I Needed To Send Money To India – This Is What I Did… 3

I got a call over the weekend from my Father, who is currently visiting India asking me to do a money transfer to India. It should be the other way around, right? Wtf?!? Anyway, I had no idea where to start so started investigating the options to send money to India. Since it was Sunday my local bank was out of the question. So, I did what any clued up payments expert (hehehe!!) would do – i googled “send money to India”. This post outlines the send money to India options that i looked into:

Send Money to India

These are the very simple parameters that i was working within:

  • It was Sunday and i needed to send the money to India asap
  • The request was to send £1000 GBP
  • I had the details of an India based bank account number that i could transfer money to, and also a India based mobile phone number

Send Money to India via Barclays – Pingit:

My local bank is Barclays and since they were closed, i thought i would check out their Pingit app. It took me literally 5 minutes to download and set up, so i was pretty pleased about that. To transfer £1000 GBP, this is what they quoted:

  • An Indian Rupee (INR) amount of 94,500.00
  • Transfer within 2 working days
  • Transaction fee: Zero!
  • Exchange Rate * 1 GBP = 94.500 INR

Keep in mind that if i chose to do the money transfer to India at a branch or over the phone, Barclays would have charged me a whopping £25 GBP for the privilege.

Send Money to India via World Remit:

Next i tried World Remit. To transfer £1000 GBP, this is what they quoted:

  • An Indian Rupee (INR) amount of 96,460.00
  • Transfer within 2 working days
  • Transaction fee: £1.99 GBP
  • Exchange Rate * 1 GBP = 96.460 INR

Okay, getting better. Let’s see if we can do any better…..

Send Money to India via the Post  Office:

And then the good ol’ Post Office. To transfer £1000 GBP, this is what they quoted:

  • An Indian Rupee (INR) amount of 91,257.10
  • Transfer within – actually i didnt pursue this option because the above Indian Rupee transfer amount was pretty rubbish
  • Transaction fee – not sure, as above given the horrendous exchange rate i wasn’t interested
  • Exchange Rate * 1 GBP = 91.25710 INR

Note – The post office also use MoneyGram – see below.

Send Money to India via MoneyGram:

Okay, the Post Office was a bit of a disaster so next i tried MoneyGram. To transfer £1000 GBP, this is what they quoted:

  • Pick up at a agent location
  • An Indian Rupee (INR) amount of 95,618.61
  • Transfer within 10 minutes!
  • Transaction fee: £15.99
  • Exchange Rate * 1 GBP = 95.618610 INR
  • Bank account deposit
  • An Indian Rupee (INR) amount of 96,832.29
  • Transfer within 10 minutes!!!!
  • Transaction fee: £15.99
  • Exchange Rate * 1 GBP = 96.832291 INR

These guys provided a couple of options, but the transaction fee was pretty steep! And MoneyGram requires that you to go into branch, with documentation and fill out a form.

Send Money to India via Western Union:

Money transfer is what these guys do, so i was expecting big things of Western Union. To transfer £1000 GBP, this is what they quoted:

  • To a bank account
  • An Indian Rupee (INR) amount of 96,520.95
  • Transfer within either: 1-2 or 3-5 working days
  • Transaction fee: £1.90 GBP
  • Exchange rate: 1 GBP (United Kingdom Pound) = 96.5209477 INR (Indian Rupee)
  • Cash transfer – pick up at a Western Union agent
  • An Indian Rupee (INR) amount of 96,520.95
  • Transfer within either: In minutes!!!
  • Transaction fee: £4.90 GBP
  • Exchange rate: 1 GBP (United Kingdom Pound) = 96.5209477 INR (Indian Rupee)

Send Money to India via Transfer Wise:

Next i recalled writing about a company called TransferWise in the post 8 Payments Companies Disrupting the Payments Industry. These guys are shaking up the money transfer market, and pride themselves on their competitiveness compared with the traditional operators in this space. Here is how they stacked up:

  • An Indian Rupee (INR) amount of 96,381.48
  • Transfer within either: 1-2 working days
  • Transaction fee: £6.96 — note: this is included within the £1000
  • Exchange rate: 1 GBP (United Kingdom Pound) = 97.0570 INR (Indian Rupee)

This was the best deal pound for pound so far….!

Send Money to India via ICICI Bank:

By now I’m looking up some random sites and stumble across ICICI Bank. Anyone who has been to India knows that these guys are pretty big in India, so you expect that these guys will be pretty competitive. Unfortunately I found it difficult to navigate their website. The money transfer rates looked pretty good, but it was difficult to navigate the exchange rate calculator and register.

Unfortunately, that was the end of that!

Thanks for reading – Take a look around…!!

Send Money to India – What did i do?

Clearly, the best deal was provided by TransferWise. But since i needed to send the money quickly, i opted for the Western Union cash transfer option. I did end up paying a little more in the transaction fee, but it meant that my Dad had the cash within minutes. With the march towards cashless societies and economies, it sounds like very soon we’ll need to add a mobile money transfer option.

3 thoughts on “I Needed To Send Money To India – This Is What I Did…

  1. Pingback: 10 Most Popular Payments Tweets from February, 2016

  2. Reply Amandeep Singh Nov 23,2016 4:04 pm

    In the last 6 years, I have used quite a few services on your list – Transferwise, Xendpay, ICICI Money2India, WesternUnion. Finally settled on Transferwise and Xendpay which are the 2 I use most of the times however, I do some shopping around before each transfer to see who is giving the best rates.

    I used ICICI for around 3 years but then made the switch to these alternative disrupting services where I found fees was more transparent up-front, quicker transfers and better exchange rates.

    I have also written a simple guide for anyone who is making the transfer to money to India for the first time and busting all the jargons they need to know. I think this will be helpful for readers here. Link here

  3. Reply Nitin Jha Jan 27,2017 3:52 am

    I think the best way to save on money transfer is to compare remittance rates, I recently found this website –> http://exchangerateiq.com that helps you compare real time exchange rates from dozens of banks and money transfer service providers to help you get the best value for USD to INR currency conversion. You can filter results based on transfer times, best value etc. as well as see the difference in receive amount for different options.
    I mean, if we buy flights after comparison, why not also send money after comparing all available money transfer options? you can checkout for yourself and see the difference in most options.

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