With universities and students across the world struggling with a cash crunch amid the pandemic, digital payments company Flywire announced in a press release that it wants to help.
Flywire on Thursday unveiled a series of changes to its education payments platform that the firm said will give students and universities greater financial flexibility amid the multiple uncertainties caused by the pandemic and the economic downturn it has triggered.
The Boston-based FinTech said its education payments platform will now give students the ability to change payment methods from month to month, or to seek a lower payment or a temporary break, depending on their circumstances.
Despite visa restrictions, international students continue to be a growing part of the student body at colleges and universities across the United States, contributing $41 billion into the nation’s economy, Flywire noted in the release.
“When COVID-19 hit, we heard from many of our higher education clients about the new financial burdens their international students faced, and how this might jeopardize their re-enrollment,” said Sharon Butler, executive vice president of Education at Flywire, in the release.
As part of the changes to its education platform, Flywire said international students will now have the ability to use their preferred payment method, a critical add on given the multiple currencies that international students are dealing with.
“Flywire’s international payment plans, which will now be available to universities around the world, are critical to allowing students to pay on a schedule and in the method that works best for them, so they can resume their studies on time and without further distraction,” Butler said.
Colleges and universities, in turn, can choose which payment methods to add or offer “based on student demand,” Flywire noted in the release.
Under its revamped education payments platform, students will also be able to change the way they pay from month to month. That could mean paying tuition with a bank transfer one month, followed by a card payment the next, based on personal financial needs or other issues, such as fluctuating international exchange rates, Flywire said in the release.
In a PYMNTS interview, Flywire CEO Mike Massaro discussed the unique predicaments that make cash flow management and forecasting in the time of the pandemic an immense challenge for the higher education system.