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In an attempt to facilitate foreign universities to accept the payment of tuition money in Indian currency, Western Union Co. (WU - Analyst Report) has launched a new service. The new service will be provided by the company’s unit Western Union Business Solutions and will help more than 200,000 Indian students, who opt for international studies, to make easy payments for their higher education fees.

Western Union will provide its services in India though Weizmann Forex and Paul Merchants Limited – two of Western Union’s largest agents in India. Through the service, the students will get respite from the lengthy and costly process of making payments in foreign currency. The students will not have to incur intermediary cost which is generally incurred in the form of currency conversion. The facility will be available across a number of locations spanning the country.

Students also have the flexibility of calling the agents from their homes to process their payments.

Western Union also has a similar service for Chinese students. The company has an agreement with ChinaPay, through which the students can make tuition fees payment to international universities across the globe in their local currency – Renminbi. Western Union has created a simple, fast and reliable gateway for the international universities as well as the Chinese population, to conduct cross-border transactions.

Western Union has a separate platform – FX Solutions, for Educational Institutions. It provides the education sector with state-of-the-art, customized solutions for sending and receiving domestic and international payments. Western Union is already serving over 400 world-class universities in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Australia by processing outbound vendor payments and inbound student tuition and fees of these institutions.

Western Union finds China and India particularly attractive because both these regions account for a large population of students who opt for international courses each year. The company expects this trend to gain momentum going forward.
Western Union currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies like Moneygram International Inc. (MGI - Analyst Report), Citigroup, Inc. (C - Analyst Report), HDFC Bank Ltd. (HDB - Analyst Report) also offer forex currency service internationally and are worth considering.

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