Flywire: Simplifying cross-border payments Powering the future of global payments

November 20, 2019

The world is connected more than ever, people traverse across cities for education, healthcare, business, and whatnot. Although there are a plethora of services that focus on money transfer, people still find it difficult to transact money across the world. Mostly because if you rely on a bank, they're likely to charge you with several hidden charges, or maybe it's just that you get confused with all these different types of currencies and its varying rates.

Well, that’s where Flywire fits in with its global payment platform that breaks down boundaries by enabling domestic payment and receivables through seamless transaction experience. They provide their services across several verticals including healthcare, education, and travel.

Flywire has a global payment network that is specialized for businesses, organizations, and payers across the world. Their robust payment infrastructure is based on a network of payment partners and through these global, regional and local banking relationships they have forged a convenient mechanism that can securely process transactions from more than 240 countries and territories and deal with more than 150 currencies.

Back in 2008 during his time as an international student Iker Marcaide, faced a lot of trouble paying his tuition fee from a different country and he almost ended up losing the fee once as there was no record of his payment due to technical issues between banks. The incident led him to take up the challenge of solving the payments issue, and in 2011 Flywire was born which was then named peerTransfer.

The issue with traditional payments is that they lack transparency and cannot be tracked. Also they incur hefty charges for transactions on top of the fluctuating exchange rates which make it hard for consumers. So Mercaide came up with a solution and was confident about the company and he welcomed employees from various backgrounds like education, payments, technology, and customer support and each of them brought in their expertise with them.

Flywire then peerTransfer grew rapidly as a leading provider of cross-border payment solutions by connecting institutions on more than six continents with consumers across the world. By 2016 the company had formed alliances with 900+ colleges and universities. Soon the company developed a state- of- the- art technology and became market experts. But the company still focuses on customers and provides multilingual customer support 24/7. Currently, Flywire has opened offices all over the world and has a global outreach that helps the company better serve its clients and payers.

What is Flywire?
At the core, Flywire is all about solving complex payment problems for businesses and institutions both globally and locally. Flywire currently leads the large-value international payments industry funded by major firms like spark capital, Fidelity, Maveron, etc.

Flywire now processes billions in payments every year by connecting all related entities to improve the transaction time, ensure more security and provide the clients and customers with cost-effective mechanisms that are transparent. The company’s services are spread across three major sectors; business, education and healthcare and they make use of Flywire's full-service platform to deliver a world-class payment experience for their customers and also to create a single point of visibility and control for payer engagement and receivables management, including invoicing and payment through reconciliation.

Flywire ensures end-to-end customer support with multilingual servicing via phone, email or chats along with round the clock online payment tracking. The company headquarters is situated in Boston and has offices spread across the globe in Chicago, London, Spain, Shanghai, Singapore and many more.

How does it work?
Flywire began its operations exclusively for educational institutions although it has now widened its services across many verticals. To best explain their workflow, consider how Flywire operates for an institution. Flywire’s model is similar to that of an international payment processor, there’s an agreement with the institution that connects us into their e-billing process. The student will get a notification with the amount due; further, the consumer can make the rest of the transaction through the company website. The consumer can then select the country they're paying from and the company will share the various payment options available in the local currency, credit card, and bank transfer.

Flywire will then collect all the required details required for regulatory processes and walk the consumer through any further processes. The company has built a workflow that takes the consumers through all the available payment options they have in their local currencies and also customizes if there's any specific data the governments intend to maintain record of.

Future talks
Flywire is expanding rapidly, its latest plans include payment solution for adventure travel, the company intends to offer OTAs and Tour operators with capabilities like initial guest booking, payment through disbursement to tour operators, etc to help these service providers capitalize on the rapid increase in the demand for adventure travel meanwhile provide seamless payment experience for their guests. Apart from education, Flywire is providing its services in healthcare and they’ve partnered with various hospitals and extend its services, exactly as they’ve done with the education industry.

Meet the leader
Mike Massaro CEO, Flywire has helped the business grow from a mere concept to one of the leading global companies in the payments industry. Mike has been part of the Flywire's expansion in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific regions and has successfully aligned Flywire's international team with the company's strategic direction. He began his career at PWC, LLP. He has vast experience in fields like global payments, mobile software, and e-billing at rapidly growing companies, including Carrier IQ and edocs Inc. He's also a 2019 recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Financial Services which recognizes unstoppable entrepreneurs.

“Flywire is the world’s leading global payment platform. We remove boundaries by enabling the cross-border and domestic payment and receivables process through seamless transaction experiences and flexible solutions tailor-made for industries including healthcare, education, travel, and more.”