Mastercard Helps Chinese Students Pay U.S. Tuitions

Plastiq Accepts Local Credit and Debit Cards to Pay U.S. Schools

PURCHASE, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#backtoschool–Mastercard is offering 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 found at

Largely created for Chinese students studying abroad, the site addresses
international tuition 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
’ Report (2014-2015). China represented 31 percent of the total
international students coming to the U.S., leading India (14 percent)
and South Korea (7 percent).

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.

“Parents and students can send tuition and other payments globally with
peace of mind as their money is protected by the safety and security of
the Mastercard network and delivered to this site powered by Plastiq and
Planet Payment,” said Linda Kirkpatrick, executive vice president, U.S.
Market Development, Mastercard. “Our new alliance with these two
companies supports the Mastercard objective of making payments smart,
simple and safe.”

Mastercard, Plastiq and Planet Payment (NASDAQ:PLPM) a leading provider
of international and currency payments, launched the site. 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.

“Tuition is one of the most impactful payments you will make in life.
It’s a bill that directly contributes to the well-being of your child,
and you should have the choice to pay it with your Mastercard-branded
card,” said Eliot Buchanan, co-founder and CEO of Plastiq. “With
Plastiq, even if a school doesn’t accept credit cards, you can still use
your Mastercard card to pay the tuition. In fact, Plastiq gives you the
freedom to pay any bill using your favorite card, so that life’s
important payments are on your terms.”

This international acceptance agreement will be exclusive to Mastercard.
Chinese cardholders will be able to view the transaction and the
competitive exchange rates in Chinese RMB providing greater price
certainty at the time of payment.

“It’s really convenient for me to use my Mastercard credit card to pay
tuition and know it’s taken care of, instead of dealing with the
headache of checks. Plastiq has the lowest fees out there, so it’s my
first choice when it comes to paying bills that typically don’t let me
use a credit card. I recommend Plastiq to anyone who’s coming to the
U.S., especially for college.” Said Jeremy Liu, 24, of China, attending
the California Institute of Technology.

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.

About Mastercard

is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the
world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers,
financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more
than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions
make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running
a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more
efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews,
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Beth Kitchener, 914-249-2058