Mastercard, Plastiq and Planet Payment have teamed to enable cardholders in China the ability to use local credit and debit cards to pay U.S. tuitions and other costs through a first-of-its-kind online payment service. Planet Payment enables the conversion from RMB to USD in real-time. Plastiq provides the technology that converts Mastercard credit and debit card payments into checks or money orders.
Largely created for Chinese students studying abroad, the site addresses international payment challenges, including limited payment methods and currency exchange. Many U.S. schools only accept payment via check or electronic bank transfer which can be difficult to manage overseas.
For Chinese students studying in the U.S., these challenges are increasingly common as China is the top country of origin sending international students to U.S. schools, according to the Institute of International Education’s ‘Open Doors’ Report (2014-2015). China represented 31% of the total international students coming to the U.S., leading India (14%) and South Korea (7%).
Mastercard joined forces with Plastiq, an online payment service company, to create the site for its cardholders. Unlike other solutions, Plastiq processes cards and sends payments in forms already accepted by recipients. Schools do not need a Plastiq account to accept card payments submitted through the service.
According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2015–2016 school year was $32,405 at private colleges, $9,410 for state residents at public colleges, and $23,893 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.
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