Whether you're sending money to India for personal or business reasons, avoiding the banks is a good first step. Research by the ACCC verifies that the big four banks normally charge higher fees compared to specialized money transfer providers, which tend to provide more favorable INR exchange rates.
Based on the companies we've compared, Revolut is among the cheapest, with competitive exchange rates and fees starting from $0. Need a really fast transfer? Instarem can get money to your recipient in India within minutes.
The best way to transfer money depends on your payment method, how you want your money to be received and how fast you need it to arrive.
Bank transfers are typically the cheapest way to get your money to India. Revolut and TorFX have some of the lowest bank transfer fees of the brands we've compared.
When you're hunting down the cheapest ways, it's more important to look at the overall cost of your transfer. This has a couple of elements:
Some providers may charge the mid-market rate but add fees on top. Others may have low fees but apply a markup on the exchange rate. Also, make sure to use a provider registered with AUSTRAC. Every provider we compare comply with the relevant laws in Australia and India.
Actual transfer times from Australia to India can depend on several different factors including transfer amount, payment method and currency.
Here are some of the fastest average transfer speeds to India:
If you're making a sizable money transfer to India, consider using a provider such as TorFX or OFX to secure a better INR exchange rate and benefit from its expertise handling larger transactions.
Using a large transfer specialist can have the following advantages:
To send money to India, you'll need the necessary documentation, your recipient's details and a way to pay.
Revolut is our favourite app, providing great rates on smaller transfers and the UX is as user-friendly as they come. You can transfer up to $2,000 per month fee-free on the standard plan, so it's suited for small, regular transfers. Also, Revolut doesn't apply a transfer limit on most major currency pairs. Outside of money transfers, Revolut supports extra services such as travel money cards, crypto and share trading.
Why we picked Revolut for small transfers:
If you're sending more than $5,000 in a single transaction, we advise using a reputable provider with low exchange rate markups, good coverage and no transfer limits. OFX is just the type of service as they offer fee-free transfers above $10,000 and have been in business since 1998.
You'll get access to an account manager and forex tools to hedge your currency risk. In 2022, OFX won Finder's customer satisfaction award, 100% of users said they would recommend the company to a friend. Despite the positives, OFX can't compete with Revolut or Wise for transfers under $2,000 and only support bank transfers.
Why we picked OFX for large transfers:
It was neck and neck in the transfer speed race but Instarem narrowly beat Wise to take top spot. As the name suggests - it specialises in making fast transfers.
With Instarem you can expect your money to arrive at your destination within minutes or on the same day. The delivery time varies depending on the currencies involved. But if you want to ensure an early arrival, pay with your debit or credit card for an almost instantaneous transfer.
Why we picked Instarem for fast transfers:
Established in 1851, Western Union is a brand synonymous with international money transfers. With over 500,000 locations around the world, they've built a massive network to serve their customers. Western Union provides a convenient way to transfer money, have flexible transfer options and support a large number of countries. If you need to send cash to someone without a bank account, Western Union is among our top choices.
Why we picked Western Union for cash pickup:
If you're doing business overseas, a service with fair exchange rates and perks like loyalty points could be an appealing option. Qantas is also powered by Airwallex and claims to be up to 70% cheaper than big banks.
Where they stand out is their Business Rewards program, you can earn 1 Qantas Point every $10 AUD equivalent on FX conversions. These points can be later redeemed to save money on hotels, flights, and other purchases. Should only take 1-3 business days to open an account if you have everything in order.
Why we picked Qantas for business transfers:
The Australian dollar has been on the decline against major currencies for most of 2023. After beginning the year at 56.40 INR, it climbed to a high of 58.40 INR in late February and is now hovering around the 53 - 55 INR mark. The Indian Rupee had a tough year in 2022 and was one of the worst performing currencies in Asia.
Market analyst, Bartosz Sawicki is forecasting the Indian Rupee might decline as much as 3% to 5% by the end of 2023 against the Australian dollar. Despite this, Sawicki believes the INR is undervalued and has more potential in the long-term.
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