When we talk about our business, we often get asked — do you compete with the large payment processors, like Stripe?
The reality is, we hardly come head-to-head with the likes of Stripe. Stripe is a great company - one of the hottest in the FinTech space. But it’s distinctly different from Flywire.
Here are the top 3 ways Flywire goes beyond simple payment processing to deliver value for our clients.
1. Flywire specializes in vertical industries
At Flywire, we like to talk about our “Flywire Advantage.” It’s the combination of our next-generation payments platform — a horizontal platform that delivers currency conversion, flexible payment options and more — a global payment network, which we have built over the last decade, focused entirely on the “receive” side serving over 240 countries and territories and 140+ currencies. And on top of our payments platform and network, we provide industry-specific billing, payment and reconciliation software that drives measurable value in payments.
On their own, these three components - platform + network + software - are unique assets. But together, they power our ability to deliver value to our clients, and truly differentiate us from payment processors who may offer one or just a few of those capabilities.
As a result of this powerful infrastructure, we’re able to specialize in a few industries that have traditionally been digitally underserved, e.g., education, healthcare, and travel, or industries that lack any modern payment technology, which we’re finding a lot in the technology, manufacturing and professional services sectors. We do this in a comprehensive way. The software that we build integrates with industry-specific solutions that our clients are already using. Additionally, the teams that support our clients - including sales and support - are industry experts, and typically come from the industries that we serve.
2. Flywire delivers complex, high-value payments
Considering the industries that we serve, the transactions that we power are high-value payments—from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Where a payment has a foreign exchange element, Flywire’s software actively seeks out the optimum foreign exchange rates for these payments and the lowest possible banking or financial fees – for the payer and the business.
The payments Flywire processes also tend to be high-consequence, i.e., if they don’t get through in a timely manner, there are real problems for both the customer making the payment and the business receiving it. In addition to making sure those payments move quickly and transparently, Flywire provides around-the-clock multilingual biller and payer support globally.
Our clients prefer to rely on a trusted partner like Flywire to enable that type of payment related support because it’s so far outside of their core business, and they generally don’t want to staff that type of specialized expertise in house.
By contrast, many of the payment processors you may know - Stripe, PayPal - specialize in low value, high-volume e-commerce transactions; think internet-based businesses like Amazon, Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Warby Parker and many more. Stripe acts like an ERP system for these businesses and they have built a simple integration that is incredibly powerful for direct-to-consumer/business companies with a focus on e-commerce. In many cases, Stripe’s clients are typically building functionality around their application and Stripe provides developers with a lot of great tools to do just that. While Flywire also uses APIs, we typically work with the client’s team to tailor our solution for their existing payment processes.
3. Flywire accepts and settles payments in over 240 countries & territories and in 140+ currencies
One of the biggest differences between Flywire and payment processors is in the types of payment methods we offer. Because Flywire is often dealing with large and complex transactions, the payment method can have a big impact cost-wise depending on what country the payer is in.
With a single connection to Flywire, our clients have access to a unique set of payment methods, including banking rails, card rails, and other alternative payment methods, such as digital wallets. This helps us achieve significant scale - we can accept and settle payments in over 240 countries and territories and in 140+ currencies. In fact, a majority of the payments we enable today originate via bank accounts, and not via credit cards or alternative payment methods. These options give the business and their customers the option to use the payment method that best suits their needs. So, if you’re a traveler from Spain paying for an experience in the United States and you’re invoiced in USD, you can still pay in Euros and in your preferred payment method.
Importantly, we don’t just collect payments and track money flows. Our clients integrate our payments platform into their existing apps and workflows and have access to a suite of solutions including tailored invoicing, settlement and reconciliation tools, single sign-on and checkout, recurring payments, and split payouts.
And we do all of this while maintaining PCI compliance and security requirements, managing regulatory complexities of cross-border payments and more. This is a critical piece of the payment ecosystem we have heavily invested in and a gating requirement for our clients
Flywire has many of the same features and functionality that a processor like Stripe has, and then some; they’re what enable us to handle the intricacies and requirements of industry-specific, complex payments.