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Want to send money to India? Online money transfer companies usually offer the lowest fees and the most competitive exchange rates, often beating your local bank by a long shot. You’ll need to send cash if your recipient doesn’t have an account with a supported bank, so compare options to find the best deal for your situation.
Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to India. Some offer cash pickup in as little as a few minutes, while others seamlessly transfer to bank accounts. Banks, PayPal and other options are available but come with high fees, weak rates and longer turnaround times.
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.
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, compare MoneyGram to digital services like WorldRemit or Remitly when possible.
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 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 30 April 2020.
|Digital money transfer||Cash transfer||Bank transfer|
|Fee||£0||£1.90||£20 + additional correspondent bank fees|
|Exchange rate||1 GBP = 94.28 INR||1 GBP = 91.78 INR||1 GBP = 92.62 INR|
|Transfer speed||1-2 days||Minutes||4 days|
|Amount received||INR 94,284||INR 91,780.05||INR 90,770.64|
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 3,514 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.
Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to India to meet your needs:
When it’s more important to send money to India quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.
If you don’t have a bank account, you can still use cash transfer services to send money to India. Similarly, a recipient can get the money with a cash transfer if they don’t have a bank account. These services are widely available around the world and although they’ll typically not be the cheapest available, they can be fast and convenient.
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. India’s exchange rate is flexible compared to the pound sterling, which means it sometimes shifts a little bit a day, if not more. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
To send money to India from the UK, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in India may be different by company.
To send money from the UK to India, you’ll need documentation and details that include:
To pick up money in person, documentation can include:
Sending cash to India may be limited by the Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS), which is created by the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) of India and enforced by the Reserve Bank of India. Transactions sent to banks typically fall under the Rupee Drawing Arrangement, but cash transfers are classified under the MTSS.
It shouldn’t cost a fortune to send money to India. Compare transfer companies that specialise in foreign for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.
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