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Send money to India

How to send a fast, secure and low-cost money transfer to India from Ireland.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked

Online money transfer companies usually offer the lowest fees and the most competitive exchange rates, but you’ll need to send cash if your recipient doesn’t have an account with a supported bank.

Compare ways to send money to India

Use our comparison calculator to assess transfer fees, exchange rates and other details for sending funds to and from India with an online money transfer specialist.

Name Product Minimum Transfer Transfer Time Transfer Fee
TransferWise - Ireland
EUR 1
1-2 days
Varies
Azimo - Ireland
GBP 10
Instant
Varies
Remitly - Ireland
EUR 0
1-5 days
EUR 2.99
Skrill - Ireland
EUR 50
1 day
None
WorldRemit - Ireland
EUR 1
Same day
Varies
CurrencyFair - Ireland
EUR 5
1-2 days
Varies
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Compare up to 4 providers

*The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products Finder Ireland has access to and are not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms “best” and “top” are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products. The star ratings indicated on this page are from real finder users based on their feedback about the quality of this page. It is not representative of any product’s star ratings and should not be taken as a recommendation of any form of credit. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

How to send money to India

  1. Register for an account. Supply the provider with your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and your selected payment method.
  2. Sending to who? Provide your recipient’s name and contact information.
  3. How much? Choose the amount of money you wish to transfer.
  4. Almost there… Complete your transaction and save any reference number you receive so that you can monitor your transfer.

You’ll need to give your recipient the transaction reference number to allow them to pick up your funds – they’ll also need to bring along a photo ID. For larger transfer amounts, phone ahead to an agent location to make sure it has sufficient cash available for your recipient to collect.

The best services for money transfers to India

Compare these providers to find which fits your needs best when sending money to India:

Best for Winner Why we picked it Good for Go to site
Cash & speed WorldRemit At speeds that often beat its own estimates, you can get money to India quickly via bill payments, airtime top up or bank transfer. With no minimum transfer limits, good for smaller transfers
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Most locations MoneyGram It’s not the cheapest, but fast and effective for same-day pickup. Cash & convenience – more than 350,000 agents across the world
Bank deposits OFX No fees and strong rates in more than 50 currencies make for easy transfers to banks worldwide. Limit orders, forward contracts, recurring and business transfers
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Exchange rates TransferWise Offers the mid-market rate on transfers to more than 50 countries worldwide. Supports 40 currencies
Go to site

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 money transfer to India.
  • 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 it 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.

What are all the ways I can send money to India?

Western Union and MoneyGram provide the largest money transfer networks in the world, with thousands of agent locations around the globe, but it’s always smart to compare your options and see what works best for you.

  • Bank transfers. Many banks in Ireland allow you to wire money to banks in India. However, this option generally doesn’t offer the best exchange rates or lowest fees.
  • Money transfer providers. Companies like TransferWise and WorldRemit make international money transfers to India easy.
  • Providers with cash pickup. Western Union, Money2India, Remit2India and MoneyGram offer the option of cash pickups from thousands of agent locations across India.

Banks vs. money transfer companies

Many major banks in Ireland offer the option to send funds to India, but will typically charge high transfer fees and offer exchange rates that are significantly lower than the mid-market rate — or the rate banks and transfer providers use when trading among themselves.

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.

Blue icon representing money transfers Image: Infogram

Digital money transfer services

Companies like OFX and CurrencyTransfer specialise in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s Indian bank account, often in as little as a day or two.

Picture not described: BlueCoinsCashIcon_Infogram_94x62.png Image: Infogram

Cash transfers

Services like MoneyGram allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in India — often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees. If a cash pickup is necessary, look to digital services like WorldRemit or Remitly when possible.

Picture not described: BlueBankIcon_Infogram_62x56.png Image: Infogram

Banks

Indian rupees are a popular currency, so your local bank may be able to exchange them. If your bank supports Indian rupees, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending €1,000 to India

Let’s say you need to send €1,000 to family in India. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of 13 May 2020.

Digital money transfer service Cash transfer Bank transfer
Fee €10 €1.90 €20 + additional correspondent bank fees
Exchange rate 1 EUR = 81.8426 INR 1 EUR = 79.0479 INR 1 EUR = 77.3263 INR
Transfer speed 1-2 day Minutes 2-5 days
Amount received INR 81,011 INR 78,897 INR 75,779
Verdict
  • Best value
  • Fastest
  • Slowest and most expensive

The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient. If you go with the digital money transfer service, your recipient ends up with INR 5,000 more than the bank offers. If speed is crucial, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to India in as little as 15 minutes.

These rates may vary from your own experience, so be sure to use the comparison table to find the freshest money transfer rates.

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 Ireland, 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, though, come under the umbrella of the gift tax, regulated by the Indian Income Tax Act. This means any amount over 50,000 rupees (about EUR€642, 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 total, but ask if you don’t see it listed.

Laws and legal documents when transferring large sums of money into 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.

Tips for picking up cash in India

You should stay alert when collecting funds in India. Just as you would at home, be careful when you pick up your money. Take a friend along for added security and don’t display your cash unnecessarily. Avoid high-crime areas and deposit your funds into your bank account as quickly as possible.

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Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in India

To send money to India from Ireland, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in India may be different by company.

Documents to send money from Ireland

To send money from Ireland to India, you’ll need documentation and details that include:

  • Identification. Most services require a driver’s licence, passport or other government-issued ID.
  • Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts.
  • Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, Indian bank account and routing number.

Documents to receive money in India

To pick up money in person, documentation can include:

  • Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
  • Government-issued ID. An Indian passport, Indian driving licence, Indian Aadhaar card or a similar government-issued ID is typically required to pick up cash.
  • Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
  • Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.

Which countries send the most money to India?

India, the country that receives the most money transfers, saw an estimated US$69 billion in remittances in 2017, according to World Bank data. Let’s see countries stacks up against each other when it comes to sending money to India.

Rank Country Remittances in 2017
1 United Arab Emirates $13,822,589,675
2 United States $11,714,633,011
3 Saudi Arabia $11,238,826,124
4 Kuwait $4,587,413,216
5 Qatar $4,143,368,052
6 United Kingdom $3,940,789,728
7 Oman $3,250,046,834
8 Nepal $3,015,913,314
9 Canada $2,876,744,463
10 Australia $1,943,847,714

Bottom line

Sending your hard-earned money to India shouldn’t cost a fortune. Compare money transfer companies that specialise in foreign transactions for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. Before you need to make a transfer, check out our international money transfer page for the full lowdown.

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