Studying away from home comes with many changes and challenges, and these are amplified dramatically for international students attending post secondary institutions outside of their home countries.
Leaving home, adjusting to being self-reliant, and adapting to a new country and culture are already difficult enough; actually, paying for the opportunity, therefore, should not be. Yet international tuition payments remain a costly, time consuming and frustrating experience for not just the student, but the institution.
Though domestic digital banking has improved dramatically, and international student payments have tried to keep pace with improvements with new age banking capabilities, tuition transactions have remained a challenge for educational institutions. Levels of friction exist as institutions are constrained on the payment solutions they can offer, are bogged down with complicated and manual payment processes and deal with untransparent data gaps on payment status, which in some cases, will withhold students from being permitted to attend classes on time due to their payment being stuck somewhere in between the bank and the educational institution.
Institutions require alternative payment choices for cross-border student payments
Some fintechs have emerged focused on education payments to address these challenges but have put limitations and exclusivity agreements in place for education partners, limiting the network of payment options that they could normally have access to. Within this day and age of everything being instant and accessible, this is yet another impediment within the tuition paying process.
Take for example those students choosing to study in the United States from abroad: In 2017 there were more than a million international students, making up five percent of all post-secondary students in the country. In 2018 the category contributed a total economic impact of $45 Billion from international tuition, accommodation and discretionary spending, proving the demand and need for a more efficient process for student payments.
In Canada, from 2000-2018 foreign student numbers grew from 122,665 (the number of valid study permits issued) to 572,415, an increase of 467 percent. All told, international students contribute roughly $19 Billion to the local economy. This makes education the fourth largest export sector in Canada.
There must be sufficient payment alternatives to support category growth
Fortunately, other financial service companies, like PayMyTuition, have developed digital solutions in this area enabling educational institutions, along with their students, to remove the friction and limitations that exist, thus making the international tuition payment process easy, timely and accurate.
PayMyTuition was specifically designed with educational institutions in mind. By way of their innovative real-time cross border payment technology, they are committed to offering partnership opportunities without the constraint of exclusivity agreements. PayMyTuition administers seamless real-time API integration into most student information systems including Banner, Colleague, PeopleSoft, Workday and Jenzabar.
While promoting competition by offering a price match guarantee against any competitor, PayMyTuition’s benefit of unparalleled customer experience is provided to the student, while significant efficiencies are delivered to the institution with the removal of manual data entry and clunky batch file uploads to process international payments.
The number of international students has grown year-over-year within the past decade, and while the pace of this growth is predicted to slow overall, the numbers will nonetheless continue growing. As such, the demand for flexible cross-border payment options can only increase along with them.
With the new semester now underway, students have settled into the new school year. With improved international tuition payments experiences and processes starting to become a priority for educational institutions globally, it is easy to imagine seamless cross-border student payments becoming the standard within the next couple years.