New Research Reveals Opportunity for Leading Australian Universities to Gain Time and Money on International Payments

01-Aug-2017 9:57 AM


New research from Western Union reveals the huge productivity cost faced by Australian universities receiving payments from international students*

  • A survey among 100 financial personnel from some of Australia’s leading universities reveals at least 57 working days may be lost annually per university due to finance staff matching, processing and reconciling overseas payments.
  • 30% of universities say that time and human resources required to process international payments was their biggest challenge.
  • 34% of universities say that their biggest challenge was students being unable to use the payment method in their home country
  • Over 46% of Australia’s international students say they had a negative experience when paying their university fees.

AUSTRALIA--()--Australian universities could potentially gain almost one working week (4.8 days) per month, or 57 days every year, with the developments in processing and reconciling payments from international students, according to new research* released from Western Union.


Western Union’s research, which surveyed 100 finance teams at universities across Australia, showed that almost a third (30%) of respondents cited the amount of time and number of people required to process international payments from students as their biggest challenge when receiving these types of payments.

It’s not just universities that could gain precious time and money, respondents also stated that almost half of international students (46%) have encountered difficulties when paying their university fees, leading to further challenges for institutions and also highlighting a potential risk for the international student market.

Western Union Head of Australia and New Zealand, Mark Davis, said, “This new research shows a key challenge faced by Australian universities, and a great opportunity to continue to increase efficiencies with regards to the processing and reconciling of international payments, which are often made by a variety of methods depending on the student’s country of origin.”

“With international education being Australia’s third largest export, the success and continued attractiveness of Australia as the destination of choice for international students is vital for these institutions – particularly as the landscape with regards to funding and resources continues to change. We work closely with many universities, such as The University of Sydney, to improve these systems through the implementation of new and innovative payment platforms.

The University of Sydney agreed that this was an industry-wide problem, currently being addressed as a key financial priority. University of Sydney Treasurer, Laurence Zanella says, “While Australia is an incredibly attractive destination for international students, the reality is that we still compete for student interest against countries like the UK, the US and Canada. It’s therefore vital that we 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 like Western Union’s GlobalPay for Students.”

Western Union, serving more than 100,000 businesses globally with foreign exchange, risk management, and global payment gateway solutions, recently launched its enhanced GlobalPay for Students platform, which has been developed to improve the way education institutions reconcile, refund and track payments from international students, allowing clients (education institutions) to receive payments from multiple platforms and view all payment activity on one dashboard. The platform is designed to help these organisations simplify the reconciliation of incoming international payments, which can be a complex and time-consuming process. The mobile-first interface has also been developed with student input to improve the user experience.

* Notes to editors

  • The study was conducted by OnePoll between 9th June - 22nd June 2017 and polled Australian adults with Admissions and Finance responsibilities in University institutions. Participants were recruited online and were paid to participate.

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of March 31, 2017, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 550,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 150,000 ATMs and kiosks, and included the capability to send money to billions of accounts. In 2016, The Western Union Company completed 268 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $80 billion of principal between consumers, and 523 million business payments. For more information, visit


FleishmanHillard Australia
Vicky Shepherd, 0475 464 143


Topic: Education

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