Western Union Business Solutions, a unit of The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), today announced its plans for expanding Western Union’s partnership with ChinaPay, the online and mobile payments subsidiary of UnionPay, the bankcard association in China.
The expanded partnership with Western Union Business Solutions will enable participating universities and higher education institutions around the world to accept international tuition and student fees in the Chinese Renminbi (RMB).
Together, Western Union Business Solutions and ChinaPay intend to offer an integrated, co-branded platform that will allow universities to give incoming Chinese students and their parents the ability to make foreign tuition payments in their home country and currency. Combining ChinaPay’s online and mobile payment portals with Western Union Business Solutions’ integrated foreign exchange and payment platforms will enable fast and reliable fund reconciliation and will allow payers to have funds deducted from their UnionPay cards in real time.
“More students go abroad from China than any other country in the world,” said Kerry Agiasotis, Chief Commercial Officer, Western Union Business Solutions. “Over 1 million Chinese students studied abroad in 2011 and China is clearly an important market for universities globally. I am delighted that our partnership with ChinaPay will allow us to create a platform that will make it easy for them to accept local RMB payments in a timely and efficient manner.” 1“We are excited to be launching this collaboration with Western Union Business Solutions,” said Cathy Wang, Vice General Manager of ChinaPay. “International education is increasingly important for many in China. Western Union’s work to improve the speed and efficiency of cross-border payments for hundreds of universities and higher education institutions around the world make them an ideal partner that will give students and their families a reliable, convenient payment solution.” Students from China comprise 25 percent of the international student body in the United States according to the Institute for International Education’s Open Doors report published today. In the 2011/2012 academic year, there were 194,029 students from China studying in the US, which represents an increase of 23 percent from the previous year. In Canada, 21,814 Chinese students entered in 2011, representing 22 percent of the country’s international students according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). 2 “Hundreds of millions of Chinese cardholders use ChinaPay’s online services; they really are the market leader,” concluded Mr. Agiasotis. “Combining their innovative and extensive platforms with our existing service will enable universities to make the most of the opportunities a globalized Renminbi presents and offer local currency payments in one of the world’s largest international student markets.”