Looking for the best way to send money from Canada to family, friends or businesses in India (or even to your own overseas bank account)?
Don't head straight to your Canadian bank – compare specialist money transfer services instead. They nearly always offer better INR exchange rates and lower fees, so for the same amount of Canadian dollars you send, your recipient will receive more Indian rupees.
Of the companies we've compared, OFX is among the cheapest, with competitive exchange rates and fees starting from $0. Need a really fast transfer? WorldRemit can get money to your recipient in India within minutes.
Best ways to send money to India from CanadaThe best way to send money to India depends on your payment method, how you want your money to be received and how fast you need it to arrive.
- Online money transfer provider. When buying Canadian dollars or Indian rupees money transfer specialists typically offer better rates and cheaper fees than a local bank.
- Bank transfer. Bank transfers are an easy way to send money to India but they charge extra for the convenience and are often slower than other methods.
- Cash pickup. If you need your money to arrive fast, cash pickup gives your recipient instant access to the money you've sent when they collect it from their agent location in India.
- Mobile wallet. Essentially an electronic wallet service, mobile wallets allow users to store, send and receive eligible currencies using their phone, often with fees attached.
- Prepaid phone credit. Specifically used to top up a recipient's prepaid mobile phone plan, prepaid phone credit is usually added instantly or within a few minutes.
- Home delivery. If your recipient may struggle to get to a cash pickup location, you may be able to opt for door-to-door cash delivery.
Compare the best money transfer companies to send money to IndiaUse our table to compare the best money transfer companies to send money to India. You can compare deposit and receiving options, fees and transfer speeds, then click the "Go to site" button when you've found the best one to get your money to India.
Cheapest way to send money to India
Bank transfers are typically the cheapest way to get your money to India. OFX and WorldRemit have some of the lowest bank transfer fees of the brands we've compared.
When you're hunting down the cheapest ways to send money to India, it's more important to look at the overall cost of your transfer. This has a couple of elements:
- Transfer fees. While still cheaper than your Canadian bank, some money transfer services charge either a fixed or percentage-based fee for making your transfer.
- Exchange rates. Another way money transfer providers make money is to add a margin to the mid-market CAD/INR exchange rate.
Some providers may charge the mid-market rate but add fees on top. Others may have very low fees but apply a markup on the exchange rate. This means it is important to compare exactly how many Indian rupees your recipient will end up with.
Fastest way to send money to India
Many online providers can offer transfers to India within minutes, although you're likely to pay a premium for the convenience.Here are some of the fastest average transfer speeds to India:
- WorldRemit — within minutes
- Remitly — within minutes
- MoneyGram — within minutes
Actual transfer times from Canada to India can depend on several different factors including transfer amount, payment method and currency.
Safest way to send money to India
The safest way to get your money to India is to use a provider registered with Canada's industry regulator, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. All of the companies we've compared in our table are overseen by a local regulator and comply with the relevant laws and regulations in both Canada and India.
A great way to dive deeper is by reading our extended reviews of each transfer service and researching first-hand customer feedback on Trustpilot and similar platforms.
Large money transfers to India
If you need to make a sizable money transfer to India, consider using a provider such as OFX to benefit from its expertise in handling larger transfer amounts.Using a large transfer specialist can have the following advantages:
- Tax guidance. Large transfers to India may have tax implications for you or your recipient. A transfer specialist can help get you up to speed on CRA's latest advice.
- Foreign exchange (forex) tools. Advanced tools such as forward contracts, limit orders and stop-loss orders can help you lock in the INR exchange rate you want.
- Account manager. Some money transfer providers assign a personal account manager who can help and advise you on your transfer needs.
- Phone service. If you want to talk your transfer through with someone, providers such as OFX and OFX can give you support over the phone.
How to send money to India from Canada
To send money to India, you'll need the necessary documentation, your recipient's details and a way to pay.
- Compare your options.
Use our table to find a money transfer provider that sends funds to India. One may be better for cash pickups while another may suit a bank transfer. Once you've found the best one for your requirements, click "Go to site".
- Create an account.
You'll need to give your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and method of payment.
- Provide your recipient's details.
Enter your recipient's name and contact information. If you're sending straight to their Indian bank account, you'll need the account number, SWIFT or IBAN plus their bank branch's address.
- Enter your transfer amount.
Check you're happy with the fees, exchange rates and transfer speed, then enter the amount you wish to send. Double-check the total Indian rupees your recipient gets.
- Complete your transfer.
Send your money transfer to India. Keep your transaction reference number safe so you can track your transfer. Your recipient may need it too.
Example: Aaradhya sends money to India
Aaradhya is working in Canada as a doctor and she stays in regular contact with her elderly parents back home in India. Her parents need some funds to help pay off a mortgage, so Aaradhya plans to send them $2,000 from Canada.
She decides to compare a bank and a money transfer specialist to see which one can save the most money on her transaction.
|Bank||Money transfer company|
|Exchange rate||1 CAD = 60.61 INR||1 CAD = 61.41 INR|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Bank account deposit|
|Processing time||2 - 5 working days||Next day|
|Amount received||120,613.94 INR||122,671.26 INR|
The money transfer company enables Aaradhya to send an extra ₹2,057.32, which is transferred straight to her parents' HDFC Bank account.
How to choose the best money transfer companies to send money to India
When choosing a money transfer provider to send money from Canada to India, it's important to consider the cost, how you want your recipient to receive the funds and the turnaround time. Here are other features to review:
- Exchange rates. Banks and transfer services use the mid-market rate to trade with one another. It is the best rate you can get. However, not all money transfer providers offer you this mid-market rate so compare the INR you're offered to the mid-market rate and look for the smallest difference.
- Transfer fees. Are you being charged a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer amount? For example, a provider offering to transfer your money to India for a flat or low fee might work out better if you plan to send a large amount.
- Transfer type. Does your recipient have an Indian bank account or is cash or cell phone top-up a better option? Each transfer type will have different fees. For example, instant cash pickups tend to be more expensive than bank transfers.
- Transfer speed. If you need your transfer to arrive quickly, you can pay for an express delivery. Companies such as MoneyGram offer instant cash pickups but may charge more. If you're not in a rush, online money transfer services offer the best value and get your money to India faster and cheaper than banks.
- Transfer limits. Find out how much you can send with each service. For example, MoneyGram has a transfer limit of $990 while OFX allows unlimited transfers.
- Discounts. Some providers may offer you a free transfer simply for signing up. Others may offer a discount if you transfer more than a specific amount of Indian rupees.
Is this a good time to send money to India?
Compared to a month ago, the Canadian dollar is a little stronger against the Indian rupee. Currently $5,000 is equivalent to ₹308,605.00, whereas a month ago, $5,000 was equivalent to ₹306,431.00. That's an increase of 0.71% over the past month.
Similarly, compared to a year ago, the Canadian dollar is again stronger against the Indian rupee. A year ago, $5,000 was equivalent to ₹296,196.00. That's an increase of 4.19% over 12 months.
So based on those two quick glances back, yes, it's a relatively good time to send money to India, and your Canadian dollars will go further than they would have. But what's more important, however, is where the strength of the Canadian dollar against the Indian rupee goes from here – which is harder to call.
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