Flywire is heading east as it looks into further expanding its market to universities that are increasingly admitting international students at a higher rate.
The cross-border payment solutions provider announced the launch of its new base in Tokyo, Japan — a city which has seen its international student body grow and has become a bigger source of students who are moving abroad for higher studies.
The Boston-based company’s move to Tokyo is the latest in its bid to command a tighter market hold over the Asia-Pacific region. In Japan, the space for serving transitional needs of international students has shown rapid growth, with a 10 percent increase in population, totaling 184,000 students from various nationalities in 2014.
Flywire says the best is yet to come. With support from government bodies, such as Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the country is working on boosting the international student body size to 300,000 by 2020, according to ICEF Monitor. The Japanese government is also promoting study abroad programs, through which it hopes to see 120,000 export students in the next four years.
“Japan is one of the key countries in Flywire’s APAC expansion, and we are investing significantly there to help Japanese educational institutions make the payment process easy, efficient and transparent for their international students,” said Mike Massaro, CEO of Flywire. “We have an outstanding local team in place there with years of experience in the education and payments business.”
Flywire’s increased interest in the region comes as it seeks expansion in countries like Australia and Singapore that have emerged as education hub spots for international students from other Asian countries. The company also recently launched operations in Shanghai, China.
As part of its expansion plan in Japan, the company has partnered with six universities so far. Among those, the company said, it has already begun providing payment services to students from Le Cordon Bleu and Kai.