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Flywire buys Uni-Pay to capture 13% market share

The PIE News – By Beckie Smith

US-based global payment solutions provider Flywire has acquired UK-based competitor Uni-Pay in a move the company says means its client base now accounts for 13% of the global international student market.

The company, formerly named peerTransfer, now serves some 603,000 of the 4.5m international students who study abroad worldwide each year.

The addition of Uni-Pay’s 60 institutional clients brings Flywire’s portfolio of UK education institutions to more than 120, making it the market leader in the UK sector. It will now process tuition and accommodation fee payments for more than 800 education institutions worldwide.

Uni-Pay will adopt the Flywire branding and its clients will transfer from the current Uni-Pay platform to the Flywire platform over the coming months.

This is the latest step in Flywire’s global expansion strategy, which includes raising $22m in venture capital earlier this year, led by Bain Capital Ventures.

Last month it changed its name from peerTransfer and announced a move into China.

The change in ownership will see Uni-Pay’s six staff members join Flywire and enable an expansion of the services offered to its existing customers, Simon Read, director of Uni-Pay, told The PIE News.

“The size and scale of Flywire brings some instant and clear benefits to our customers such as the removal of the Uni-Pay transaction fee for students, a best rate guarantee on foreign exchange and a whole raft of additional payment options in countries such as Brazil, China, Nigeria and South Korea,” he explained.

Flywire has also this week announced that it will now offer the same overseas money transfer service for medical institutions as it does in the education sector.

“The payment challenges faced by hospitals and their international patients are similar to those faced by educational institutions and their international students,” noted Mike Massaro, Flywire CEO.

“A significant percentage of international patients pay for care abroad themselves, without the involvement of insurance companies.”

It will initially focus on hospitals and other healthcare facilities in the US, where some 1.2m international patients receive treatment each year.

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