The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payments services, announced today that it has added WeChat Pay to its WU® GlobalPay for Students product, through its alliance with Geoswift, a payment company specializing in payment solutions in and out of China. The enhanced capability will enable academic institutions to offer Chinese students studying abroad a wider range of digital payment options including WeChat Pay, Alipay, UnionPay and Tenpay, significantly improving their payment experience.
Digital payments are embedded into everyday life in China: payments through messaging app WeChat have risen from circa US$11.6 billion to an estimated US$1.2 trillion from 2012 to 2016, according to a study by the United Nations1 while separate analysis by Hillhouse Capital found that WeChat Pay accounted for 40% of mobile transactions in China in the first quarter of 20172.
Given that in 2015 one in four international students globally came from China, according to the Centre for China and Globalization3, universities have an opportunity to capitalise on this movement by offering international payment options which better reflect the needs of these students.
“Mobile payments play a key role in the day-to-day life of China’s digitally savvy population,” said Adam Tiberi, senior vice president, strategy and product, Western Union Business Solutions. “Being able to use WeChat Pay and other popular payment platforms is crucial for Chinese students. As the largest international student population in the world, Chinese students expect universities to offer them simple and convenient payment experiences. Our latest update to GlobalPay for Students allows our education customers to provide an enhanced experience for their Chinese students.”
“China accounts for about a quarter of international students in the world,” said Raymond Qu, Founder and CEO, Geoswift Limited. “The country is instrumental in shaping the trends for international student payments. This poses a huge opportunity for academic institutions across the world to attract Chinese students by providing appropriate payment opportunities. We are delighted to build on our existing alliance with Western Union to further enable this opportunity.”
WeChat has become an integral part of Chinese people’s lives as more and more adopt mobile payments over cash or other payment types. WeChat provides extended partnerships with leading payments providers across the world to enable universities to accept payments via the app.
Western Union launched its enhanced GlobalPay for Students platform in 2017 to enable academic institutions to more efficiently reconcile, refund and track payments from international students. Designed with an intuitive mobile-first user interface and real-time payment tracking capabilities, GlobalPay for Students was developed with the involvement of international students to help improve the overall payer experience.
In addition to online bank transfer and credit card payments, the platform offers users a wide range of online payment options in over 30 countries, including Geoswift (Alipay, UnionPay and Tenpay), POLI Payments, India Net Banking, Trustly and SOFORT.