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4 key international payment trends for educators.

March 4, 2019

Managing international payments can be a real challenge as an education provider. With so many currencies, trends and payment preferences across a diverse student and agent base, it can be hard to know which platforms to trust and which are just a fad.

Offering the right payment platforms can make a huge difference. If you support payment offerings that include hidden fees, it can have a long lasting, negative impact. Global frustrations with many traditional payment methods have seen inspiring innovations emerge and shape the future of the market. From cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin - designed to be a border-free money system - to peer-to-peer (P2P) money exchanges, there are many more options out there. But how do you know which ones to trust? The following are some of the trends we’re seeing.

Direct debit

Direct debit is used by many organisations because of its ability to be used for local and international payments, and for its reputation as one of the most popular online payment solutions.

So, how does it work? A direct debit automatically transfers money electronically from one person's account to another. Students want a quick and easy way to make recurring living payments, such as utility bills or rent. Educators want more control and visibility of their payments, reducing ongoing paperwork and manual administration.

Student payment plans

Payment plans that you set up for students can be individually customised while also automating any agent commissions tied to a student enrolment. You’re able to set these up for students and courses, and in many instances, automated payment reminders can be generated and set ahead of time, in case the students you work with happen to forget a payment is due. These payment plans are usually able to be streamlined via multiple platforms, and in many cases, can be integrated with finance and accounting systems such as Xero.

Mobile wallets

Seeing people making a payment by tapping their phone onto an EFTPOS terminal would’ve been a strange site a decade ago! But the rise of mobile wallet applications like Google Pay has taken the world by storm. Not having to take your wallet with you everywhere certainly has many advantages, and being able to access bank statements from the one app on your mobile device can provide piece of mind allow you to track spending more easily.

Mobile transfers

As well as mobile wallets, there are many mobile payment apps that are increasingly being used to transfer money directly to people, offering ease and convenience. Apps such as Remitly, Azimo Money Transfer and WorldRemit enable you to remit money internationally using your mobile. Rates, fees, terms and the speed of sending money varies, and some services only operate between certain countries.

With a huge variety of options out there, it’s important to look into each option thoroughly – and encourage any students or agents you work with to do the same. A good place to start is by comparing any rates and fees, while looking into multiple services to see their individual merits. There are many great innovations out there in the world of payments, and we anticipate there to be many more in the coming years.