Mumbai: Payment services major Western Union's business-to-business subsidiary today launched its first service, which allows rupee payments to foreign universities.
The service, launched in association with the RBI-approved agents Paul Merchants and Weizmann Forex, will help the growing number of Indian students and parents pay university fees, said Anil Kapur, regional divisional director for India and Middle East, Western Union Business Solutions (WUBS).
He said WUBS came into existence after acquisition of two companies by Western Union at a cumulative investment of over USD 1.2 billion. This is the first offering by the company here.
Staff from the agents will collect the fees from clients' doorsteps for empanelled universities in rupees.
WUBS will be charging a fee for every transaction and also earning in foreign exchange conversion, he said, explaining the business model.
He, however, cited confidentiality clauses and declined to reveal the fee structure and the number of universities the company has empanelled.
Kapur said the present facilities for rupee payments for foreign education are very tedious.
According to WUBS, India is the second largest market in the world with about 2,00,000 students going abroad every year.
The number has increased from 53,000 in 2000 to over 1,89,000 in 2009, Kapur said.
Globally, WUBS contributed 14 per cent revenues for the company with a majority coming from consumer-oriented businesses.
Kapur said WUBS, which has a focus on facilitating small business payments, will be launching its other offerings in the Indian market soon.>