The cheapest way to send money to India might not be the best, which is why you need to pay attention to various aspects. While cost-effectiveness is an important part of sending money to India, factors such as ease of use and customer service also play important roles. Fortunately, identifying the best ways to send money to India is not as complex as you may imagine.
Send Money to India
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- Transfer Type
- Regular Payments
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- Two Transfers Fee Free
- 1 - 3 Days
- $250 / £100 / €250
Currency Corridors & Swift Codes
Currency Symbol and Swift Codes
The Indian rupee (INR) is the official currency of the country and it is divided into 100 paisa.
Banks in India rely on SWIFT codes (an acronym for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication Code) and IFSC codes (short for Indian Financial System Code) to process digital money transfers. The difference between the two is that an Indian bank cannot transfer funds out of the country without having a SWIFT code. When sending money into India, using a bank’s IFSC code is enough.
Each branch of every bank in India has an individual IFSC code, and listed below are ones of popular banks in the country.
|State Bank of India||Connaught Place, New Delhi||SBIN0001537|
|Bank of India||Janpath, New Delhi||BKID0006000|
|Axis Bank||Connaught Place, New Delhi||UTIB0002193|
|Citibank||Connaught Place, New Delhi||CITI0000002|
|Bank of America||Nariman Point, Mumbai||BOFA0MM6205|
You may transfer funds to an Indian bank account using a SWIFT code, although not all banks in the country are part of the SWIFT network.
Popular Currency Corridors
In 2015, close to $70,000,000,000 was sent to India from other countries in remittances. During the same period, around $8,500,000,000 flowed out of the country. More popular currency trade routes are listed in the tables below.
|United Arab Emirates||AED-INR||$12,573,000,000|
How Do I Compare Money Sending Services to India?
You need to consider different aspects before you can determine the best way to send money to India.
- Cost. The cost of your money transfer to India depends on the fees you need to pay and the exchange rate you get. Fees may vary depending on how you pay for your transfer, the desired transfer method, and the transfer amount. To find out the cheapest way to send money to India, simply look at how much money the recipient will receive at the end of the process. Specialist money transfer companies typically offer the best money transfer rates to India.
- Processing time. The cheapest money transfer to India might not work well for you, especially if you are in a hurry. Transfers to bank accounts in India may take one to seven business days, depending on the service provider you choose and the recipient’s bank. If you are in a hurry you can send cash to India that the recipient at collect from a physical location. These transfers tend to take place almost immediately, but they tend to cost more.
- Payment methods. Not all companies offer the same payments methods. While most let you pay through bank account transfers, not many accept payments via debit and credit cards. Some let you pay using region-specific methods such as POLi and SOFORT.
- Customer service. This aspect becomes particularly important if you need to get in touch with the company you’re dealing with, the possibility of which increases if you plan to send money to India from time to time. Ideally, you should look for a company that provides round-the-clock support via chat, email, and phone.
How to Send Money to India?
The best way to send money to India from the U.S., the UK, Australia, or any other country depends on how you want to initiate your transfer, and your options include:
- Online. There is a good chance that your bank will let you transfer money to India using its online system. However, turning to a specialist money transfer company may work better for you, not just because of the cost factor but also because of speed.
- In-person. If you wish to send cash to India in person, you may contact your bank or get in touch with a money transfer company that operates out of physical locations.
- Over the phone. Some companies let you set up your money transfer to India by speaking to a currency broker over the phone.
Arun came to the U.S. to work, while his wife stayed back in India with their 14-year old son, because they did not want to disrupt his studies. Since her income was not enough to meet household expenses in his absence, he was to send them some money each month. He figured sending around $1,500 per month would ensure there was no change in their lifestyles.
He knew his American bank allowed overseas money transfers, but he was not sure if it was the best way to transfer money to India. He found out it was not after running a comparison, details of which are in the corresponding table.
|Bank||Money Transfer Service|
|Exchange rate||$1 = INR 63.12||$1 = INR64.74|
|Amount received for $1,500||INR 93,922.56||INR 97,110.00|
|Transfer time||3 to 5 days||1 to 3 days|
|Transfer options||Bank account||Bank account|
|Difference of||INR 3,187.44|
Choosing the money transfer company over his bank was an easy enough decision to make, not just because his wife stood to receive more money, but also because it would get to her quicker.
Cash Pickup Locations in India
If you wish to send cash to India and get the recipient to collect it in person, you can turn to companies such as Western Union, Ria, or MoneyGram. Given below are addresses of a few cash pickup locations in India.
|Ria in India|
|New Delhi Pramod Communication B 108, Ground Floor Near Kalkaji Park Off L-Block Road Kalkaji New Delhi||Skynet Computer Solutions K-84, Shop No 3, Krishna Park Extn Tilak Nagar New Delhi|
|Mumbai M/S Sanghvi K.J. Jewellers Shop No 3, Jitekar Bldg, Sir J.J Road Mumbai||Supama Forex Private Limited A 7, Bharat Nagar, Grant Road Mumbai|
|Western Union in India|
|New Delhi S P Securities Ltd M96, Middle Circle Connaught Place New Delhi||Indraprastha Head Post Office Bahadurshah Zafar Marg New Delhi|
|Mumbai Bharati Jewellers Shop No 6, Sukumar Corner Dawood Baug Lane, J P Road Mumbai||Development Credit Bank Ltd Mohamed Ali Road M R A Marg Opp Crawford Market Mumbai|
Safety Tips for Picking up Cash in India
Instances of petty crime are common in India, so if you plan to collect cash from a physical location it is best to err on the side of caution. Theft of personal property may take place at bus stops, train stations, and even airports. Be wary of pickpockets in crowded places. There have been multiple reports of women’s bags being snatched, the bottom of their purses being slit, and the straps of their bags being cut.
Keep your bank cards and passport with extra care when travelling by train or bus and never leave your belongings unattended. Avoid taking public transport, auto-rickshaws, or taxis alone, particularly after dark. If you need to take a taxi, consider hiring one through an app based service or through your hotel.
Take time to differentiate between old and new 500 and 1,000 rupee bank notes because the former are no longer legal tender. Do not accept the old notes from anyone, no matter how good a deal you may get, because they are worthless. If anything, possessing them may land you in trouble with the law.
What Information Do I Need to Send Money to India?
The information you need when sending money to India depends on the method you select.
- Cash pickup. You will need the recipient’s name and a desired cash pickup location. The recipient may collect the transferred cash by presenting a reference number and an acceptable form of identification document.
- Bank account. You will need the recipient’s name, a bank account number, the bank’s name, and the bank’s IFSC or SWIFT code.
Regulations When Transferring Money To and From India
There is no maximum limit surrounding how much money you may send to India, though you have to worry about tax implications in your home country as well as in India. According to Indian income tax rules, if you send more than 50,000 rupees to an individual who is not your blood relative, he or she becomes subject to taxation.
Individuals entering India may carry any amount of foreign currency. If you are entering with more than $10,000 or its equivalent in another currency, you will need to declare it to the Customs Authorities upon disembarking. Most foreign nationals are also allowed to carry up to 25,000 rupees.
Outward remittances from India are closely monitored by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). According to the revised Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS), a resident individual may send up to $250,000 per year out of the country. The same limit also applies for resident individuals travelling out of the country for private visits, education, medical treatment, employment, or business.
Next Steps to Send Money to India
The next time you want to transfer money to India, bear in mind that you have a number of alternatives from which to choose. Remember that while sending money to a cash pickup location is typically faster, it also ends up costing more. If you hope to send money to India for free, look out for existing promotions and offers.
You may want to support an Indian Money Transfer Provider. Read how InstaReM can give you mid-market rate with low, transparent fees.
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