Flywire expands into Japan

Today we announce our expansion into Japan. Operating as Flywire Japan based in Tokyo, we will serve the increasing number of educational institutions in Japan attracting foreign students, as well as Japanese students studying abroad. The move builds on our recently launched operations in Shanghai, China and broader business expansion across the Asia-Pacific region including Australia and Singapore.

International student enrollment in Japan grew nearly 10% in 2014 when over 184,000 foreign students attended schools and universities in Japan. Government agencies such as Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) are working actively with the country’s education institutions to grow that number to 300,000 by 2020, according to ICEF Monitor.

“We landed on Japan really quickly [as a target market],” said Ryan Frere, VP of Global Payments, who noted similarities to the education market in the United States, where “there are a lot of students coming in from other areas.” In Japan’s case, this refers to the southeast Asia region. “The strength of our collection network really allows for us to walk into a market and start collecting across what are traditionally strict or tough currencies,” Frere said.

The country is an important source market for international students as well. After slow but steady declines in the number of Japanese studying abroad in recent years, Japan is seeing a renewed interest in international education among its students. The government is promoting study abroad via multiple programs with a goal of 120,000 export students by 2020.

“Japan is one of the key countries in Flywire’s APAC expansion and we are investing significantly there to help Japanese educational institutions make the payment process easy, efficient and transparent for their international students,” said Mike Massaro, CEO at Flywire. “We have an outstanding local team in place there with years of experience in the education and payments business.”

For the schools’ international students, we offer best-in-class currency conversion rates, 24/7 payment tracking, multilingual customer service, and the ability to pay in 70 different local currencies. The schools benefit from our payment reconciliation tools, global account servicing, and easy-to-use digital tracking.

“International education is thriving in Japan, and it’s one of the key countries in our expansion in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Mike Massaro, CEO at Flywire. “We have an outstanding team in place focused on serving the needs of both educational institutions and students to make the cross-border payment and receivable process easy, efficient and transparent for all involved.”

Since entering the Japanese market in April 2016, we have:

  • Signed on more than 90 schools in Japan including Kai, Le Cordon Bleu, Kudan Institute of Japanese Language & Culture, Yoshida Institute of Japanese Language Culture, Yamanashi Gakuin University, Globis University Graduate School of Management, Kumamoto Gakuen University, Chuo College of Technology, eight (8) YMCA Vocational Schools, Kyoshin Group Schools, Meiko Network Group Schools, Sendagaya Japanese Language School, Arc Academy, and Akamonkai Japanese Language Schools.
  • Moved approximately $60 million on behalf of Japanese schools and students.

Flywire Japan is led by Andrew Ong, managing director, Asia-Pacific region, and Hitoshi Endo, country manager, Japan.