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How To Transfer Money From India to Germany

I have spent a considerable amount of my time in Germany as a DAAD research fellow. This was my first overseas trip and at that time I knew nothing about the money transfer. So I carried INR in my card and then used it to withdraw from ATM in Germany. The Bank gave me a low exchange rate and I also found out that they charged me a 3.5% extra fee as a cross-currency charge. So I almost lost 5–6% of the money. How To Transfer Money From India to Germany

Later I found out the different options to send money. I will be comparing these options below. I am doing this comparison on 8th July 2020. So the rates are up to date till today this date. But before that let’s know some of the regulations put by RBI on International Money Transfer or Outward/Inward Remittances.

Money Transfer From India to Germany – Tax Implications

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
  • Employment
  • 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 authorized 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 that 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 a 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 To Look Out For When Transferring Money to Germany

There can be many reasons for you to transfer money from the India to Germany – 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

  1. Reliability – How reliable is the money transfer service, you are choosing?
  2. Speed – How soon do you need it to get there? You may end up paying more if speed is a priority.
  3. Exchange rate – Are you getting the best rate or are you paying more for convenience or speed?
  4. Hidden Fees – Are you paying more than you should? Sending money using a debit or credit card may have fees attached.
  5. 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?
  6. 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 To Transfer Money From India to Germany

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

 

Options For Sending Money From India to Germany

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 you that sending money using a Demand Draft or International Beneficiary is not a good option. As it may take a longer time and due to an elevated exchange rate, you will end up losing 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 charge 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 a little expensive than the other two options.

In recent years, several banks have started 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 of using 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 is 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.

Best Way To Transfer Money From India to Germany

 

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?

 

Trustpilot Score

Transferwise TrustPilot

 

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 Germany transfer)

      • You send money from your Indian bank to their Indian bank
      • Transferwise transfers money from their Indian bank to their German bank
      • Transferwise sends money from their German bank to your German 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 Germany. 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.

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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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 – ExTravelMoney (India to Germany)

ExTravelMoney is an online aggregator for foreign exchange services in India. Launched in December 2014, ExTravelMoney claims to have tie-ups with more than 4,000 foreign exchange outlets across India, so their customers can get the best rates.

Since ExTravelMoney acts as an aggregator for foreign exchange providers, they display rates from reputed forex providers located in the area of your choosing. For example, if you would like to transfer money from Mumbai, you can filter the search results to show providers in different locations in Mumbai.

Pros

  • Get access to a wide range of foreign exchange providers in your preferred location.
  • Get access to competitive exchange rates and low fees since there are multiple providers competing to serve you.
  • Lock in an exchange rate for 2 days by paying a refundable deposit of INR1,000.

Cons

  • A number of currencies around the world are not supported, so you may need to use an alternative provider if you’re sending a more exotic currency.
  • Must send at least US$250 (or equivalent).
  • Have to be physically present to complete the formalities for the wire transfer.

3 – Western Union (India to Germany)

Pros

  • Low minimum transfer amount of $1.00
  • Option to send money in minutes
  • Transfer to a wide range of countries

Cons

  • Not the cheapest option depending on transfer location
  • You may need to visit the nearest branch

 

4 – BookMyForex (India to Germany)

BookMyForex is a fully-fledged money changer (FFMC) licensed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It started operations in November 2012 and has tied up with major Indian banks and foreign exchange providers to offer its customers preferential rates and seamless service.

BookMyForex does not charge any fees to its users for transferring money, but there is a bank fee of INR225 and Goods and Services Tax (GST) as per Indian laws which the customer is responsible to pay.

Pros

  • You can lock the exchange rate for up to three days by paying 2% of the order amount.
  • Low transfer fees/bank charges in comparison to banks and other competing providers.
  • Foreign nationals can transfer money overseas subject to verification from BookMyForex.
  • Carry out money transfers to most countries across the world.
  • No minimum transfer amount.

Cons

  • BookMyForex does not support all currencies, so you may have to consider an alternative provider if you’re looking to transfer money in an exotic currency.
  • The entire process cannot be completed online since the partner branch must verify KYC documents. Alternately, you can opt to have the partner branch pick up the KYC documents from you (free for amounts greater than INR 50,000).

5 – Skrill (India to Germany)

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.

 

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Getting fully operational can be tedious
  • Complex fee structure
  • High currency exchange fees for “Skrill to Skrill” international transfers

6 – InstaReM (India to Germany)

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Remittance Services Provided By Indian Banks

  • State Bank of India –  SBI Express Remit (SBI)
  • HDFC Banks – HDFC Quick Remit (HDFC)
  • HSBC Bank – HSBC Remittance (HSBC Bank)
  • ICICI Bank –  Money2India (ICICI)
  • Axis Bank – RemitMoney (Axis Bank)

Best Exchange Rate Euro to INR

 

1 – State Bank of India –  SBI Express Remit

SBI is India’s largest bank which operates foreign offices network and has correspondent banking arrangements with about 600 banks worldwide. You can send and receive money internationally through SBI Express Remit. Check Exchange Rate Here.

Charges

  • For amount <= Rs.1 lakh – 0.12%
  • For amount > Rs. 1 lakh and <= Rs. 10 lakh 0.06%
  • For amount >=Rs.10 lakh – 0.012%

2 – HDFC Banks – HDFC Quick Remit

If you have an HDFC bank account, you can send money abroad with HDFC through their net banking option called RemitNow¹⁴. You can send money anywhere in the world using RemitNow, other than to countries under OFAC sanctioned countries list. Check Exchange Rate Here.

Charges

  • For amount <= Rs.1 lakh – 0.12%
  • For amount > Rs. 1 lakh – 0.06%

In addition to service tax, an education cess of 2% on the tax is also applicable. The transfer can be tracked online.

3 – HSBC Bank – HSBC Remittance 

You can use the faster and smooth transfer of money into your HSBC India account within just 2 working# days from the day of receipt of funds by HSBC India This service is offered to both Resident and Non-Resident customers of the Bank. Check Exchange Rate Here.

Charges

0.3% of value (Min. INR100, Max. INR1,500) + cable charge of 200 for same currency TT+ Applicable taxes# In case of transactions with charge type selected as ‘OUR’ (All local and overseas charges to be borne by remitter), an additional charge of INR1,200 + Applicable taxes#

4 – ICICI Bank –  Money2India

ICICI bank is one of India’s leading banks which offers international money transfer solutions to and from India. But transferring money to loved ones overseas has always been a tricky experience for many expats, especially NRIs. Many of you might’ve faced difficulties in the past with varying foreign exchange rates, money not being received on time, or spending much more than you planned. Check Exchange Rate Here.

Charges

  • Up to USD 1000 – USD 4 fee
  • Above USD 1000 – zero fees

For Euro remittance charges. You can log in to see the charges here.

5 – Axis Bank – RemitMoney (Axis Bank)

Axis Bank offers two types of transfers namely ACH transfer and Smart wire transfer. The exchange rates are based on the transfer amount which can come under the 4 or 5 slabs given. There is no remittance charge in ACH transfer. Check Exchange Rate Here.

 

Final Conclusion

I would strongly recommend going for Transferwise over other online remittance companies or banks. If you would look around the internet then you will see that Transferwise has the best satisfying customer review. I have been using Transferwise too and I am more than happy with them. Please also note that you can avail of their offer of having no transfer fee up to 500 Euro using the link I shared above which will help you save a good amount of money.

 

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