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Has International Money Transfer Become Easier Today Than It Used To Be?

Updated on Mar 25, 2021
Ease of money transfers

International money transfers have a long and illustrious history of evolution. From the Biblical times to the current globalized Fintech era, it has passed through many phases of transformation. This article takes you through the evolution of money transfer, the technologies responsible for its Fintech transformation, and the remittance options available to Non-Resident Indians ("NRIs") today.

Early money transfer trivia:

  • Some of the most initial money-exchange activities date back to Biblical times, where the Byzantine Government monopolized the currency exchange trade, and money-changing became a profitable business
  • During the international banking era between the 15th and 18th centuries AD, the Italian Medici family opened the world's first trans-continental bank branches
  • Forex markets were established sometime during the 17-18th century with Amsterdam becoming its hub but, telegraphic transfers started during recent times

Recent Modes Of Money Transfer

Telegraphic Transfers

Western Union was the first company to begin telegraphic transfers in 1872. The process was cumbersome, time-consuming and expensive. The twentieth century witnessed the onset of the SWIFT era.

The SWIFT Era

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication or SWIFT established the primary benchmark for international money transfer activity in the 20th century. Today, you can send money to India "swiftly", mainly due to the world-wide SWIFT network of 10,000 member financial institutions in 212 countries. SWIFT is not a money transfer facilitator but a money transfer messaging service. Its messages carry a unique SWIFT code and ensure secure money transfers across the world.

Current Era

Today, the international money transfer revolution is being revolutionized by the Fintech sector. Wire Transfers use the SWIFT framework. International wire transfers provide another way of transferring money from one country to another with almost every financial institution offering this service with their local bank accounts. However, in most instances this service might cost more as compared to a pure money transfer service. ICICI Bank's Money2India is one such money transfer service, which helps transfer money from any bank account in the USA to any bank account in India.



Fintech: The Game-Changer

Financial technology, also known as Fintech, is an economic industry composed of companies that use technology to make financial services more efficient. Some major Fintech technologies that have transformed the remittance market are:

Blockchain

Blockchain has impacted remittances as no other technology has. This colossal digital ledger stored on the cloud maintains billions of industry-specific accounts centrally. This benefits the remitter, the receiver and the remittance agencies. The main advantages of this are:

  1. Fast and secure money transfer; the entire transaction now takes minutes and not days
  2. Easy and convenient Know-Your-Customer or KYC procedure fulfilment
  3. Almost impregnable technological architecture, hence, frauds are controlled
  4. Unmatched versatility
  5. Streamlining of intermediaries, which shortens settlement time and makes the system more efficient

Cryptocurrency is a gift of blockchain technology

What Are The Different Money Transfer Options?

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The primary options available to remitters today are:

  • Bank-to-bank Online money transfer: This is one of the best ways to send money to India, considering Indians' inherent trust in banks over other options. For instance, ICICI Bank's Money2India service offers a safe and secure mode of money transfer to India from abroad, which can be utilised by Non-ICICI Bank customers as well
  • Credit card remittances: These refer to the payment done using Credit Card balances through the online media. Although these transfers still exist, they are expensive when compared to other options
  • Payment apps: This option is rapidly gaining traction amongst Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). In particular, mobile payment apps are a great boon for NRIs whose home locations are not covered by the physical banking infrastructure

India is the world's largest remittance destination. In 2018, it received approximately USD 79 billion in international remittances. Over 30 million NRIs send money to India regularly from various countries. With a blend of established and emerging money transfer options, NRIs can now remit money to India with the assurance of safety, security and speed.

Choosing the right money transfer service can help you save both time and money when you wish to make remittances to friends and family anywhere in the world. ICICI Bank's Money2India is a low cost and trustworthy international money transfer service that lets you transfer money to India from around the world (including from the United States of America) in just a few clicks. If you are a first-time user, you need to register and submit the KYC information. Then, add the beneficiary details (friends or family in India), select the bank account you want to pay from, click confirm and off it goes - simple and effortless.

And with the Money2India Loyalty programme, you can win rewards and benefits. 

Keep the above tips in mind the next time you need to do an international money transfer and choose ICICI Bank to stay worry-free.

 

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