Flywire CEO Sees Increasing Demand for Cross-Border Payments
The demand for large cross-border transactions is on the rise, and consumers making those purchases are seeking the most convenient and cost-effective transaction methods and channels. That’s according to Flywire, a 4-year-old company that got its start in the international student tuition sector and has since expanded to enable multiple types of cross-border payments. Formerly known as peerTransfer, Boston-headquartered Flywire processes tuition payments on behalf of students from 220 countries and territories in 70 local currencies. With the number of international students projected to grow to 8 million worldwide by 2025, from 4.5 million in 2014, according to Open Doors, Flywire expects no shortage of demand for cross-border tuition services in the years ahead. However, company CEO Mike Massaro tells Pay News that demand is growing for other types of cross-border payments, too, such as health care payments for patients who undergo treatment abroad. “Last year, 11 million consumers spent approximately $40 billion worldwide on health care treatment outside of their home countries. This number is expected to grow by as much as 25 percent per year, to $55 billion by 2019,” Massaro says. Another segment primed for growth is international real estate, with purchases and rental payments, as well as tax payments on international real estate holdings, increasingly in demand.
For all types of cross-border transactions, consumers are turning away from traditional agent- and bank-based models in favor of the Web and mobile channels, which offer the ability to track payments instantly, confirm receipt and better understand the fees involved, says Massaro. Meanwhile, increased focus on AML compliance and transparency is also on the way, he predicts. “Any entity processing large, cross-border payments will need to be able to verify sources and recipients with increasing precision and certainty, ensure strict compliance with AML laws and be able to provide detailed transaction reporting,” he says.