By getting a cash advance from their processing company, merchants are able to put funds directly into their bank account and have the balance automatically paid off over a short period of time simply by automatically deducting a percentage of the credit card sales made by the merchant's customers (or, to look at it another way, to pay a higher percentage on sales to cover the repayment of the advance).
An advance program can be used to purchase additional inventory, do necessary repairs or upgrades, or simply pay some bills. Funds can be delivered usually within 5-10 business days. Sometimes even in as little as 72 hours.
This is good for merchants who need the money quickly, those with little collateral or if they have limited access to other areas to get the funds.
In order to get access to this type of funding, a merchant will generally have to work with a sales agent from the processing company they use. These cash advance programs are great for sales agents, because they generally will share in the profits made on interest, get a nice upfront bonus from the processing company, or both.