CTO Point of View: What’s ahead for 4 industries in 2024 when it comes to payments trends, challenges

Flywire’s work across the education, healthcare, travel and B2B industries gives us a unique view into drivers of change and how leaders in each are innovating to stay ahead.

David King
David King
is CTO at Flywire.

We serve four very different industries at Flywire, all on the precipice of change in their own ways. It is of course crucial for us to anticipate, embrace, and solve for the emerging challenges that these different industries will face by leveraging transformative technologies.

Flywire is known for its incredible depth of expertise in each of these industries. But one of the best parts of my role as CTO is looking across them all on a global scale, seeing the commonalities of the challenges our customers face, and applying learnings from one to innovating in another.

That’s why I thought it would be interesting to give a look at these different challenges we’re solving for in the aggregate – healthcare, higher education, luxury travel and B2B payments in industries like manufacturing, franchising and C2B payments in insurance. Here’s what my team and I have in mind as we solve the most complex payments and the toughest industry problems, and what I think will have the most impact in 2024.

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2024 healthcare payment outlook: Patient payments intersect with macro healthcare challenges

I see healthcare facing 3 core challenges in 2024 which include financial, operational, and external challenges.


  • Rising costs: Healthcare costs will continue to increase fueled by inflation, an aging population, and advancements in medical technology. The increased burden of these costs on the provider will be passed onto the patient and the payers. More than ever patients will need payment plans to help them cover their out-of-pocket costs, and providers need financed plans to help them improve cash flow.
  • Workforce shortages: The healthcare system faces a significant shortage of healthcare staff. This shortage is not only in professional areas such as nursing and physicians, but also in the staff and patient accounts area. Providers will need to deliver an improved self-service and digital experience for their patients, ranging from online bill presentment, omni-channel engagement, and robust payment plan services that not only meet the financial challenges of the patient, but the financial needs of the provider.


  • Access to care: Providing patients with affordable healthcare options is paramount in 2024. Despite advances in technology, access to quality healthcare services can remain unequal across different populations and geographies. Addressing this through a variety of payment options that reduce the fear of the cost of healthcare and follow-on services is critical.

External Challenges:

  • Cybersecurity threats: Healthcare systems are increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks, which can compromise sensitive patient data and disrupt key operations. With more patients wanting to pay online, partnering with a leading payment provider is more critical than ever. The combination of PHI and payment data makes healthcare a key target for bad actors. Partner with a payment provider that will help you reduce risk.
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2024 Higher Education payment outlook: Institutions need new approach to payments to buffer demographic trends, perception

Higher education faces a multitude of challenges, some familiar and some emerging.


  • Declining enrollments and the rise of education agents:Demographic shifts, lingering effects of the pandemic, and the questioning of the value of a traditional education are impacting college admissions. Colleges and universities will need to start to think differently to increase their enrollment. In the US, higher ed institutions have not traditionally used education agents to recruit international students. Now is the time to think differently. Institutions must begin to use the agent channel to drive enrollment.
  • Rising costs: Inflation and stagnant funding are driving the increase of tuition and living expenses. This makes higher education even less affordable for many students. Institutions need to look to provide affordable payment options to their students with flexible, and low cost payment options through interest-free payment plans. Not only does the institution need to address their traditional domestic students, but they also need to cater to the international student population.


  • Relevancy and workforce preparedness: Students are questioning the cost of a traditional four-year degree and how it will prepare them for their career. Higher education will no longer be able to compete on brand name. The modern student is looking for value across their entire journey. Much like today’s modern consumer, students are shopping for the best overall experience, including the ease of understanding what they owe and access to flexible payment options in addition to the academic degree. Institutions will need to think holistically to win the modern student onto their campus.

Digital Transformation:

  • The impact of technology:Technology has rapidly advanced and higher education institutions need to keep pace. This ranges from leveraging online learning tools to deliver education to the student, to when and how they want to receive it. Institutions are moving from higher education's traditional on-premise systems to cloud-based for a more modern infrastructure. Lastly, institutions are transforming to meet the students where they want to be met, which can range from learning, to accessing and paying for their tuition bill. Today’s student wants to be able to pay online in a quick and simple process whether that is from their desktop, tablet, mobile phone, or their PS5.

External Challenges:

  • Cybersecurity threats:I have always said an institution is a mall of services. Along with delivering an education, a university has to provide housing, dining, sports facilities, clubs and memberships, alumni donations and endowments, and its purpose is to be open to foster learning and collaboration. This makes higher education a target-rich environment as there are so many entry points for a bad actor. To reduce its threat landscape, higher education should partner with a billing and payment provider that can protect its sensitive payment data.
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2024 Travel Outlook: Legacy payment experiences meet higher expectations from customers

The world of luxury multi-day travel is poised for an exciting year in 2024 as highlighted by a recent Forbes article indicating that 40% of Americans plan to travel more in 2024 than in 2023 and by all accounts 2023 was a very busy travel year.

Legacy payment experiences:

  • Evolving customer preferences: Luxury travelers are increasingly seeking unique, personalized experiences. They want agencies to offer them bespoke travel itineraries, exclusive access to events and an overall concierge experience for an unforgettable journey. Curating this experience has been traditionally offline through back and forth emails, Word document exchanges and so on. Agencies need to digitize this experience to make it more modern. As these trips are not cheap, providing a first class payment experience is key to making the traveler feel confident that their trip will be a success. Providing them with easy to use and affordable solutions that offer them a variety of payment options is critical to the traveler experience.

External Challenges:

  • Cybersecurity threats: The high value of luxury travel makes it a target for cybercriminals. Travel agents should partner with an expert to outsource their payments to keep their data secure. This will allow the travel agent to focus on curating an amazing trip for their customer.
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2024 B2B Outlook

B2B payments are the lifeblood of global trade, but businesses are still extremely inefficient at sending and receiving money, especially when it involves a cross- border transaction. B2B payments are ripe for innovation in 2024.

Friction and inefficiencies:

  • Complexity: Traditional B2B payments involve navigating different currencies, regulations, and various intermediaries that lead to high transaction costs and delays in payment.
  • Lack of transparency: Businesses lack real-time visibility into the payment status and funds flow, making it difficult to track transactions and manage cash flow.
  • Hidden costs: Businesses are not experts at managing cross-border transactions and get hit with hidden fees from intermediaries and banking partners and have to manage currency fluctuations.

Businesses must overcome these inefficiencies by expecting more from their payment provider - to reduce the complexity of the transaction and gain complete transparency to improve cash flow planning.

The challenges are real – but so is the promise of innovation and the power of the customers making real change in their industries and for their customers. Flywire is constantly innovating our technology because we’re so in tune with the needs of the industries and customers we serve.