Aussie universities spend one week per month processing international fee payments

Australian universities are losing almost an entire working week each month to processing international payments, according to research from global payment service Western Union and the University of Sydney.

The research surveyed 100 finance teams at universities across Australia, and found that on average, 57 working days every year are spent on staff processing and reconciling payments for international students.

Almost one third of those surveyed said the time and manpower required to process international money transfers was the biggest challenge, while 34% said students being unable to use preferred payments methods in their home country was the major hurdle.

And it’s not just the universities who are losing valuable time to tricky international payment processes. A considerable 46% of international students also reported difficulties when trying to pay Australian university fees.

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According to Western Union Head of Australia and New Zealand, Mark Davis, this is a big problem, as international education is Australia’s third largest export and ensuring our universities are attractive to foreign students is a key priority.

University of Sydney Treasurer, Laurence Zanella, agreed, saying that universities need to “make the student experience as seamless as possible and this includes being able to offer prospective students an affordable, reliable and easy to use money transfer platform.”

There are a number of options for sending overseas payments to or from Australia, including transfer services from traditional banks and specialist international money transfer providers.

Western Union, which also recently branched out to make international transfers available through their app at 302 BP stores around Australia, has recently introduced another option, dubbed GlobalPay for Students.

This mobile platform is designed specifically to improve the way universities receive and process international payments, by enabling finance teams to receive overseas payments from multiple platforms and view all payment activity on one dashboard.

Are you studying in Australia and need to work out your finances? Check out our student section for all the latest on student banking options, or head over to our international money transfer section to compare IMT provider rates.