It isn’t easy working out the best way of sending money to India from Singapore. There are many options available to you so the choice can be overwhelming. This guide has been designed to help you navigate these options so that you can find the most cost-effective and efficient way to make money transfers to India.
What will this guide cover?
This guide will cover reasons why you might transfer money and the options to transfer money to India:
- 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 Singapore to India
You can set up a personal transfer from Singapore to India through a number of methods:
You can use your bank:
Using your bank will appear to be the most convenient and secure way to send money internationally. While it is convenient, it will not be the cheapest option with uncompetitive exchange rates and nasty fees. Additionally, not many Singaporean banks will support INR. They can always transfer in US dollars if you need them to.
Money transfer companies:
This method is preferable. These companies will offer you a better exchange rate and lower fees. Here are some providers that transfer money from Singapore to India are:
All companies have similarities and offer competitive rates, but our recommendation is TorFX for great exchange rates between SGD to INR.
Transferring for business between Singapore and India
If your business is transferring money between Singapore and India, there are two critical things you must consider to find the best option:
- The exchange rate margin: This is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate that you’d find on google or XE and the rate you actually get for the transfer.
- Additional business products they offer such as forward exchange contracts, foreign currency accounts and limit orders.
You can use your bank or any of the money transfer specialists we suggested above. Remember that the larger the amount you’re sending, the more important the exchange rate becomes. For business transfers between Singapore and India, we like HiFX. They have competitive rates and an attractive fee structure. Additionally, they offer foreign currency accounts. This is handy if you want to hold the funds in INR before converting it at a time that suits you better.
Buying or selling property in India
It can be stressful buying and selling property. Even if you’re not trying to do it overseas. You might be looking to buy a property in India, or have sold your property in India and needing to send the money back to Singapore. Either way, we recommend that you look for a provider that has a strong presence in both countries. This will give you the support you need throughout the process.
For property settlements, the amount you will be sending will most likely be large. This means, you want to make sure you get a good exchange rate for your transfer. Our choice would be OFX for property settlement transfers.
Tuition fees, regrettably, aren’t getting any cheaper. And if you’re studying abroad additional living costs can add to your overall expenses. You may need to transfer money to and from overseas to fund your study. As these payments can be large, you need to know the best method of payment before moving your funds.
- For larger payments, the most important factor to keep in mind is the exchange rate.
- For smaller payments, you should keep an eye on the transfer fees as these can really impact how much your transfer costs you proportionately.
There are many methods of transferring funds abroad, but we would suggest Transferwise. It has a great user-friendly app. 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, and the way you are sending and receiving the funds. The most common fees are as follows:
- A transfer fee
- Exchange rate margin: the different you will pay between the wholesale exchange rate on xe.com and the rate you will actually get
- Bank fees: The fees that you bank will charge for sending the money to the correct account overseas.
- Receiving bank fees: The fees the receiving bank will charge you for converting into the correct currency.
Sending money to India: What are your options?
There are various methods of sending money to India:
Via your bank
There is no doubt that using your bank is an easy way to go about international transfers. They can normally send the money successfully within 3-5 business days depending on your bank. Generally, banks will have uncompetitive exchange rates though 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 is a very popular way of sending money to India. It is by far the quickest with transfers sometimes being completed within minutes. It can be a good option for smaller amounts under $1000SGD and is especially handy if you’re transferring to someone who also has a PayPal account. The exchange rate will pretty much be on par with the banks but their fees are slightly more favourable.
A money transfer company
This is our preference for sending money overseas due their competitive rates, low fees and security. In general, these companies are your best option when transferring larger amounts of money. That is anything between $1000 – $1,000,000SGD. Different companies will have various minimum and maximum transfer amounts set so keep that in mind when choosing who to register with. The transfers themselves will take about a business day or so longer than 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 need I.D handy for this.
- Account needs to then be approved, and you’ll receive your login details.
- Enter the bank details of where you are sending the money, that is, the ‘Beneficiary’ or ‘Recipient’
- You will get a quote based on the fees and exchange rate for sending the money.
- Once you’re happy with the quote provided to you, you can confirm the transfers and fund it from your local account.
Information you’ll need for sending money to India
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 for the biggest banks in India:
- TIP: Make sure you double check all of the details you provide are correct. Indian banks are notoriously picky, and will reject a payment if the details are not correct.
Each method of money transfer has its own benefits and downfalls. For fast transfers, PayPal and Western Union are the speediest options. They can sometimes complete transfers within minutes. Banks are the most convenient option as you already have your account set up. None of these options however save you money, utilising a money transfer specialist requires a little more work and can take a day or so longer, but you will without a doubt save money.
It’s important to 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 transaction amounts, but most money transfer companies will.
Arjun has been living in Singapore since he moved here with his company a year ago. He deeply misses his parents who are living back home in Bangladesh. He regularly sends money home to them.
Arjun’s younger brother is about to start university, and Arjun wants to help his parents pay the tuition for him. While Arjun has a Singaporean account set up, he realised when he arrived that if he used his bank to send the funds home he was losing money in the poor exchange rate and high fees he was being charged.
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 parents and brother are supported.
To read about transferring money between Singapore and China, you can read The Currency Shop’s article here.