Committed to providing a distinctive international profile and student experience, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) competes with universities around the globe for students’ attention, and each year attracts more than 5,000 new international students from over 120 countries. With so many options available to students, making an informed choice on where to pursue their education can be very difficult and require a lot of research. Every step in the recruiting and admission process has an impact.
Once a student decides to attend UTS, they must turn their attention toward navigating a new set of complexities, such as moving to Australia, getting through the Visa process, and making a tuition fee payment. For everyone at UTS, from the Vice Chancellor all the way down, process improvements are a priority. According to Harvinder Singh, Manager, Financial Accounting, Corporate Finance, “Our university must compete globally or get left behind; we don’t have the luxury of not doing it.”
Prior to working with Flywire, UTS did not have an online payment option, resulting in bank drafts or Telegraphic Transfers (TTs) being sent to UTS for reconciliation.
This manual process not only presented the danger of drafts being lost prior to being banked, but also required staff to bank large drafts twice a day during peak periods. Each individual TT would then take days to trace with many payments falling short, requiring the university to directly contact each payer to request the full amount.
“For many students, the first thing they would hear from us after accepting their offer would be that they still owe us,” says Nikki Ekanayake, Deputy Director International Student Recruitment, UTS. “You want the very first experience you have with a student who has accepted their offer to be a good one, not one where you have to explain why they needed to pay more money.”
UTS turned to Flywire to help enhance student experience and drive efficiencies by automating the payment process. As part of Flywire’s comprehensive receivables solution, Education Payments enable UTS to securely receive, process and track online payments from international students regardless of location. This has helped UTS do more with less, ultimately speeding reconciliation and easing operations.
With Flywire, UTS international students are now able to pay online using a system that not only is easier to navigate, but also offers local, convenient payment options that save time and money. In addition, Flywire’s transparent payment process provides real-time tracking and status updates every step of the way, so students know exactly when payments are delivered.
Since launching Flywire in 2014 to automate the payment process, UTS has saved:
- More than $4.15 million in merchant and bank fees
- 10,000+ hours (over a year) in reconciliation and refund processing time
- 400+ customer support hours as a result of fewer payment queries
Most importantly, UTS has been able to improve the overall student experience. Students appreciate a simple-to-navigate process and are now also able to benefit from easier, faster visa approval with payments being tracked and integrated into the system more quickly. Ekanayake explains, “With Flywire, students know that what they pay will hit the other side with the right amount. There are no hidden costs.”
Now that we have Flywire, there are only a few bankdrafts per week. This really cuts down on our work. For the back office, it is all about being as efficient as possible. We are constantly challenged to do more with less, so we need to find better ways to do things. By improving efficiencies in the back office, the benefits extend to the front office and improve the student experience.
Harvinder Singh, Manager, Financial Accounting, Corporate Finance