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Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.
Choose your service. Not all money transfer services send money to India from Canada. Use our table to see which ones do and compare exchange rates, transfer fees and more.
Create an account. This usually involves providing forms of identification, like your driver’s license or passport and proof of address.
Pick your payment method. You can typically choose to pay from your bank account, credit card or debit card.
Choose your delivery method. Do you want to send money directly to your recipient’s bank account, to their mobile phone, or arrange a cash pickup in New Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore?
Enter your transaction details. This includes the transfer amount, currency you’re sending and the recipient’s information.
Review your transfer. Make sure the receiver’s details are correct. You can also review the final exchange rate and any other fees. Keep in mind that if you’re not an Indian resident, a 12.36% government service tax will be added on top of your transfer.
Send your funds. The money will be deposited into your recipient’s account in India.
Receive email/SMS confirmation. This will include your tracking number along with confirmation of your transfer. If the recipient is picking up cash, they’ll need to present this at collection.
What to know when transferring money to India
Exchange rates. Nearly all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate (the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves) and look for the smallest margin between them.
Transfer fees. Find out whether the provider charges a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
Bank partners. Many providers list their Indian bank partners online. See if your recipient’s bank is affiliated with your provider before initiating a transfer.
Transfer speed. If your money needs to be there fast, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow for quick cash pickups, often in minutes.
Transfer limits. For large transfers, compare and find the best exchange rate, especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. For smaller amounts, consider the fees you’ll pay on top of the exchange rate.
Payment scheduling. Ask whether you can schedule payments ahead of time or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract.
Customer service. Most companies offer customer service by Internet chat, phone, in person or by email. Make sure help will be available if you need it.
Foreign exchange rates explained
An exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it for a weaker currency. India’s exchange rate is flexible, which means it can change from moment to moment due to factors such as interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
There are lots of options for sending money to India beyond a normal bank transfer. What’s best for you will depend on how you want the transfer delivered, how fast you need it to arrive and the fees you’re willing to pay. A few of the most common transfer methods include:
Bank transfers. Many major Canadian banks allow you to transfer money to banks in India. However, this option generally doesn’t offer the best exchange rates or lowest fees.
Money transfer services. These providers often have competitive exchange rates closer to the mid-market rate and can transfer money to bank accounts or mobile.
Providers with cash pickup. This can often be the fastest method of transferring money to India, where there are locations in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. While good for emergency transfers, you may sacrifice a better exchange rate.
Send an international cheque. This involves sending a cheque in a foreign currency like euros or US dollars and is one of the slowest ways to send money. You’ll need to make sure that the cheque is in a recognized international currency and you’ll also be required to provide proof to your bank of why you’re sending money to India (such as a legal document demanding you send money to India).
PayPal. You’ll need to link a bank account or credit card to your PayPal account to pay for your transfer, while the fee that applies is calculated as a percentage of your transaction amount. The fee also varies depending on where you send money and whether or not you use a credit card to fund your transaction, so review all charges before deciding whether to choose this option to send funds between Canada and India.
Banks vs money transfer companies
Many major Canadian banks offer the option to send funds to India, but they typically charge high transfer fees and offer exchange rates that are significantly lower than the mid-market rate.
A reputable money transfer specialist can often offer better exchange rates and also charge lower fees, saving you money and putting more rupees into your recipient’s pocket.
Aryan sends money to India
Aryan lives and works in Canada and wants to send $1,000 of his salary to his parents in Mumbai. He approaches his bank for an international transfer but is shocked when he sees their weak exchange rate and high fees. He compares his bank’s services with those of an independent money transfer specialist to see who offers the better deal.
Major Canadian bank
Money transfer specialist
CAD$1 = INR 48.747
CAD$1 = INR 50.773
$18 per transaction
$0 per transaction
Amount received (in Indian rupees)
1-2 business days
1 business day
Aryan discovers that his family could receive almost 3,000 more Indian rupees if he sends his money through a money transfer specialist. And, he’ll save himself $18 in transfer fees.
Regulations on sending large amounts of money to India
While you won’t have to do anything extra to send a large amount of money out of Canada, your receiver may have to. If your recipient is a “blood relative” (including spouses, children, grandchildren, siblings and in-laws), they won’t have to pay tax on any transfer, no matter the size. Money transfers that are part of a wedding gift or inheritance are also exempt from regulation.
All other large money transfers come under the umbrella of the gift tax, regulated by the Indian Income Tax Act. This means any amount over 50,000 rupees (about CAD$950, depending on the exchange rate) is taxable and should be declared by the recipient as income.
You may also need to provide extra documentation if you’re sending a large amount, depending on the money transfer service.
What do I need to know about taxes?
Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) sending money to India are required to pay a 12.36% government service tax on any commission or fee paid to an agent to facilitate the exchange. Some banks and providers conveniently factor this service tax into your totals, but ask if you don’t see it listed.
Tips for sending money to India
Same-day cash transfers in India
You might need to send an emergency cash transfer to India, for example, if a friend travelling through the country loses their wallet. When a fund transfer is urgent, the fastest option will often be the most expensive one. Be sure to carefully review the exchange rate and transfer fee against your needs so that you understand exactly how much it will cost you.
Some options for emergency cash transfers between Canada and India include:
Cash transfer companies. MoneyGram and Western Union offer international transfers between Canada and India within minutes. Your recipient can then pick up the cash you send from their nearest MoneyGram or Western Union location with their photo ID and a transaction reference number.
Travel insurance. If your trip is covered by travel insurance, many comprehensive policies can provide an emergency cash allowance if you lose your wallet or it is stolen while you’re overseas. Check the fine print for more information.
Credit card provider. If you lose your credit card or it’s stolen while you’re overseas, you may be able to contact your card provider to be sent a replacement card and also access emergency cash.
Tips for picking up cash in India
Global Affairs Canada recommends that Canadians exercise a high degree of caution when visiting India.
If you need to go to an agent to pick up cash, make sure you don’t travel alone and that you ride with a reputable cab company. Don’t display the cash in public and deposit it somewhere safe as soon as possible.
If you’re collecting a cash transfer in India or Canada, remember these few simple tips:
Identification. You’ll need to provide a form of photo ID, for example a driver’s licence or passport, when picking up the money.
Reference number. Ask the person transferring funds to you to send you the transaction ID or reference number, as you’ll need to quote this number when you go to collect the funds.
Phone ahead. When collecting money overseas and in unfamiliar surroundings, it may be worth phoning ahead to confirm an agent’s address and opening hours.
Large transfers. If you’re collecting a large sum of cash, you may need to call ahead to check whether the agent has sufficient funds to complete the transaction.
AL NAJIB MILLI MUTUAL BENEFITS LTD Address: R305 Sangam Nagar Chandani Agar S P Road Antop Hill Wadala Mumbai, Maharashtra 400605 Hours: 9:30am – 8:30pm Phone: +91-9224618023
BANK OF INDIA Address: No.33/1, Byrathi Extention, Near Ebenezer Hospital, Opp.Bible College, Hennur Bagalur Main Road, Kothanpur Post, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560077, India Hours: 10am – 5pm Phone: +504-6693911
ICICI BANK UTTARHALLI Address: Uttarhalli Main Road, Icici Bank Ltd., Door No 47, Survey No 12–1, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560061, India Hours: 9:30am – 4:30pm Phone: +91 80 3366 7777
HDFC BANK Address: Hdfc Bank Ltd Kalathur Complex No 23 2 New No 4 Kalathur Layout Bangalore Karnataka 560013, S M Road, Kalathur Layout, Jalahalli East, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560013, India Hours: 9:30am – 4pm Phone: +91 99458 63333
Which 10 countries are sending the most money to India?
India receives more money transfers than any other country, according to World Bank data, with an estimated $69 billion in remittances in 2017. There are one million Indians and persons of Indian descent living in Canada, so let’s see how Canada stacks up against other countries when it comes to sending money to India.
Remittances in 2017
United Arab Emirates
Canada and India
Canada and India have longstanding bilateral relations, with bilateral trade totaling 4.3 billion in 2017. Given the scope of India’s economic growth and the size of its population, the Trudeau government has indicated that India is a priority market.
According to a report from the Government of Canada, migrants from India are the second largest source of permanent immigration into the country, with most settling in Ontario and British Columbia. This article is designed to help Canadians and immigrants identify a secure and cost-effective way to transfer money to India.
Frequently asked questions
You’ll get a better exchange rate when the Canadian dollar is strong or the rupee is weak. This is impossible to predict, though, but there are factors that influence the exchange rate including:
The political climate, especially if there’s an election coming up.
The interest rates that the country’s central bank charges.
The level of debt a country has.
Some transfer companies don’t allow credit card transfers, so you’ll need to check with whichever one you choose. Using a credit card can often result in higher fees and not the best exchange rate.
Some money transfer services have a limit, but others don’t. Neither the Indian or Canadian governments have a restriction on how much money you can send or receive, though larger money transfers face greater scrutiny from regulatory bodies.
Shirley Liu is Finder's global program manager. She was previously the publisher for banking and investments and has also written comparisons for energy, money transfers, Uber Eats and many other topics. Shirley has a Master of Commerce and a Bachelor of Media, Journalism and Communications from the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about helping people find the best deal for their needs.
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