How to send money to India
How to send a fast, secure and low-cost money transfer to India from Australia.
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If you need to send money to India, all you have to do is follow a few simple steps:
- Compare some services that can change your dollars to rupees in our table below.
- Choose one that meets your needs and sign up for an account.
- Provide the details of your transfer, including the amount and who you want to send to.
- Confirm and pay. The money will be transferred to your recipient in India.
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How much does it cost to send money to India? Compare your options
Use our comparison calculator to check the fees, exchange rates and transfer speed you'll get when sending money to India.
What's the best way to send money to India?
There are three different options you can use, each with its own benefits and downsides.
Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $2,000 to India
The table below shows the costs of using a bank, making a cash transfer and using a specialist money transfer service, so you can see how much of a difference there is when sending $2,000 to India.
This table uses real fees and exchange rates, current as of 21 March 2019.
|Bank transfer||Cash transfer||Money transfer service|
|Fee||$12 + additional correspondent bank fees||$23||$2.50|
|Exchange rate||1 AUD = 46.9500 INR||1 AUD = 48.0078 INR||1 AUD = 48.7445 INR|
|Transfer speed||2-5 days||5-15 minutes||1-2 days|
Banks are usually the slowest and most expensive choice for money transfers, while cash transfers are the fastest but cost extra. Money transfer services typically have the lowest fees and best exchange rates.
How long will it take to send money to India?
Banks can take up to a week to send money to India because your money might need to be transferred between multiple banks on the way there. Cash transfers are usually the fastest and can arrive in just a few minutes. Money transfer services aren't as fast as cash transfers, but will often be faster than banks.
Emergency cash transfer
If you need to send money to India as soon as possible, cash transfers might be the best option. Your recipient will often be able to pick up the money within just a few minutes, although they cost more than other transfers.
How to send money to India without a bank account
Cash transfer services are also useful if you or the recipient doesn't have a bank account. This is because you can just pay with cash at an agent location in Australia and the recipient can pick up the cash at an agent location in India, without needing to use bank transfers.
What to watch out for
- Mind the gift tax. Transfers over 50,000 rupees (about AUD$980, depending on the exchange rate) may be subject to a gift tax. This doesn't apply for transfers to "blood relatives" (including spouses, children, grandchildren, siblings and in-laws), or money transfers that are part of a wedding gift or inheritance.
- Watch out for the tax on agent fees and commissions. When an NRI (non-resident Indian) sends money to India, a 12.36% service tax may be levied on the fees and commissions paid to money transmitting agents in India. This means that if your money transfer goes through an agent in India, it can cost more than other options. This could be most likely to apply to cash transfers.
What to compare to get the best deal
Consider the following to find the best transfer for your needs.
- Fees. How much is the transfer service charging for your remittance?
- Transfer speed. If there's a deadline for the money, make sure it's going to arrive in time.
- Payment options. Do you want to pay with cash or a credit card? You might have to look more carefully for services which let you do this.
- Delivery methods. If the recipient doesn't have a bank account, you may need to look for a cash pick-up option.
- Customer service. Is there customer service available to help you in case something goes wrong?
- Exchange rates. How many INR are you getting for your AUD? This can make an even bigger difference than the fees, especially on large transfers.
Foreign exchange rates explained
An exchange rate determines how much one country's currency is worth in another currency. When a currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it for a weaker currency.
If you want to get the best value for money, make your transfer when the AUD is strong compared to the INR.
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