you didn’t want in the first place.

Reasons to choose it:

  • Your average monthly card takings are low.
  • You’re considering switching card machine provider.

10. YouLend Advance

YouLend is a Danish company that offers cash advances (called YouLend Advance) to UK businesses too. The handy calculator on their website lets you adjust your business details and advance preferences to instantly show what you’re eligible for – and it appears you can get an advance that’s considerably higher than your monthly card takings. You only need a monthly card turnover of at least £500 to qualify.

YouLend logo
How to qualifyAverage monthly card turnover of £500+
Available credit£500-£225,000
Expected repayment timeWithin 18 months
Time from submission to receiving advanceWithin 72 hours

After completing the online forms, it takes a day to receive a decision, then up to two days to receive the funds. You can track repayments by logging into an online YouLend Borrower portal. The whole application process happens online, but it’s possible to phone support if needed.

Reasons to choose it:

  • You don’t want to speak on the phone to be approved for a cash advance.
  • You want an advance that’s considerably higher than your (possibly low) monthly card takings.