[Case Study] Easing international student payments translates to big savings and efficiencies at Kyoshin Language Academy

Kyoshin Language Academy, locally known as “KLA,” is a system of Japanese language schools operated by Kyoshin Corporation Ltd., a company with a 45-year-old history in the education field in Japan.

KLA incorporates CEFR-compliant lessons to encourage students to learn Japanese efficiently. KLA students praise the schools not only for outstanding Japanese language education, but for helping them immerse themselves in Japanese life and culture. As Kyoshin students, they enjoy a wide range of activities with their classmates spanning cherry blossom viewing, to Japanese tea ceremonies and sweet-making courses, and even the ability to participate in a homestay program with a Japanese family.

With four schools in Tokyo, and one each in Nagoya, Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Fukuoka, KLA is the largest Japanese language school group in Japan. Its 3,000+ students come from more than 40 different countries to learn high-level Japanese in a wide range of programs, spanning two-week courses to two-year programs. Those graduates leverage their new language skills to attend universities and vocational schools in Japan, to work in various fields in Japan or speak Japanese in work and life back in their home countries.


10Japanese language schools in Japan
3,000international students
43countries/regions represented

Challenge: Supporting and offering localized payment options

KLA aims to do everything it can to ease the transition for students coming to Japan for the first time, as they try to get acclimated to a new culture and environment. For example, KLA hosts orientations not only at the time of arrival but also when necessary, and teachers on staff provide students with the support and counseling they need to settle in Japan.

But one thing wasn’t easy for students – making international tuition payments to get to KLA in the first place.

KLA wanted to offer students options other than international bank transfers – which often came with high fees for the payers, couldn’t be done completely online and offered little visibility into payment status for both the payer and Kyoshin’s finance staff. It was difficult to track and match payments to open invoices, as bank transfers often came in without the necessary information, such as the invoice number, student ID and even student name, forcing the staff to manually match it all.

  • The Flywire client dashboard provides a convenient, single view to all activity. It is easy to check the payment statuses of each school.

    Doi YoshihiroOperations Manager, Japanese Language Education Department
    Operations Manager, Japanese Language Education Department
  • Our goal was to give our payers a wider choice of payment methods. Flywire makes it convenient to make payments via mobile phone or PC, allowing payers to complete the payment process without going to their nearby bank.

    Doi YoshihiroOperations Manager, Japanese Language Education Department
    Operations Manager, Japanese Language Education Department
  • Flywire responds in a timely manner with great customer service whenever we face issues.

    Doi YoshihiroOperations Manager, Japanese Language Education Department
    Operations Manager, Japanese Language Education Department

    Solution: Flywire supports a wide range of currencies and popular online payment methods

    Looking to offer more localized payment methods and options for its students, and ease its international receivables processes, KLA went live with Flywire in 2017 – not long after Flywire opened its office in Tokyo. It valued Flywire’s extensive experience in the international education industry.

    With Flywire, students and their families can pay anytime online in their preferred currency and payment method – with the majority paying in Chinese Yuan Renminbi, Indonesian Rupiahs, US Dollars, Euro and Burmese Kyats. Flywire’s technology allows them to see exactly what they’ll pay and handles foreign exchange so that KLA receives complete payment in its preferred currency - Japanese Yen (JPY). Flywire also reduces the intermediary bank transfer fees, making it less expensive for the payer.

    If payers or staff need help, KLA appreciates the around-the-clock multilingual support Flywire’s team provides, meeting the local language needs of the majority of its payers. This includes refunds – which Flywire has streamlined tremendously. With information easily accessible, payments can now be easily tracked and KLA doesn’t have to absorb the fees associated with remittance.

    KLA students results


    More payment options for students: Flywire processes payments in 34 different currencies and 43 countries, and KLA receives payments in JPY
    Lower costs: KLA has saved 40 million JPY to date in credit card fees, and 350,000 JPY in bank transfer fees
    Streamlined reconciliation processes: KLA has saved 3,000 hours over manually reconciling bank transfers to date

    Benefits: Payments don't get lost in translation with Flywire

    Since implementing Flywire, the finance team has realized massive savings in time and money. It has saved more than 3,000 hours spent trying to manually match bank transfers with payments because the students are required to enter all details in order for a payment to be processed. With credit cards being the second most preferred payment method for students after online payment methods, it estimates savings of upwards of 40 million JPY on credit card fees and 350,000 JPY on bank transfers. It has also saved over 500,00 JPY on issuing refunds, due to not having to absorb remittance fees.

    Flywire also enhances payment visibility across KLA’s 10 schools – providing a single portal to track all payment activity.