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How to send money to the UK
Compare your options when sending money from India to the UK.
In this guide, we compare a variety of different methods for sending money between India and the UK, helping you find the best value when transferring funds overseas. By using a dedicated online transfer service instead of sending the funds through your bank, you can save money on the cost of your transfer.
If you need to send money between India and the UK with a specialist online transfer company, all you have to do is follow three simple steps:
- Start your transfer. You’ll need to specify the amount of money you want to send, the details of the account the funds will be paid into, and nominate a payment method.
- Secure an exchange rate. Review the exchange rate and fee that will determine the total cost of your transaction.
- Send your funds. The money will be transferred to your recipient’s account in India or the UK.
Money transfers from India to the UK
If you are a UK national, having a valid residential permit and a valid visa to work and live in India, you should know the RBI rules for foreign nationals to open a bank account in India. You also need to know the regulations that govern any overseas money transfers.
Providers who support the INR
Remitting money from the UK to India is facilitated by all the providers listed below. However, a lot of international money transfer companies do not have the facility to remit money from India to the UK. Contact the providers directly to get further details.
- State Bank of India
- HDFC Bank
- Western Union
- Axis Bank
Indian providers who offer international money transfer facilities from India to the UK.
Banks vs money transfer companies
When you need to send money overseas, using your bank might seem like the logical choice. You can send funds from your everyday transaction account, making it incredibly convenient, and you also get the peace of mind of dealing with a financial institution you trust.
However, sending international money transfers via your bank is a mistake for two reasons:
- Low exchange rates. Banks impose a hefty margin on top of the foreign currency they sell, which means you receive an exchange rate that’s well below the mid-market rate.
- High fees. Most banks impose large transaction fees on international transfers.
If you’re looking for better value for money, you can often find it from a dedicated online money transfer company. These providers specialise in international transfers and usually offer much better exchange rates and lower fees than the banks. This means you can enjoy substantial savings when sending money between India and the UK.
How to compare transfer companies when sending money between India and the UK
Make sure to consider the following factors when searching for the best money transfer company to help you send funds between India and the UK:
- Exchange rate. Even a small difference in exchange rates can have a huge impact on the total cost of a transfer, so compare INR/GBP and GBP/INR exchange rates across several providers. Make sure that any rate a company quotes you is the rate you will actually receive on your transfer, and not merely the current interbank rate provided as a guide.
- Fees. Fees vary from one transfer provider to the next and can also make a big difference to the overall cost of a transaction. Some companies charge flat fees while others charge their fees as a percentage of the total transaction amount. Some companies will also waive their fees on large transfers, helping you save even more when sending money between India and the UK.
- Transfer options. Can you use forward contracts or limit orders to secure the exchange rate you want for your transaction? Is there a regular payments option if you need to send money between India and the UK on a recurring basis?
- Turnaround time. If you need to send funds between India and the UK as quickly as possible, check to see how long each provider takes to process a transfer from start to finish.
- Pickup options. Does the company offer bank deposits only, or can you also send cash for your recipient to collect in person if required?
- Currencies available. Make sure any provider you choose allows you to transfer funds in INR, GBP and any other currency you may want to send overseas.
- Customer service. Transferring money overseas does carry some risk. Make sure you can always get in touch with the company as quickly as possible if you ever need help with a transaction.
How to send money between India and the UK
There are several options to choose from when you need to send money between India and the UK:
- Money transfer services. Online money transfer providers offer competitive exchange rates, minimal transaction fees and access to a wide range of currencies. Many providers also offer flexible options such as forward contracts and limit orders to help you find better value for money.
- Banks. You can send international transfers direct from your regular bank account, but you’ll need to be willing to accept a lower exchange rate and higher transfer fees. You may also want to consider using multinational banks (such as Citibank and HSBC) that offer accounts specifically designed for international transfers.
- Cash transfer companies. These companies operate extensive international money transfer networks, allowing you to send funds from the UK to India within minutes. The money you send is then available for your recipient to collect as cash from their nearest cash pickup location. However, these providers do not currently allow remittance of money from India to the UK.
Emergency cash transfers
Regardless of whether you’re an Indian tourist in the UK or vice versa, anything can happen when travelling overseas and you could find yourself in sudden need of cash. If your wallet or bag has been stolen, you should first report it to the local police and obtain a police report. Then look into the following choices for getting a fast cash replacement:
- Your bank account. Many banks have emergency services to get you cash and a replacement card if you happen to lose your card or have your wallet stolen while overseas.
- Travel insurance. Many travel insurance policies offer a cash solution if your wallet or purse is stolen while travelling. Make sure you keep the police report to submit to the insurer.
How to send money between India and the UK
If you want to send money between India and the UK using a cash transfer service, you’ll need the following information:
- Recipient name. The recipient name you give to the cash transfer company must be exactly the same as it appears on the recipient’s photo ID.
- Transfer amount. The person who is picking up the money will be asked how much has been sent as a security measure.
- Tracking number. Your recipient will also have to provide a tracking number or transaction reference number.
- Your details. For further security, they may be asked for your name and contact information.
There are many options available when you need to send money between India and the UK, so make sure you compare a range of providers to find the most convenient and affordable transfer provider.
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