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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Flywire, BOSSA expand cross-border tuition payments in China

Flywire, a vertically focused payments solution provider, disclosed July 21, 2020, that it partnered with the Beijing Overseas Study Service Association (BOSSA) to provide cross-border tuition services to schools, recruitment agents and Chinese students traveling abroad. The partnership expands on Flywire's ongoing work with education recruitment agents in China, many of whom are BOSSA members, according to Sharon Butler, executive vice president of education at Flywire.

"No one knows more about the international education sector in China than BOSSA," Butler said. "They've been an outstanding partner to date, and we look forward to expanding on that relationship to create even stronger and more meaningful relationships with Chinese students, education agents and industry professionals."

BOSSA spokesman Jon Santangelo praised Flywire's state-of-the-art technology and service offerings. "We are pleased to endorse them to Chinese education agencies, and China's wider international education sector as a whole," he said. "The level of integrity they've achieved in the higher education field is a big differentiator to Chinese agencies."

Tailored tuition services

Butler noted that Flywire's customized service offerings have gained popularity with education agents, and BOSSA's 300 member agents play a critical role in recruiting and placing approximately two-thirds of Chinese students in universities around the world. "Education agents play a very important role in the relationship between schools and their international students," she said. "Their ability to represent education institutions locally can make a big difference in how a school is viewed by prospective students."

Flywire's customized services are designed to streamline international student recruitment and optimize relationships with agents, students and schools worldwide, Butler noted. The company partners with hundreds of certified education agents on behalf of institutions. Its technology suite enables users to transact in preferred currencies and payment methods. A customized dashboard provides agents with real-time visibility of transactions, receipts and refunds.

Expanding technology suite

Fraud is a constant concern for international educators, who have seen bad actors try to collect tuition fees by falsely claiming to represent leading universities, Butler stated. BOSSA and Flywire have been collaborating on this issue over the last 12 months, she noted, in an effort to improve enhance fraud prevention awareness in China and provide universities and students with a secure and trusted payment channel.

Fraud targeting international students has caught the attention of investigative journalists, as well. A July 5, 2019, article by Kerrie Kennedy, in The Pie News titled "Canada: int'l students at private colleges claim they were 'duped' by agents," discussed research done by reporters at The Globe and Mail who found that unscrupulous agents were defrauding college students with bogus job offers and college placement as a path to Canadian citizenship. Journalists at The Globe followed up with further investigations in British Columbia and Ontario, Canada.

In some cases, according to investigators, "students recruited by agents working with private colleges signed up for courses they 'weren't interested in' or didn't plan to attend in order to qualify for a student work permit so they could get a job as soon as they arrived," Kennedy wrote.

Butler mentioned that Flywire is working with BOSSA, iae Global, IDP and hundreds of other certified education agents to enhance fraud prevention awareness. The Flywire helps agents improve service offerings while providing a single place to securely store, manage, import and export data, she said, adding that the platform prevents vendors from acting as agents without authorization. end of article

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