China is now the United States’ biggest source of international students – almost 1 in 3 international students are now from China.  These students are a lucrative source of income for universities, paying $9.8 billion of tuition and fees in the 2015 academic year. However, most colleges only accept payment by cheque or money order, which are slow and expensive.  Luckily, fintech platform Plastiq may have found a solution.

Despite an increase in Chinese appetite for global consumption, payments still remain difficult for institutions that do not commonly accept credit cards – such as post-secondary schools.  In addition to being a slow and arduous way to pay for something halfway around the world, money orders or bank drafts can also come with expensive fees attached, not to mention unfavourable exchange rates.

To solve this frustrating problem, fintech platform Plastiq has teamed up with global credit card giant Mastercard to make tuition payments for international students, in the words of Mastercard VP Linda Kirkpatrick, “Smart, simple and safe“.

The initiative allows Chinese international students in the United States to pay their tuition fees with their local debit or credit cards, via the Plastiq platform.  Plastiq converts the credit card payment into the university’s preferred method of payment, making this once-arduous process quick and easy.