Send money to India
The Indian community is one of the largest groups of permanent migrants in Australia, accounting for just over 8% of the country’s overseas-born population in 2018, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. With many Indian citizens moving to Australia, there are a range of personal reasons why people would need to send money overseas to India. These reasons would include:
- Sending money as a gift to friends and family
- Helping out a relative in a medical emergency
- Supporting family by paying bills
- School fees.
The need for trade between Australia and India has also increased in recent years. So for businesses, there are also plenty of reasons to make business money transfers to India, such as to pay for goods and services, wages and royalties. The demand for international money transfers to India is clear and the good news is there are many transfer options which are safe, secure and reliable.
If you’re planning a trip to India in the future, this guide isn’t for you - head over to our travel money section instead, where you can compare everything from prepaid travel cards, exchange rates, holiday insurance to overseas debit card fees and travel credit cards.
Options for transferring money to India
With the growth in trade between India and Australia and with an increase in Indian-born people living here, you’ll find yourself with plenty of choice when choosing how to send money to one of the world’s most populous countries. Be it for personal or business reasons, two of the most common ways to send money to India are: via a bank or with a foreign exchange specialist. Have a read of the pros and cons for each to help you decide which option suits your needs best.
- Convenience: If you need to send money in a hurry, your bank can be a good option, as you won’t need to create a separate account to access its money transfer service.
- In-branch service: Still prefer going into a physical branch for all your banking needs? With most big banks, you can choose to make your money transfer over the counter, although this option is usually more expensive than phone or online.
- Price: The bank’s exchange rate and fees are often much less competitive than a foreign exchange provider.
- Transfer limits: Banks account generally have a daily ‘pay anyone’ limit which you can’t exceed when making an international money transfer.
Foreign Exchange Specialists:
- Price: Usually the cheapest option for making an international money transfer, as they come with fewer fees and better exchange rates than the banks - in fact, all of our 2020 Mozo Experts Choice Award winners for best value International Money Transfers were FX specialists.
- Caters for larger transfers: Unlike the banks, many FX specialists don’t have a maximum limit.
- Flexible features: Beyond the standard international money transfer service, FX specialists also offer a range of tools to help you secure an exchange rate you’re happy with. For instance, a forward contract lets you lock in a current rate for a future transfer, while a limit order allows you to set a target rate and make a transfer only once that rate is hit.
- May not suit smaller transfers: Some providers have minimum transfer limits, which may not work in your favour. According to the Mozo database, among the FX specialists, minimums can range from $50 up to $10,000, so be sure to pick a provider that will accommodate for your transfer amount.
- Online only: Although unlikely, technical problems could slow down the transfer speed, and you won’t be able to access any customer support in person (however you can reach out via phone).
Before booking your transaction to India, make sure you’ve compared the day’s exchange rates over on our international money transfers page. Or you can check out a few competitive deals below. You can customise your transfer amount to see how many Rupees you can get with each exchange rate.
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6 steps to making money transfers to India
After reading the pros and cons of the different options of sending money to India, you may have decided to use a foreign exchange specialist. It’s by far the best value for money and you’ll receive a lot more Rupees for your Australian dollars than what a bank would offer. Now for the practical bit - here’s how the money transfer process usually works:
- Step 1: Register (online or by phone) and set up an account with a foreign exchange provider
- Step 2: The provider may contact you to confirm your details and to discuss the transfer
- Step 3: Confirm and make sure you are happy with the costs and exchange rate of the transfer
- Step 4: Book the transaction and give the personal and account details of the recipient
- Step 5: Pay the agreed amount for the transfer; this is usually done by electronic transfer
- Step 6: Once the provider has received the funds, they will send the money electronically to your recipient.
Regular vs one off international transfers to India: what’s the difference?
For any regular transfers to India, you will save yourself money and time by establishing a long-term relationship with a foreign exchange specialist. For example, if your wife and children live in India and every month you need to pay school fees, then an international money transfer provider is your best option. You will likely lose out in fees and a poor exchange rate if you continually transfer money with a bank.
Becoming a regular customer of a foreign exchange specialist and transferring over a certain amount also has its benefits including:
- Lower commission fees
- Ability to negotiate a transfer limit
- Some providers may give you the option of locking in an exchange rate if your transfers remain fixed
- Quick and efficient transfers.
With a one off transfer, the exact amount of money you need to send will depend on what type of provider you choose. If it’s a large amount to pay for your daughter’s extravagant wedding, then you are better off going with an international money transfer provider. The slightly better exchange rate you’ll receive from an IMT specialist will save you potentially thousands on a large one off transfer to India.
For small, one off transfers around $200 or less, PayPal is a safe, trusted and affordable method for sending money overseas. The transfer is simple, can be done electronically and only takes a couple of minutes. Remember though, that both you and the recipient will need a PayPal account. For convenience, you may want to go with your local bank to transfer a small amount of money but don’t forget, banks don’t tend to offer a very attractive exchange rate.
Comparing IMT providers: what to look for
With the international money transfer industry continuing to grow, the Australian market has now gotten a lot more competitive. So when you shop around and compare providers there are plenty of features to consider.
- Transfer limits: Some international money transfer providers have a maximum and minimum transfer amount. The minimum limit could be as much as $10,000, so you’ll have to hunt around to find one that suits the amount you need to transfer.
- Exchange rates: The current exchange rate is one of the most important factors to consider. A few cents difference in the rate could cause a huge variance in how many Rupees your recipient receives. Banks and agencies will offer different rates for converting your Aussie dollars to Rupees so take the time to compare and calculate. Remember, the higher the exchange rate, the more money you will get!
- Transfer time: This is the speed of your transfer, from the moment the transaction has been processed to the time the recipient receives your money. Gone are the days of waiting weeks to get a transaction cleared; these days, transfer speeds can range from 1 to 5 days, and a few FX specialists even promise near instant transfers (that take minutes) to certain countries.
- Fees: You might find your funds may shrink en route to India. That’s because banks and agencies will charge a fee for converting your money, and you may also be hit with a sending and receiving fee. The good news is some foreign exchange specialists waive those fees if you transfer over a minimum amount.
- Transfer Options: Depending on the provider, you may be able to make your international money transfer online, on the phone or in person. Just beware each transfer method will come with different fees.
Information you need to set up an international money transfer
Setting up an international money transfer to India couldn’t be easier and the whole process can be done in just minutes from the comfort of your own home. Here’s a list of the details you’ll need to provide:
- Personal details including: name, address, date of birth, country of birth, phone number
- You’ll have to set up a username, password and security question
- Details of your bank account where the transfer money will be deposited from
- Full name and address of the recipient’s bank
- Recipient’s name, address and account number
- SWIFT/BIC Code - this is a 8 or 11 digit code that identifies banks around the world
- The amount and currency you wish to send.