Wednesday, August 5, 2015

peerTransfer Simplifies Process of Paying Tuition from Overseas

By Jordan Friedman
World Education Services

If you’re an international student, the process for paying your U.S. college tuition might have gotten a little easier.

A Boston-based startup, peerTransfer, aims to address the complexities involved in paying tuition from overseas: hidden fees, high exchange rates, and difficulties in tracking money. With peerTransfer, a complicated process that usually takes about seven to 10 days is reduced to a mere 48 hours, says Mike Massaro, the company’s president and CEO.

The organization is expanding dramatically; peerTransfer opened an office in Shanghai just last month (China is currently the country that sends the highest number of students to the United States).

“Having a presence in Shanghai becomes an educational jumping-off point for how we can help students and parents in that region,” Massaro told WES Student Advisor. peerTransfer also has offices in the United Kingdom, Spain, and has full-time staff in Australia.

By working with more than 720 schools and processing about $2 billion in tuition payments in 2015, peerTransfer enables students and their parents to complete the transaction in their local form of currency and use their desired method. Both the school and the student (or parent) can track the progress of the payment, making it more transparent, Massaro says.

In fact, the company’s founder, Iker Marcaide, was inspired to establish peerTransfer after his own payment from Spain to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology disappeared.

“Before peerTransfer, there was this really complicated bank wire process that students and parents had to figure out,” Massaro says.

As for the future, Massaro foresees more international expansion – especially in those countries with high numbers of students who plan on attaining degrees overseas.

“The big effort we have underway is to expand to other countries with thriving international student populations,” Massaro says.

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