As a NRI, you may find several reasons to send money to India at some point while living abroad. Whether you're sending money to friends and family or transferring funds overseas to manage finances back home, there are multiple ways to send money to India. Listed below are some of the options you have to transfer money to India as a NRI.
Online Bank Account Transfer (ACH Transfer)
Cashier's Checks, Money Orders, and Bank Drafts
Money Transfer Companies
Email Money E-mail money transfer is an online money transfer. There are no extra charges associated with this type of money transfer. It is like a bank to bank transfer but here the sender does not need to have the receiver's bank information. The sender has to log on to his bank's website and fill a form. The form does not ask for too many details and the sender has to give the receiver's e-mail id and answer a security question. The sender shares the answer to the security question only with the receiver. An e-mail is sent by the bank to the receiver and in order to validate his identity, the receiver has to answer the security question correctly. If he does answer correctly, he will be forwarded to his bank's website, asked for the details of his account, and complete the transaction. This process takes a day if the receiver's bank is in the list provided by the sender's bank. If not, then the transaction takes 3-5 days. Most people mistakenly assume that e-mail money transfer is not secure. No sensitive information is shared over the e-mail. If the e-mail goes to the wrong recipient, he or she will need the correct answer to the security question to access the money. The name e-mail transfer just signifies that the initiation and notification of the money transfer is done via e-mail.
ACH stands for Automated Clearing House, which is a network that coordinates electronic payments and automated money transfers. ACH is a way to move money between banks without using paper checks, wire transfers, credit card networks, or cash. If you own a US bank account you can use it to send money online. Once your bank account is verified, you can send money anytime to India. Since there is a risk involved with this payment option, remittance companies only allow you to send small amounts each transfer. The money usually takes 3-4 working days to reach your beneficiary in India. ACH transfer is recommended for regular transfers due to minimal or to no associated bank charges. Besides the lack of extra costs, visit banks, or sending checks associated with ACH transfer, it helps you save time and money.
Online Transfer is the easiest way to send money. All you need is an internet connection and use of local banking services to transfer money to an account in India. You will need information including the name and address of the account holder or the recipient, information about the financial institution the money is being sent to, and the IBAN or SWIFT code of the recipient bank. This method is especially recommended if you do regular transfer of funds. You can avoid the steep banking charges and the transaction can be done from the comfort of your home.
Wire Transfer is one of the most common ways to make international money transfer. The sender has to go to an institution like bank or other agencies or branches of agencies like Western Union, Xoom, or Remit2India, and send the money. The wire transfer facility gathers information from the sender about the recipient and recipient's bank or some other facility where the money needs to be sent. After the information is acquired from the sender, the sender institution initiates the wire transfer, and sends the message to the receiving institution. This process takes a few days.
All of these options may be purchased through a bank. Although there are fees to purchase, they are much less expensive than wire transfer fees. With cashier’s checks, money orders, and bank drafts, you purchase the amount you want to send in the currency of the country the recipient is in, in this case, India.
With money orders and bank drafts, be sure to make a copy of the money order or draft for your records. This form of money transfer is traceable in case checks or drafts don't reach the destination. They are more economical albeit time-consuming.
Money transfer companies offer a variety of money transfer services, including options to send money to India. They offer a secure, fast, and inexpensive means of sending money from the US to India and often come with many benefits such as better exchange rates, lower transfer fees, and excellent customer service. There are many money transfer companies to choose from and you can select the company most suitable for you based on their exchange rates, fees, and other features.
For a list of reputable money transfer companies, view our suggested list
Want more money transfer tips and different ways to send money to India?
With any money transfer method, be sure to obtain receipts of your transactions. In case of any delays or errors in your transactions when sending money to India, you can always contact the bank or money transfer company for assistance.
Each of these methods varies in their fees and transaction process. You can research the best method for you by comparing exchange rates, transfer fees, and processing time to select the money transfer option that best fits your needs.
Some of these methods also work for sending money abroad to other countries, and not only India.