Flywire, a Boston-based international payments software company, said last week via press release that it will partner with Tencent, the parent company of Chinese messaging app WeChat, to facilitate cross-border education payments.
The partnership is expected to aid some of the roughly 300,000 Chinese students studying in the U.S. in making tuition payments through the WeChat Pay digital wallet. Payers can tap Flywire to make tuition and other payments in their own currency, such as Renminbi, using their own language on an around-the-clock basis. The receiving educational institution will receive the payment in its own currency, according to the July 13 release.
“This partnership ensures that for Chinese students studying internationally at institutions that use Flywire, we essentially become their ‘pay’ button,” Flywire Senior Vice President Mohit Kansal said in the release.
Students and families can already use Flywire’s website to make tuition payments via options such as U.S. card networks Visa and Mastercard, along with cards by Chinese state-backed UnionPay and Japan-based JCB. The press release did not specify when WeChat Pay would become available.
Education is Flywire’s largest vertical, accounting for about 70% of the company’s revenue, Flywire CEO Mike Massaro said during a May interview. Schools such as Rice University and the University at Albany currently offer Flywire as a way to make tuition payments. The partnership with Tencent’s fintech arm is the latest move in Flywire’s ongoing efforts to grow its business.
The company acquired Australia-based Cohort Go in July 2022 and U.K. company WPM in December 2021. And at a conference in May of this year Massaro identified Latin America as a region where the company is investing for growth.
Flywire did not respond by press time to questions about the nature of the partnership.