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There may still be a few weeks of summer left, but high-growth vertical payments innovator Flywire is already in back-to-school mode. The company announced today that it has enhanced its digital payment platform to make it easier for educational institutions and student recruitment agents to manage student data and track payments.
“Education agents play a very important role in the relationship between schools and their international students,” Flywire EVP of Education Sharon Butler explained. “Their ability to represent educational institutions locally can make a big difference in how a school is viewed by prospective students.” Butler added that the new enhancements will “streamline the international student recruitment process” and improve the way that agents are able to engage with students and institutions.
A worldwide payment provider for students and educational institutions, Flywire helps schools offer their students a secure and convenient payment process that accelerates the flow of funds, makes reconciliation simpler, and keeps operating costs low. The enhancements to Flywire’s platform will make recruitment agents’ jobs easier by centralizing student data and providing transparency over the payments process. Educational institutions will benefit from this payment transparency and tracking, as well, and are able to use the technology to build custom payment plans to give students more flexibility.
Flywire also announced today that it has forged a strategic partnership with China’s international education industry association, BOSSA. A non-profit, government-supported organization, the Beijing Overseas Study Service Association will get expanded access to Flywire’s cross-border services for Chinese students studying abroad. The partnership leverages Flywire’s extensive experience working with education recruitment agents in China; BOSSA has 300 such member agents who are responsible for recruiting and advising more than 60% of all Chinese students studying overseas each year.
“Flywire offers state-of-the-art technology and services for cross-border payments,” BOSSA spokesperson Jon Santangelo said. “We are pleased to endorse them to Chinese education agencies, and China’s wider international education sector as a whole. The level of integrity they’ve achieved in the higher education field is a big differentiator to Chinese agencies.”
Founded in 2009 as peerTransfer, Flywire has raised more than $263 million in funding from investors including Goldman Sachs, Temasek Holdings, and Bain Capital Ventures. Mike Massaro is CEO.
It’s a big week for Flywire. The global payments platform made a dual announcement yesterday that it closed a round of funding and sealed the deal on an acquisition.
The $120 million in funding brings Flywire’s total raised to $260 million. Goldman Sachs led the Series E round. The Massachusetts-based company will use the funding to digitize payments across education, healthcare, and travel.
“We are thrilled to lead the Series E round for Flywire”, said Ashwin Gupta, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division. “They bring together a unique blend of a payments network, platform and vertical-specific solutions to completely digitize the payments experience for their clients across industries. We look forward to continuing to help accelerate Flywire’s growth.”
Along with the investment news, Flywire unveiled that it has acquired healthcare billing and payment solutions company Simplee for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition blends Flywire’s tech platform with Simplee’s solution that focuses on patients and providers. The combined companies power four of the top ten U.S. healthcare systems and together process $10 billion+ in payments per year.
“Flywire is uniquely built on a global payments network, which is the cornerstone of how we move billions of dollars across 200+ countries and 150 currencies, and an industry-leading payments platform” said Flywire CEO Mike Massaro. “This digital foundation enables us to develop vertical-specific applications that make payments more efficient and cost-effective for our global clients. The Simplee acquisition improves patient engagement and healthcare affordability and extends these capabilities to a broader customer base.”
Flywire, which originally launched has peerTransfer in 2009, has processed $12 billion+ in payments for 2,000 clients. The company has office locations at its headquarters in Boston, as well as Chicago, London, Manchester, Valencia, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Cluj, and Sydney.
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Global payments platform Flywire is extending its agreement with China’s UnionPay, the Massachusetts-based company announced today.
The two are re-launching a program that discounts foreign exchange rates on cross-border tuition and healthcare transactions. The initiative, which first launched last spring, is available to all UnionPay cardholders making payments originating in China. The rate on foreign exchange payments made to participating education and healthcare facilities will be the same as a local bank transfer.
“We strive to offer our clients’ payers the most convenient and secure payment options in each international market they serve,” said Ryan Frere, vice president of global payments for Flywire. “For Chinese students and patients making cross-border payments, UnionPay is the most preferred and trusted brand. We’re pleased to expand this program and bring valuable savings to more payers and institutions.”
UnionPay is a smart partner pick for Flywire. The bank’s home country is the number one origination of students studying abroad. More than 662,000 Chinese citizens studied abroad last year, a figure up 9% from 2017. Medical tourism is also popular among Chinese citizens; more than 630,000 Chinese patients traveled abroad for medical care in 2018.
Flywire originally launched as peerTransfer in 2011, when the company debuted its college tuition payment platform at FinovateSpring 2011. Flywire’s platform processes billions of dollars in payments every year in over 120 different local currencies, connecting more than 1,400 businesses and universities with their customers.
In addition to its Boston headquarters, the company has offices in Chicago, London, Manchester, Valencia, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Cluj, and Sydney.