The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a leader in global payment services, today announced an agreement with TouchNet, a major commerce solutions provider to higher-education institutions, to develop new payment options for international students.
The agreement will enable international students to pay their tuition in local currencies directly from their bank accounts, and also add the option to pay in cash at participating Western Union® Agent locations around the world. Colleges and universities will benefit from fast and reliable delivery of funds, automatic posting of payments directly to student accounts, and streamlined reconciliation. TouchNet currently offers colleges and universities the ability to accept students' tuition payments through its U.Commerce System, a unified commerce management solution for Higher Education.
"We have seen a great need in the higher-education sector for cross-border payment options originating in the home countries of non-U.S. students," said Raj Agrawal, President, Western Union Business Solutions. "Working with TouchNet to help bolster their payment portal allows us to offer higher-education institutions payment options that will better serve their widely diverse student bodies. By enabling these consumers to pay invoices in local currency and manage foreign-exchange transactions, we are able to provide an institution's student population with choice, control, convenience and flexibility in how they make their payments - a goal we strive for in every payments program we administer."
"The walk-in payment options will provide students and their families access to an extensive and convenient distribution network in over 160 countries and territories," added Sanjay Gupta, Senior Vice President, Corporations and Banking, Western Union.
"Colleges and universities will be glad to hear that our new, integrated cross-border payment engine will help to reduce the hassles associated with updating and reconciling international payments," said Dan Toughey, TouchNet President. "That addresses the most pressing operational issue associated with accepting international payments. But there is more to a successful payment strategy than easier reconciliation. Payment preferences can be cultural. In some countries, people prefer to pay by bank transfer; in others, with cash. Our partnership with Western Union will open up both options for colleges and universities to better serve their international students."
The program will launch at select institutions with the goal of making the global wire and cash payment service available to all higher education institutions, including TouchNet's current client base.
Western Union Business Solutions enables institutions of all sizes to manage their international transactions and reduce risk through various services such as online FX for small businesses, and corporate FX solutions that include foreign currency payments, currency risk management and industry solutions.