Western Union Enables Acceptance of Indian Rupee Tuition Payments for Participating Universities
Strategic Agreement with India's ICICI Bank Facilitates Speedy Delivery of Funds
ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Western Union Business Solutions, a unit of The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), today announced that it is enabling participating universities to accept international students' tuition payments and fees in Indian rupees (INR).
The service, available via a strategic agreement with India's premiere ICICI Bank, will facilitate the processing of foreign tuition invoices and student fees directly via students' home country bank accounts. It will initially be available to participating universities in the United States and Canada and will roll out to additional markets in the coming months.
"This service will allow for the fast and reliable delivery of funds to universities, along with streamlined reconciliation and full student reference information," said Raj Agrawal, President, Western Union Business Solutions. "We have a strong track record working with higher-education clients to ease the processing of cross-border payments."
"Western Union Business Solutions' steps to enable local currency payments, including the Indian rupee, will significantly reduce the expense and effort necessary for our students to make their tuition payments," said Peter Tom, Director of the Cashier's Office at the University of Southern California. "It will reduce our administrative costs, a savings we are passing on to our students by waiving fees for wire transfers made using WUBS. We applaud this innovation and know our students will appreciate the convenience and cost savings."
According to the Institute for International Education's Open Doors report, students from India make up 14 percent of the international student population in the U.S. In 2010/11 there were 103,895 students from India studying in the United States. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) also reports that the number of Indian students granted visas to study in Canada saw a steep increase in the recent past. By the end of 2010, the number of student visas that CIC issued to Indian students had tripled over 2008 levels.
Western Union Business Solutions works with global technology experts, including Higher One, to fuse its core foreign-exchange expertise and global reach with the knowledge of software developers who specialize in the education sector. The service for student tuition and fees such as meal plans and residence halls is fully integrated into the university's website. Students register their names, their student identifications and the amount they wish to pay. Western Union Business Solutions displays a price in Indian rupees, with the exchange rate locked in. The student prints out the form and processes the payment through a participating ICICI bank location within 3 days.
Western Union Business Solutions enables businesses, colleges and universities of all sizes to send and receive international payments and manage foreign exchange in more than 135 currencies, creating unique solutions tailored to suit their FX needs. Institutions are supported by a network of trading offices, strategic banking relationships and a global clearing network.
Universities use the cross-border payments service for study-abroad programs, student refunds, and for professors or recruiters traveling worldwide. For more information, visit http://business.westernunion.com/industry/education/.
About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of April 24, 2012, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of approximately 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2011, The Western Union Company completed 226 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $81 billion of principal between consumers, and 425 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.
Source: Western Union