Money Transfer to India - Exchange Rate, Transfer Time and Security

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I am sure you might tried lot of ways to find best exchange rates or best possible way to transfer money to India. Recently I had a situation where I had to send the money urgently to home and lost lot of money with bad exchange rate in hurry. I learnt a good lesson and I thought I would post some useful tips to transfer the money to India. Hope you will like it J

Parameters we usually look for:

  1. Exchange Rate
  2. No of days for transfer
  3. Service/Transaction Fee
  4. Information Required
  5. Security

Now a day’s 5th parameter is not a big problem as almost every transaction is secured over the Internet. 4th parameter is crucial and depends on you what kind of information you would like to provide.

Some of the service providers to transfer money to India: Western Union, ICICI, HDFC, Citibank & Remit2India. There might be many others but which I am not aware.

Western Union: It is very quick and fast but the service charges very high and you loose lot of money for transaction charges. The main advantage is we can send money to a small town/village in India within hours of our transaction.

Citibank: If you have Citibank account in UK and India and if someone has debit card with them in India, this is faster than WU but there would be a limit to withdraw money using Debit card. Usually Citibank offers Rs 1.30 less than market exchange rate as transfer is done instantly. I found that it offers better exchange rate than WU.

ICICI: Usually ICICI gives lot of offers and say they would give better exchange rate. It might be true but it would take lot of time to credit the money to our Indian account. They say that no service fee but they always charge it !

Remit2India: As per the ratings, this is one of the popular and most used service providers currently. This would give better exchange rate, if you were bit clever. Exchange rate is different if we transfer money through NRE and the more we transfer the better the exchange rate. They would inform that we would get Rs.1000 on offer but they won’t credit immediately. We need to mail them and pursue them to do it J

HDFC: This is actually affiliated with Remit2India but offers best service in terms of quick delivery and exchange rate. Might be same exchange rate as Remit2India but faster than them in delivery.

The problem with Remit2India and HDFC are that exchange rates are indicative as at transfer date and may vary little bit after the actual transfer. Citibank tells us immediately what is the amount we will receive after the conversion.

Depends on your need, you can decide which service provider to use. Wish you all the best.  

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Please note that all opinions/comments expressed above are provided from my personal experience. I am not liable for accuracy/integrity of the information and I would request  you to verify the same.