When international Massachusetts Institute of Technology student Iker Marcaide had trouble wiring tuition money overseas, he decided it was time to craft a new kind of international payments model. Two years later, Marcaide's inspiration resulted in the formation of Flywire, a money transfer business that was already proving it could process international payments for education institutions with less time, aggravation and cost for both payers and receivers.
Marcaide invited Mike Massaro to join Flywire to head sales and marketing in 2012. In 2013, Massaro took the helm as CEO. According to Massaro, he saw a foundational business model and support structure that could be quickly and easily tailored to meet the unique global payment needs of different markets. Massaro recognized the advancement of Flywire's business model and how it uniquely scales, but with less risk for stakeholders than traditional educational payment models.
Massaro has led the Boston-based firm's expansion into education payments across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific (APAC), adding new revenue channels into the $40 billion international healthcare and $8 trillion cross-border commercial payments markets. The company has also raised $100 million in venture funding, tripled its personnel and engaged in four strategic acquisitions.
"Our ability to address the core pain points that exist in complex payment and receivables processes is very well aligned with a growing need in the market – both domestically and internationally," Massaro said. Today, Flywire services over 1,700 businesses and institutions on six continents, processing more than $5 billion annually from 220 countries and territories in over 120 different local currencies.
Flywire offers full-service billing, payment and receivables solutions connecting a multitude of entities across the world. The firm's products enable customers with highly tailored digital payment experiences that can be customized by business, country, currency and institution. Flywire's global collection network and processing platform provide a single point of management and payer engagement, from invoicing and payment through reconciliation. This capability addresses critical needs for billers that deal with complex, large-sum payments. The platform also offers around-the-clock payment tracking, security and compliance, analytics, multilingual support, and ready access to discounted foreign exchange rates for international customers. Recently, Flywire implemented new machine learning capabilities to improve payment-to-settlement time, increase security and reduce costs for both payers and receivers through automation and streamlined reconciliation.
"The recent addition of advanced machine learning capabilities enables organizations to automate the reconciliation of a higher percentage of their payments, while also removing more of the potential risks that can negatively impact fundamental parts of their business," said Jason Moens, vice president of product at Flywire.
The Flywire team has also been rebranding and integrating the OnPlan platform, acquired by Flywire in 2018. The capabilities of this platform increase Flywire's presence in education and healthcare, which according to Massaro, represent two of the company's key markets. "Flywire Healthcare has seen 100 percent growth since the acquisition, launching more than 75 new hospitals on its responsive payment platform, helping the hospitals address patient financial needs to settle balances faster and on mutual terms," Massaro said.
Flywire has also expanded its physical presence in APAC and Europe and entered into new partnership agreements with entities such as payments API Flutterwave, Deutsche Bank, the Reserve Bank of India and UnionPay, all to respond to high growth volume across international regions. And, with over $10 billion in payments processed to date, Flywire expects this number will continue to rise with its concentration on the regions of Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. According to Andrew Ong, managing director of Flywire in APAC, "We have seen a significant ramp up in the number of APAC-based clients over the past 24 months, and this demonstrates the strong demand and opportunity for Flywire in the region."
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