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Houston CC Addresses International Currency Conversion with Higher One Feature

Two financial services companies have launched a joint feature that will allow institutions to accommodate international payments as effortlessly as they handle domestic payments from students. The first institution to sign on for the new service, Houston Community College in Texas, will be using the new feature within CASHNet ePayment from Higher One Payments. The latter company worked with Travelex Global Business Payments to create the enhancement. Higher One focuses on financial services specifically for the higher education segment; Travelex is a major non-bank provider of international payment services.

CASHNet ePayment lets students and parents make payments online and view current balances. Now, international students will have the same ability to perform transactions using the currency of their choice.

Houston CC, which runs an Office of International Student Services, has 6,066 international students and also collaborates in its programs with colleges overseas. In the latest academic year in which numbers were available, that enrollment came from 150 countries, including 900 students from Mexico and 776 from Vietnam.

"This new service will help international students before they arrive from their country of origin," said Nandy Baldonado, director of student financial services. "Prior to this new partnership with Higher One and Travelex, students could only make payments after they were enrolled, or once their visa was approved. There was a lot of traffic in the business office which will be avoided as students can now pay online."

"The process of transferring funds to make a tuition payment can often times be extremely time consuming and costly, especially with fluctuating foreign exchange rates," explained Matthew Lewis, the director of partnerships and alliances at Travelex Global Business Payments. He added that the new feature not only streamlines the payment process but "locks in an exchange rate that is more competitive than traditional banks."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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