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Register for an account. Supply the provider with your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and your selected payment method.
Sending to who? Provide your recipient’s name and contact information.
How much? Choose the amount of money you wish to transfer.
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:
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 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 and when 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.
Many Irish banks 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.
Case Study: Virat sends money to India
Virat lives and works in Ireland and wants to send €2,000 of his salary to his parents in Mumbai. He approaches his bank for a wire transfer but is shocked when he sees its 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.
Money transfer specialist
1 EUR = 74.71 INR
1 EUR = 75.78 INR
1–3 business days
2–4 business days
Bank account deposit, cash pickup
Bank account deposit
Total rupees received for €2,000
Virat discovers that his family could receive some 2100 more Indian rupees if he sends his money through a money transfer specialist. And he can save himself a further €5 in transfer fees.
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 totals, but ask if you don’t see it listed.
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
Just as you would at home, be careful when you pick up your money in India. 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.
AL NAJIB MILLI MUTUAL BENEFITS LTD Address: R305 Sangam Nagar Chandani Agar S P Road Antop Hill Wadala Mumbai, Maharashtra 400605 Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. 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: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 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: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 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: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Phone: +91 99458 63333
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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