Everything You Need to Know About Transferring Money to India

Busy street in New DelhiYou might be transferring money to India for business purposes, or you could be doing it for personal reasons. Whatever it is, there is a huge number of options for transferring money between Canada and India.

If you’re living in Canada and need to send money back to India, either personally or professionally, then there is a lot of choices for you. Luckily, we’ve put together the options we think are best in terms of convenience, ease and value.

For a quick comparison table of exchange rates and fees, click here.

What will this guide cover?

 

This guide will cover:

  • Personal transfer – sending money to family or friends in India
  • Business transfer
  • Buying or selling a property in India
  • Studying Overseas
  • General costs of sending money to India
  • Your options to send money to India
  • Information you’ll need for the transfer
  • General information

Personal transfer from Canada to India

You can set up a personal transfer from Canada to India through a number of methods:

Your bank:

Not many banks will support INR but will always be able to transfer in US dollars. They will however charge you a high international transfer fee, as well as an uncompetitive exchange rate, but it is an option.

Money transfer companies:

These companies will offer you a better exchange rate and lower fees. Here are some providers that transfer money from Canada to India are:

All companies have similarities and offer competitive rates, but our recommendation is TorFX for great exchange rates between CAD to INR.

Business transfer from Canada to India

If your business is transferring money between Canada and India, there are two critical things you must consider when finding the best option:

  1. The exchange rate margin: This is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate (www.xe.com) and the rate you will get.
  2. Business products they offer such as forward exchange contracts, foreign currency accounts and limit orders.

You can use any of the money transfer companies listed above if you wish. Our choice for business transfers to India are HiFX– their exchange rates and zero fee structure will allow you to maximise your overseas receipts or payments. They also offer Foreign Currency Accounts which are helpful if you would like to hold the funds in a foreign currency and exchange them at a favourable time.

Buying or selling property in India

If you are looking to buy a property in India, or have sold your property in India and needing to send the money back to New Zealand, we recommend that you look for a provider that has a strong presence in both countries. This will give you local support either side, as well as the flexibility you may need leading up to the settlement.

Our choice would be OFX for property settlement transfers, as you (the customer) are assigned a local account manager that will be licensed and able to guide you through the steps.

To find out more on how to transfer money overseas with OFX, click here.

 

Studying overseas

As much as we would like them to, tuition fees aren’t getting any cheaper. Annual payments to universities or other education providers, along with all other expenses, can really add up, particularly abroad. As these payments can be large, you need to know the best method of payment before moving your funds.

  • For larger payments, you should be keeping a keen eye on the exchange rate you’re getting as this will largely affect the amount of money you will get in the foreign currency at the end.
  • For smaller payments, you should keep an eye on the transfer fees.

There are many methods of transferring funds abroad, but we would suggest the newly emerging (and very savvy) app, Transferwise. It is a rapidly growing UK-based company with an excellent app that would allow bill-paying and all other monotonous payments super easy!

General costs for sending money to India

Time to put together the fees. Calculating the costs can be difficult, as nearly all fees, charges and exchange rates are dependent on how much are you sending, method of sending and method of receiving. The most common fees are as follows:

  1. A transfer fee
  2. Exchange rate margin: the different you will pay between the wholesale exchange rate on xe.com and the rate you will actually get
  3. Bank fees: The fees that you bank will charge for sending the money to the correct account overseas.
  4. Receiving bank fees: The fees the receiving bank will charge you for converting into the correct currency.

Your options for sending money to India

There are various methods of sending money to India:

Via your bank

Using your bank is an easy and quick way to transfer fees and can normally send the money successfully within 3-5 business days depending on your bank. Generally, banks will have uncompetitive exchange rates which make them unattractive if you’re sending large amounts of money abroad.

Check with your bank and research the fees and exchange rates based on the amount you plan to send over.

Paypal

Paypal is a convenient and highly popular way of transferring money abroad, and by far the quickest with transfers being completed within minutes (dependent on the type of transfer). It is great for smaller amounts (under $1000NZD) as although the exchange rate is equal to those of banks, the fees are slightly less. It’s particularly handy if you are paying from your own Paypal account directly into another Paypal account.

A money transfer company

There are an overwhelming amount of money transfer companies out there – some older but trustworthy, and others newly emerging in the technological, app-age. In general, these companies are your best option when transferring larger amounts of money (anything between $1000 – $1,000,000NZD). Different companies will have various minimum and maximums set, and the transfer itself will usually take around 1 business day longer than banks or Paypal.

You will need to create an account with the company before sending the money – you can do this online:

  • Register your details on the website – you will likely need I.D handy
  • Account needs to then be approved, and you’ll get your login details
  • Enter the bank details of where you are sending the money i.e. the ‘Beneficiary’ or ‘Recipient’
  • You will get a quote based on the fees and exchange rate for sending the money
  • If you are happy, confirm the details including the given rate.

Information you’ll need for the transfer

You’ll need the details of the bank account you are sending the money to i.e. the Beneficiary or Recipient details. These details will be:

  • Account name of your Recipient
  • Their address
  • Their SWIFT code

SWIFT codes

Swift codes for the biggest banks in India:

ICICI Bank Limited : ICICINBB

State Bank of India : SBININBB380

Punjab National Bank : PUNBINBB

Canara Bank : CNRBINBB

  • TIP: Double check all of the details you have inputted are correct. Indian banks are notoriously picky, and will reject a payment if the details are not correct.

General Information for Sending Money to India

There are pros and cons to every method of payment you choose. Paypal and money transfer companies like Western Union (who offer cash pick-up) are your fastest options, with transfers being completed within minutes. Paypal will not offer a competitive exchange rate, like Western Union, but it is arguably a lot more convenient. Banks will take 1-2 business days and other money transfers companies will take roughly 2-3 business days.

Do check the details of your chosen method, as all will have their own restrictions, fees and charges. Banks and Paypal will not have a minimum amount, but most money transfer companies will so do check before you send.

Case Study

Arjun moved to Canada with his company 10 months ago, and has been living in Toronto ever since. Although he loves his job and his house, he misses his wife and son back home in New Delhi, India.

As Arjun earned enough throughout his career, his wife never worked. Now the time has come for his son to start university. Arjun needs to send funds home monthly to help support them and pay for his son’s tuition fees. When Arjun first arrived in Canada, he opened up a bank account, but quickly realised that the exchange rate he was receiving for international payments meant that his wife and son were not receiving the amount he was sending.

Luckily, his colleague recommended he use a money transfer company. With some companies, you can set up regular payments with them at a better exchange rate and low fees. Arjun now sends a monthly payment to his home through OFX at a favourable exchange rate and low fees, meaning both his wife and son are supported and comfortable back at home.

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