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Flywire Offers Chinese Students and Patients Discounted FX Rates

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.