THE INVISIBLE THREAD OF FINANCE
white glove service, to
really walk them through
this payment “
ISSUE #25 | THE PIE REVIEW | 69
HSBC’s IEPS product allows Chinese
students to pay tuition fees directly to
most major UK universities.
We’ll provide that
work with an FX partner and the key issue is around security
In 2018, HSBC launched a secured mobile banking app
and WeChat-based payment service, the International Edu-cation
Payment Service, for Chinese students to pay their
tuition fees directly to major study destinations.
“IEPS allows RMB to be exchanged for five currencies,
including the British pound, US dollar, Canadian dollar,
Australian dollar and Hong Kong dollar,” Narula explains.
“Customers can convert RMB using HSBC China’s mobile
App or WeChat banking, without visiting a bank branch or
filling in paper applications.”
With security paramount for students making these cross-border
payments, Narula says its customers can be assured
their institution is a HSBC-verified education provider. These
checks, he explains, along with its own payment infrastruc-ture,
offer unrivalled security.
“IEPS is ‘SAFE’ compliant. Invoice payers can scan do-cuments
via the IEPS app and submit them automatically,”
he adds. In fact, Narula says HSBC is the first international
bank with a payment app authorised to complete these
stringent quota checks on behalf of the Chinese govern-ment.
“The simplified service allows students from China
or their families to conveniently remit tuition to universities
abroad, and currently covers major education institutions in
the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong.”
Reassurance, transparency and security are also key
components of the services that other providers such as
Flywire and Western Union offer.
Flywire was originally set up by Spanish student Iker
Marcaide under the name Peer Transfer. Marcaide went to
Boston to pursue an MBA at MIT Sloan School of Business
and came up with the business idea after he experienced dif-ficulties
when transferring funds to pay his tuition.
“We offer transparency so the payer and the school knows
where their payment is,” says Flywire’s Prudhomme.
“There are a number of steps from the student sending
us funds, running compliance checks on it, moving it to our
bank account and performing the FX exchange, to delive-ring
it to the school. And people want to know where their
money is. We provide that transparency.”
Flywire also provides around-the-clock customer support
for its payers. “Again, in many cases this is the first time
people are making this kind of payment, so we’ll provide
that white glove service, to really walk them through this
payment. Particularly when coming from more complicated
jurisdictions, where there might be more complicated regu-lations
for getting money out of a country.”
There are a range of operators offering seamless money
transfer services: PayPal has an education division, while
WorldPay and Transferwise are other operators promising ra-tes
up to eight times cheaper than a bank to send and receive.
For Western Union, localising things helps. Which is
why it set up its Global Pay for Students product. “Global
Pay for Students is available in 10 different languages,”
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