Wise (formerly TransferWise), a London-based fintech firm announced its entry into India on the 1st of June, 2021. Wise users in India would now be able to send money abroad to 44 countries around the world, including the UK, US, Singapore, Malaysia, UAE, and countries in the Eurozone.
The announcement comes after its recent partnership with Google Pay to enable users in the United States to send INR to Google Pay Users in India. "Transfers to Indian Rupees (INR) were first made available in 2013, and the company most recently enabled Google Pay users in the US to send INR to Google Pay users in India," the press release issued by Wise highlighted.
Banks are the dominant players in the Indian ecosystem. And Wise has uniquely positioned itself as a challenger to the traditional banks with its offer of favorable exchange rates and transparent fees. Wise has partnered with RBL Bank to enable Indian residents to send money internationally.
Wise has been on a partnership spree following its $5 billion valuation, making it one of Europe's most valuable fintech unicorns. Wise serves over 8 million customers worldwide and moves over $5 billion each month in cross-border payments.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data shows that remittances under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) have been growing over the years. Under the LRS, Indian residents are allowed to freely send remittances of up to $250,000 per financial year - which begins in April and ends in March of the following year.
Even during a pandemic, outward remittances from India totaled $18.75 billion in the financial year ending March 2020, with travel, paying for studies abroad, and maintenance of close relatives, accounting for over 80 percent of the total money transfers during that period, according to data from the RBI.
Kristo Kaarmann, CEO and co-founder of Wise, announced on social media that sending money out of India was one of the most requested features and they listened.