The best way to send money to India using Online Money Transfer services
With the corporate world turning into a global village, there are people of multiple ethnicities working under the banner of the big guns.
Among the multitude of these employees, Indians do find a special place.
Now, when you are working abroad you might invariably want to send money to India (your home country) for obvious reasons.
If you are someone who is just newly employed abroad or someone who is headed to a foreign country for work reasons, you might have to understand a few things about the money transfer.
Being on top of these things ahead of time would be a great time saver when you go abroad.
Here are some details (a checklist if you will) that will help ensure you send your money safely to India without much hassle:
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10 Checklists to Send Money to India:
1.) Find the Service You Want To Use:
If you would like to send money to India, you need to find the service you want to use.
You can use money transfer apps that will help you send money to an Indian bank, or you could send money to a transfer office where the money will be picked up.
You could also send your money to a debit card or credit card of a bank that has a tie-up with the service.
Now, you have to consider the place you hail from before choosing a service:
- If you are from a rural area, chances are very few agencies might actually have transfer offices nearby.
- It shouldn’t be that people travel 200 kilometers (140 miles?) every time you transfer money just so you are getting a good deal on the exchange rate or on the transfer cost.
This means that where you or your folks live in India plays a major role in selecting the type of transfer service.
If you, by chance, come from a rural background, chances are you would be left with fewer options but to go for the big guns Western Union for example.
If, on the other hand, your house is in an urban locality in a metropolitan city, you can afford to try out different options.
And also you need not compromise any parameter like the exchange rate or the convenience fee charged.
Once you have determined which service you would like to use, you can move on to the next step for your transfer.
2.) How Much Money Do You Want To Send?
Firstly, you need to know how much money you absolutely need to send per week. Arrive at a lower denominator.
This will then allow you to select the service which will operate in this said limit.
As you might have heard, the higher the limit the higher the fees the service provider collects.
However, you need to consider circumstances where you might be investing or sending money at a regular interval for the construction of a house or the purchase of a car.
You have to check if the said transfer service can accommodate the surge in funds in the said period, which most Service Providers do at an added cost.
Secondly, decide if it is a bank or a transfer service. It definitely helps if this is a bank and you can open an account here and back home.
If that is not possible or if that option is a costly affair, you could always go back to that transfer service.
You can send money to India according to the limits that have been set by the service.
Because of this, you should ask the company or bank how much they will allow you to send in a day and per week and per month.
Now, before transferring the entire amount you would like to send, it is always a good practice to send small sums of money on weekends and weekdays.
This can help you to understand the trends such as the exchange rates, the fees, the spread (covered later in the article) and all other factors involved.
Thus, you can save money in the online money transfer process by avoiding those involving a cost.
3.) What Is the Cost Involved?
You can be sure that the total cost that covers the transfer of money is different for two different companies.
Now, the cost could be coming from different quarters such as the cost of the transaction, the cost of currency conversion, and the cost of the ride from your home to the bank and back.
It also includes loss of pay which means do you need to take a leave on the said day of withdrawal from the bank or the money transfer company.
To put it in trade terms, the total cost involved comprises 2 components: fees and the spread.
Most people let the spread component go without understanding much about it. So what is this ‘spread’?
The Spread is the difference between the actual mid-market rate and the rate you end up paying for the said transaction.
- Let’s say you want to move $5000 from Australia to Canada with the exchange rate of around $1 (Australian) = $1 (Canadian).
- After the transfer, you withdraw $500 from a Canadian ATM, the charge will total $8: $4 Bank fee and another $4 ATM fee.
- If you look closely, this translates as $0.94 (Canadian) for every $1 (Australian) which is, to put it bluntly, a bit unfair.
- The 6 cents on the dollar is what you call the spread. In other words, your bank is charging you a 6% spread.
- Now, add the ATM cost to the spread and what do you have: $8+$30=$38 and this for every $500.
Now calculate for $5000 and you will see that you would have lost $380 on spread and fees. How do you work around this? Read the forthcoming paragraph.
4.) How Is The Money Transferred?
Like all reality shows, the answer to that question is saved for last.
You can transfer money to a checking account, savings account, credit card, or debit card.
You need to ask the bank or transfer company which accounts they can send the money to India, and you should ask if each transfer style has its own fee.
Plus, the duration of the transfer might change based on the type of account you are using.
You will get a receipt for the transfer, and you should use that receipt to track the transfer.
You can send the receipt number to the person who is supposed to pick up the money.
Now, to the pressing question of reducing the total cost on the money transfer: international wire transfers greatly help you reduce the cost.
While you understand that the cost for the said transfer initially was $380, you can reduce it to around $320-$325 by opting for the said international wire transfer.
The spread has actually risen to a minimum of 5% from 2.5% previously in the recent past.
5.) Where Is The Money Picked Up?
Now, you might be wondering what about the spread and other costs when you transfer money to India, the rates are hardly going to change.
If you replace the dollar value with your currency’s exchange rate, the final value that you arrive at will probably be the correct total cost of the said transfer.
If you are sending money to India, the money may need to be picked up at an office that offers cash.
There are several offices in India that you could direct your friends and family to, and you should let the transfer company know that the recipient will use that particular office.
Bank branches, transfer company offices, and offices within larger stores could be used to pick up the cash.
Like was mentioned before, it makes a lot of sense to send it across to cities that have banks and transfer facilities.
You could get your close relatives or friends to withdraw the sum, only if you trust them of course, and send it across to your destination account.
Tell your friends and family that they need to bring ID with them to pick up the money, and you should check with the transfer company to make sure that the money was picked up by the proper person.
6.) Use An App Instead Of Going Into An Office:
If you have chosen a service to transfer money, you can use their app to make the transfers happen faster.
These apps tell you everything that you need to do, and they offer information about the transfer that will make it easier to complete.
However, be sure to take the following precautions:
6.1.) Downloading and Installing Apps:
Be careful while downloading other apps and allotting the said apps permissions.
If you give them permission to share the data of other apps already installed, the banking information might easily be poached.
Do not install any app that seems even remotely shady and observe both the permissions and the reviews of the said apps before installing.
If the number of downloads is less than 100,000 and if there is no clear information about permissions obtained from the user, please do NOT install the said app.
6.2.) Delete/Disable Profile:
This is the imminent danger of going for the mobile phone option.
If your mobile phone is stolen, then you would have to delete or disable your profile for online transactions.
Now, you have to be diligent enough to go online and disable it immediately.
Trouble occurs if your bank does not offer that and has you calling the customer care frantically, an extremely frustrating exercise to put it lightly.
3.) Selling your phone:
While you sell your phone, especially those trading in a previous version of Apple for the latest one, ensure you reset and delete all apps.
There are talks of data recovery options on every phone so be sure to change credentials even if you have reset your passwords on the phone.
6.4.) Log off every time:
Extending your reprehensible laxity to banking will lead to unfavorable circumstances, which, needless to say, should be avoided at all costs.
Even insurance cannot cover careless behavior on your part. So, ensure you log off every time, especially when you have a moody teenager of a son or daughter at home.
Jokes apart, it is always safe to log out every time you are done transacting with many people using your phone at home.
Even otherwise, it is a good practice that will extend to transactions on other machines like your PC or Mac books.
6.5.) Anti Virus:
A good anti-virus goes a long way into protecting your data and ensuring your peace of mind.
Brands like Kaspersky Internet security are super effective.
What’s more, they even offer you a trial of 30 days and unsubscribing before the period gets done still ensures 30 days of protection.
7.) Check The Exchange Rate:
Here again, the spread plays an important role. An unfair ‘spread’ might seem to reduce the exchange rate.
Notice how you got only $0.94 on the dollar when you were supposed to get $1.
It might help if you know someone in the stock market because that friend can tell you when you are going to get the best exchange rate and you can schedule the transfers accordingly.
Also, be aware that exchange rates see changes at a given time in a day. This might be a couple of hours and you would do well for yourself to understand when this slot is.
Now, you could get acquainted by sending a small amount as a trial and see how much of deductions have happened.
You could follow this up by another trial where you are expecting the exchange rate to go up after that discussion with your friend who works at Wall Street.
And then another trial when you are expecting the exchange rate to go down.
Now, you would have arrived at an optimal point of time and place where and when you can transfer x amount and be assured that at least y will reach the destination.
While following these tips, do check out the website of the provider and do some background checks.
Ask around and see how many people have availed their service at your workplace or in your neighborhood.
You could also ask your uncle or aunt when they come home for thanksgiving or generally, the holidays of the said year.
This time might be when you finally come around to asking about your missing Teddy Aunt Polly gave to her daughter Emma because she was little and wouldn’t stop crying at your home.
While you’re at it, do ask about the money transfer, how much it cost then and how much it is costing now?
You would be surprised at the amount of knowledge your relatives might have about the entire process.
You would most likely end up trading notes on money transfer hacks and technological hacks respectively.
Nothing like a little discussion of money or better, its transfer, to bring a family together, right?
You might have realized that this article not only addresses those folks in the States, Canada or Europe trying to send money to India but addresses those located anywhere trying to send money across to any location in the world.