How To Transfer Money UK to India – 17 options compared
Here in this post, I will be comparing 17 different options to transfer money from the UK to India. Let me tell you that all these options are reliable and include government-approved banks and online remittance companies. how to transfer money uk to India
I have personally checked their reviews online, Trustpilot, google play, AppStore, etc. So here are I am comparing the exchange rate, time period and charges if any if you want to send 1000 GBP to India.
These options are broadly classified into two categories
- Online remittance companies (11 Companies)
- Banks (6 Banks)
In this ranking, I have put the cheapest option first followed by less cheapest. I am performing this check on 11th June 2020 and the real-Time rate for GBP to INR is 96.54
Why Transfer Money from India to UK
A large number of Indians have migrated to other countries in order to earn money or have a better growth or career opportunities. As per the United Nations, there are more than 17.5 million Indians living abroad. Nepal has the largest NRI population with more than 6 million Indians residing in different parts of Nepal. Apart from Nepal, USA has the largest Indian population with around 4.4 million Indians (Ministry of external affairs, India).
Indians residing abroad strong connections with their origin country and it is no surprise that Indian financial companies and banks are able to gain more business from NRI accounts of people living abroad, due to the high economic standards there.
RBI Rules On Money Transfer
RBI’s Liberalized Remittance Scheme (also known as LRS) allows resident individuals (Indian nationals and expatriates) to remit foreign exchange of a maximum of US$250,000 (or equivalent) per Indian financial year. Resident individuals can usually send foreign exchange overseas for one of the following purposes:
- Overseas education expenses
- Medical treatment
- Care for a close relative
- Emigration fees
- Visa fees
- International visits for private purposes
The individual needs to hold an appropriate account at an RBI authorised dealer, generally a bank having international branches. He or she needs to designate a specific branch of the particular bank, using which he or she will be making all foreign exchange remittances under the LRS. The individual can also make overseas remittances through an entity which is not a bank (but has appropriate permission from the RBI to deal in foreign exchange), but the remittance has to be funded from a bank.
Earlier, it was not necessary to produce PAN card for money transfer transactions abroad up to USD 25,000 or its equivalent. However, in April 2018, this rule was amended. Now, it is mandatory to produce the PAN card for all remittance transactions from India to Abroad regardless of the amount being transferred. This is to ensure that a resident individual is being compliant to the LRS limit of USD 2,50,000 in a single financial year.
What Are The Options
There are many ways you can use to send money from abroad to India or otherwise. These are
- Demand Draft
- Transfer Via International Beneficiary
- Transfer Using Forex Card
- Using Online Remit Service from Banks
- Online Remittance companies
Now, let me tell that sending money using a Demand Draft or International Beneficiary is not a good option. As it may takes longer time and due to elevated exchange rate, you will end up loosing a good amount of money.
Transferring using Forex card can be a better option as if you opt for a Forex card then you do not have to pay for the cross-currency fees which banks usually charges if the transfer is via a debit card or credit card. You can load your forex card in the currency you want to send and then transact the same currency. But again, the loading and reloading of forex card can have additional charges and also the exchange rate of Forex card will be little expensive then the other two options.
In recent years, several banks have started the online remittance services. The process is not that lengthy as 2–3 years earlier, but again the problem is with the bad exchange rate. If you opt for a bank to transfer the money you may need to open a bank account, visit the bank to do this transfer.
The last option using the online remittance companies is the best option. The entire process is online and you will see that the exchange rate is much better than banks. As the market has become competitive, there are fierce competition among them which has resulted in a good exchange rate. Sometimes the exchange rate is almost the same as the real exchange rate you would find in Google or Xe.
What To Look Out For
There can be many reasons for you to transfer money from the UK to India – living expenses, college fees, business purposes. So depending on your requirements, you shall also look out for the below criteria when using an online remittance
- Reliability – How reliable is the money transfer service, you are choosing?
- Speed – How soon do you need it to get there? You may end up paying more if speed is a priority.
- Exchange rate – Are you getting the best rate or are you paying more for convenience or speed?
- Hidden Fees – Are you paying more than you should? Sending money using a debit or credit card may have fees attached.
- Convenience – How easy was the experience from start to finish? Could you do it online or did you have to go to a location to complete the transfer? Is there an app that makes it even easier?
- Tracking – Are you be able to track the process online? Or you need to call the customer care or visit the branch
Sending Money Then Vs Now
Sending money internationally was a daunting task earlier. It used to take multiple visits to banks, waiting for hours, arranging documents and then after everything is fine, it would take 3–4 days for the money to be sent. But thankfully, this is not the case anymore, now this process has become convenient and affordable and you can complete the process in 2–3 minutes, without comprising the security.
Banks had been one of the most reliable ways to send money. But there are many disadvantages to choosing banks
- inflated exchange rate
- takes longer to process
- high fees – while sending and/or receiving
- requires more documentation
Because of these issues, people have now shifted to online remittance companies. There are now plenty of online companies that offer very attractive exchange rates and joining offers.
Process For International Money Transfer
The money transfer process in online remittance companies are quite simple and mostly follow these steps
- Create an account (Email, PAN card, Passport may be required)
- Provide bank information of receiver
- Transfer the amount using bank transfer/credit card/debit card
Comparison – Sending Money from India to the UK
Now let’s compare if you would send 1,00,000 INR from India to the UK. All of these options below are reliable and had been in this business for years. Let’s see the final amount you would receive if you use them
1 – Transferwise (Avail Offer on Transfer Fee)
TransferWise is an online money transfer service, which lets you transfer money up to eight times more cheaply than with a bank. It is one of the most popular apps/sites and has the highest customer satisfaction ratings on Google play and Trustpilot. TransferWise was founded in 2010 by two financial gurus and its system is beautifully simple. It bypasses pricey international payments entirely by using two local transfers instead of one international transaction.
Is Transferwise Reliable?
Google Play Ratings
It is also one of the fastest growing online remittance companies (more than 7 million customers) having more than 50% over last few years. You would see that their profit has not increased as much as their revenue. This is because the company is expanding and growing its customer base, and another most important thing is its attractive exchange rate and low transfer fees as compared to its peers.
How Transferwise Works?
Transferwise works in three different steps (in this case, India to UK transfer)
- You send money from your Indian bank to their Indian bank
- Transferwise transfers money from their Indian bank to their UK bank
- Transferwise sends money from their UK bank to your UK bank
For safety purposes, Transferwise might ask to verify your address when you use TransferWise. They are a financial institution and it helps them combat money laundering, and keep everyone’s money safe.
Now let me show you where does Transferwise stand when you compared it with other options for sending money from India to the UK. There is a current offer going on Transferwise for relaxation on Transfer Fee. So you can avail of this offer by following the link I shared above. Using this you would see no transfer fee is charged on the low transfer amount and the reduced transfer fee at a large amount.
How much can I send?
You can send up to 1.5 million GBP per transfer to a private individual. You can send up to 15 lakhs per day to businesses. However, the minimum amount is 20,000 INR.
How long does it usually take for the money to arrive?
Once TransferWise receives and converts your money, it usually takes 1 working day to arrive in your recipient’s bank account. Conversion can take up to 2 working days. The first transfer can take longer time but the successive transfer is usually quicker.
TransferWise is an online account that lets you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally. With a TransferWise account, you can send money abroad, get paid in other currencies, and spend abroad on the TransferWise debit Mastercard. This is a Great money transfer service (8.8/10) recommended by Monito. TransferWise is highly reputable and trusted by more than 7 million customers (10/10), has a very high number, and percentage of customer reviews on TrustPilot (9/10), offers competitive rates (8.8/10), and is very easy to use (8/10).
TransferWise mobile apps review – TransferWise mobile apps have great ratings on Apple’s App Store (4.7/5 stars on 19,300 ratings) and Google’s Play Store (4.4/5 on almost 80,000 ratings). According to TransferWise customers, the app is “an invaluable tool for anyone moving money internationally”.
TransferWise fees and exchange rate – TransferWise is an innovative international money transfer provider that is often dubbed the “Robin Hood” of the money transfer industry. They focus on making bank transfers more affordable than traditional banks by charging low and transparent transfer fees and converting money at the true mid-market exchange rate. In other words, there’s zero markup on the exchange rate. (As a comparison, banks usually give customers an above-market rate, the margin is part of their fees and in general, they are not transparent about this.)
Most currencies supported by TransferWise offer one option: a bank transfer from one bank to another. For some currencies, you can pay with debit and credit cards or use a SOFORT transfer option. Apple Pay or Android Pay is also available for certain currencies via TransferWise iOS and Android apps. In most cases, the recipient will get the money within one to two business days.
- Cheap because of the real-time middle-market exchange rates.
- Convenient (online or in-app), no visit to the branch required
- The minimum payment amount is £2 (or the equivalent in other currencies).
- The maximum payment amount is £1 million.
- Lock-in rate available for 24-72 hours
- Highest customer rating on all platforms – Google Play, TrustPilot, Monito, etc.
- The first transfer can take 2-3 business days
- A large amount of money may require to verify the address.
- A credit card may not always be approved
- Not all countries are included, for example – India-China, Israel-India, etc.
- No flexibility on margins for larger transfers.
2 – Currency Fair
CurrencyFair is rather unique through its P2P platform and offers huge savings on international transfers compared to banks and compare very well with other similar services. It is quite simple. With CurrencyFair, you can choose your own exchange rate in their peer-to-peer marketplace as long as another user (transferring in the other direction) matches or accepts your rate.
- Inexpensive options available for both individuals & businesses
- Great control over each step (if desired)
- Two low-cost options to exchange & send money: match FX rates with peers or send money with CurrencyFair’s best rates (matches the mid-market rate)
- Not available in the US
- Limited number of currencies supported (21)
- Can only transfer into bank accounts (mobile wallets not supported)
3 – InstaReM
Headquartered in Singapore, InstaReM is a leading digital payments solutions provider across Southeast Asia, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas. InstaRem Logo With InstaReM, individuals and businesses can make low-cost money transfers to 55+ countries. InstaReM also offer customers Zero-Margin FX Rates and Best Transfer Amount Guarantee.
For its business clients, InstaReM offers MassPay – an international business payments platform that allows them to send single and bulk payments using the same web, file and API interfaces to over 60 countries in multiple currencies.
- Low transfer fees between 0.25% and 1%
- No extra margins to exchange rates & guaranteed best transfer amount
- Complete transparency and absolutely no hidden charges
- InstaPoints – loyalty points to redeem against transactions
- Dedicated customer support team
- Coverage: No presence in the Middle East and Africa
- Unable to send money to or from New Zealand
- Account activation can take longer than promised
- They don’t accept credit card
- 24/7 support doesn’t extend to personal financial advice
4 – TransferGo
Launched in 2012, TransferGo is an online-only money transfer company that is based in the UK. As is the case with most money transfer startups, the founders claim that they went into business with the view of revolutionizing the slow, expensive and cumbersome process of transferring money overseas.
- Low Fees
- Competitive Rates
- No Limits on Bank Transfers
- Card Transfers
- Not Available in USA, Canada or Australia
- Remittance to Bank Accounts Only
Lower Limits on Card Transfers
5 – Western Union
- Low minimum transfer amount of $1.00
- Option to send money in minutes
- Transfer to a wide range of countries
- Not the cheapest option depending on transfer location
- You may need to visit the nearest branch
6 – Skrill
With the innovative solutions it offers, Skrill has gone a long way since it first started its services in 2001; capturing the global market and having some of the world’s top brands from various fields as its customer. It has become one of the most trusted names when it comes to money transfer services and payment processing.
- Wide availability in 200 countries
- Both Personal and Business options available
- Ability to work with forex and online gambling accounts
- No fixed transfer fee when you send money directly to a bank account
- Send money easily to an email address or phone number linked to a bank account
- Buy and sell crypto currency
- Offers a prepaid card powered by MasterCard
- User-friendly mobile app
- Getting fully operational can be tedious
- Complex fee structure
- High currency exchange fees for “Skrill to Skrill” international transfers
7 – RemitGuru
8 – Xend Pay
Xendpay was founded by Indian migrant and ethical entrepreneur Rajesh Agrawal. The goal of the company is to make reduce the cost of international money transfers for the millions of migrants around the world who regularly send money home.
- Competitive exchange rates.
- iPhone app. Allows transfers from iOS mobile devices.
- Limited delivery options
- Long transfer speeds. It can take up to 4 days for your recipient to receive the funds.
- No recurring payment
9 – Remitly
Remitly is a digital remittance service on a mission to make the money transfer process faster, affordable, and more transparent. It has around 2 million customers worldwide.
- Offers two money transfer options: Express and Economy
- Can send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets, cash pick up locations
- Offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee where they refund the fees if your transfer doesn’t reach on time
- Many ways to fund your transfer
- Sending large sums (above $1000) is cheaper
- Easy tracking for both senders and recipients
- Limits transfers to family (and sometimes friends; only personal transfers supported)
- Doesn’t offer a business account
- Complex fee structure
- Doesn’t support transfers between the 16 sender countries
10 – WorldRemit
More than 4,000,000 customers use our money transfer service and many of them choose to do so on our app – a faster and more convenient way to send money worldwide. We offer low fees and guaranteed exchange rates in any case, and to get started, you can now use the code 3FREE and save the fees in your first three money transfers abroad.
- Easy to Use
- Reasonable Fees
- Excellent Customer Reviews
- Worldwide network
- Fees are not clear enough
- Cash is not accepted
- Government-issued ID required
11 – AZIMO
Azimo is a convenient and simple online money transfer service provider. It is powered by a sleek website and intuitively designed mobile applications to give its customers the freedom to send to 200+ countries around the world.
- No minimum amount
- High coverage- more than 200 countries and territories
- Multi-lingual support- Russian, English, Polish, Italian, French, Romanian, Portuguese and Spanish
- Delayed refunds can take days before reflecting in your account.
- No telephone support
- Longer verification time
Banks (Indian as well as the UK banks)
3 – HSBC Bank
4 – Llyod Bank
5 – RBS Bank
6 – Barclays Bank
Final Verdict – Banks use the mid-market rate, so this shall be no surprise that they offer a lower exchange rate. Moreover, the bank uses more internal approval mechanisms, may require additional verifications, and takes a long time to send money. On the other hand, online remittance companies offer a higher exchange rate because of a competitive market and are very quick to respond.
More On Money Transfer
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