Western Union, the global payments services company, announced news on Monday (April 30) that it has added WeChat Pay to its WU GlobalPay for Students products via an alliance with Geoswift, a payment company specializing in payment solutions in and out of China.
In a press release, Western Union said accepting WeChat will enable academic institutions to offer Chinese students studying abroad more choices in payment options, including WeChat Pay, Alipay, UnionPay and Tenpay. According to the financial institution, citing a study from the United Nations, digital payments are now a part of everyday life in China, with payments via WeChat rising from $11.6 billion in 2012 to $1.2 trillion in 2016. Separate analysis from Hillhouse Capital revealed that WeChat Pay accounted for 40 percent of mobile transactions in the first quarter of last year in China.
“Mobile payments play a key role in the day-to-day life of China’s digitally savvy population,” said Adam Tiberi, SVP, Strategy and Product, Western Union Business Solutions, in the press release. “Being able to use WeChat Pay and other popular payment platforms is crucial for Chinese students. As the largest international student population in the world, Chinese students expect universities to offer them simple and convenient payment experiences. Our latest update to GlobalPay for Students allows our education customers to provide an enhanced experience for their Chinese students.”
Western Union rolled out its GlobalPay for Students platform in 2017 to enable academic institutions to reconcile, refund and track payments from international students.
“China accounts for about a quarter of international students in the world,” said Raymond Qu, founder and CEO, Geoswift Limited, in the same press release. “The country is instrumental in shaping the trends for international student payments. This poses a huge opportunity for academic institutions across the world to attract Chinese students by providing appropriate payment opportunities. We are delighted to build on our existing alliance with Western Union to further enable this opportunity.”