A single secure system for handling fee payments from international students via agents has been launched by leading global transactions firm Uni-Pay.
The new service aims to cut costs and bureaucracy for universities and English language colleges, as well as students and agents themselves.
It is also designed to make the fee paying process via agents more transparent, amid concerns over the activities of some rogue operators who look to take advantage of what is now a multi-billion dollar global industry.
For the first time, agents across the world will be able to use the Uni-Pay service to manage payments from students – whether they pay via the agent or direct to the institution. All parties will have visibility of the payment trail, which brings much more transparency than has ever been available before to this important stage of recruiting international students.
Sitting at their desks in Bangalore, Beijing, or any other part of the world, agents will be able to log on to an easy-to-use platform and track payments made for multiple students to hundreds of languages colleges and universities. Not only does it speed up the process and make it more secure, Uni-Pay also provides same-day proof of payment that assists with visa applications.
Operating in 26 currencies across 33 countries, Uni-Pay uses a network of local bank accounts and credit card platforms, saving millions of pounds a year on the usual transaction fees of £25 or more. Students and agents pay a flat fee of around £7 for each payment they make, and will make further savings in competitive exchange rates.
More than 30 English language colleges like Bell and St Giles and many universities, including Durham University and the University of East Anglia, have already signed up to Uni-Pay’s service.
Simon Read, Managing Director of Uni-Pay, says the new service for agents will provide greater clarity for all parties; managing payments from students as well as commission payments back to agents from their institutions. Agents have been making payments through Uni-Pay for some time but the difference now is that they will have a dedicated portal that meets their specific needs and reflects their position in the overall recruitment chain.
“A few cases of rogue agents highlighted by the media have produced a negative stigma and fear among students and institutions alike.
Registration with Uni-Pay is one way for agents to bring more transparency and security to their relationship with both the education institution and the student,” he said.