67 percent of international students concerned they can't use tuition payment method of choice

Thursday 9 April 2020 14:19 CET | News

Flywire, a vertical payments company, has announced a new research report that reveals 67% of international students are concerned if they can’t use their tuition payment method of choice at UK universities. 

The interactive report, Discover Ways to Attract More Overseas Students: A Payment Study for UK Universities, is based on a survey of international students from China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Vietnam at UK universities, and uncovers a correlation between the recruitment and retention of students and a positive tuition payment experience. 

Universities are actively looking to attract more overseas talent to unlock new revenue streams and improve competitiveness. To effectively do this, institutions are under pressure to digitise the student experience across all facets of university life. A big part of the student journey is paying tuition fees, and universities need to ensure their payment systems deliver an optimal experience. 

Key findings from the report include:
  • The payments experience influences how a university is perceived: 81% of international students are concerned if their tuition payment isn’t embedded within a university’s website, with 69% now paying tuition via laptop, phone or tablet. Furthermore, students expect the tuition process to be smooth throughout with 67% of students holding a negative view of a university after a poor payments experience. In turn, 49% may advise peers against attending the school after said poor experience.
  • Students are concerned about security and transparency: 53% were concerned about the security of tuition payments. In fact, security was cited as the most important feature when making a payment by respondents. Transparency also ranked highly with over 70% of students expressing concern over their inability to track payment status in real-time. Worryingly, nearly one in five (19%) students confirmed they have been the subject of “hidden charges” when making a payment.
  • Payment preferences matter: 86% of students want to use a preferred payment method for tuition payments, and that preferred method varies greatly depending on home market. and 66% would like to pay in their home currency when making a payment. It’s clear that students expect a seamless payment experience, regardless of currency or payment method preferences.

This survey was conducted by independent research agency Sapio Research in November 2019. The online survey was completed by 166 international students currently studying in the UK from China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Vietnam. 

Payments data provided by Flywire. Captured over 2018 and 2019. Combined total of 33,351 payments analysed from students originating from China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, or Vietnam who attended UK universities over that period.  

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the projections cited in this study could change. We will consider a follow-up study should updated findings become available.

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Keywords: Flywire, payments, students, report, tuition payment, UK
Categories: Banking & Fintech | Payments General
Countries: United Kingdom
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Banking & Fintech