Western Union Business Solutions, a unit of the Western Union Company today launched in Chandigarh a new service that will allow universities and higher education institutions around the world to accept tuition payments in Indian Rupee.
Anil Kapur, Regional Divisional Director for India and Middle East, Western Union told media persons that “the new service had been launched today from Punjab because this state sends large number of students abroad for studies”.
Kapur said that “over 200,000 Indian students study abroad each year, making India the second largest market for international students in the world after China. Indian students who choose to study abroad grew by over 250 percent between 2000 and 2009, with overall numbers increasing from 53,000 to more than 189,000 during that period. 2
Quoting from a recent study, he said that the United States, United Kingdom and Australia are the top three destinations for Indian students. Indian students who go abroad are typically invoiced in the currency of their university which often makes the payment process cumbersome and expensive. In many cases, intermediary fees impact the final amount received by the university so the students still owe money before commencing their studies.
Western Union’s new service will enable participating schools and universities to offer Indian students the option to pay tuition fees in their home currency. It will be offered by Weizmann Forex and and Paul Merchants Limited, the two largest Western Union Agents in India. Both Weizmann Forex and Paul Merchants Limited will make this product available to students at multiple locations across the country.
Students will also be able to pay from their homes and a trained representative of Paul Merchants Limited or Weizmann Forex will come to the student to collect the relevant documentation and arrange INR settlement on behalf of the university. Kapur said that “nearly a quarter of a million Indian students study abroad and this service will help them make payments to their international universities from the comfort of their homes in a transparent, fast and effective way.”
He disclosed that Western Union Business Solutions offers Business to Business Solutions and 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 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.