Sending money to India (or anywhere in the world) has become way easier thanks to the internet, mobile phones, and progress in financial technology over the years.
With that being said, international money transfers involve transaction fees and exchange rates margins or currency conversion costs that can take away a chunk of your money. The process can also be time-consuming and stressful at times.
According to World Bank data, the average cost of sending money across international borders was 6.5% in 2020. Although the cost of sending money has fallen in recent years, it is still way above the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal of 3% per transaction by 2030.
Also, the cost varies depending on the payment method, transfer speed, the service provider, and the countries of the senders and recipients, among other factors. For example, sending money to India from any of the G20 countries on average costs just more than 3%, but it is 6% when sent to South Africa.
Luckily, there are plenty of money transfer services at your disposal, and finding the best deals that will save you money is available at your fingertips anytime and anywhere. Compare your options, shop around and find the cheapest way to send money to India.
We've put together the 7 cheapest ways to send money from the UK to India. Let's get to it.
Wise is a London-based online and mobile payment service provider offering fast, secure, and affordable international transfers. Trusted by 12 million users and counting, it is available in 59 countries, allowing money transfers to over 80 countries.
Why Should You Use Wise?
How to Send Money to India From the UK With Wise?
Check how much you can send to India from the UK with the Wise calculator.
What Is the Cost of Sending Money With Wise?
The cost of sending to India is 0.29 GBP+ 0.51% of the converted amount. The cost will vary depending on the payment method.
Some methods are cheaper but slower, while some are costly but faster. The total fees are shown upfront before your every transfer.
Wise offers the following payment methods:
Payment via bank transfer is usually the cheapest option but slower than debit or credit cards. If not in a rush, go for a bank transfer to save money.
What Is Wise Best For?
Wise is best for small transfers to the recipient's bank account because it may not be the cheapest option for large transfers (above $10,000). Wise doesn't offer cash transfers, so the recipient needs to have a bank account to receive your money.
Xe Money Transfer is a global online international foreign exchange business offering fast international money transfers to over 130 countries in more than 60 currencies. Xe provides tools to check live currency rates, view historical charts for any currency pair, set alerts for any chosen currency pair, and offer services to businesses, including currency data and payment APIs.
Why Should You Use Xe?
How to Send Money to India From the UK With Xe?
What Is the Cost of Sending Money With Xe?
As mentioned above, there is a small fee ($3) for transfers below $500 and no fees for transfers above $500. Xe doesn't charge additional fees on international money transfers.
However, since Xe uses the SWIFT messaging system for money transfers, you sometimes need to pay for third-party charges that Xe has no control over. This is generally not the case when sending money to India.
You will be able to see the fees, the send rate, and the amount receivable before confirming the transfer. Funding your transfers via credit card carries additional charges (about 1.6% of the transaction amount).
What Is Xe Best For?
Xe is known for its highly competitive exchange rates and super fast transfers to over 130 countries. Xe is ideal for large transfers because of zero fees, and for certain currencies, the exchange rate margins decrease as the transfer amount increases. May also be ideal for business transactions as Xe provides various tools that are useful for such types of transactions. But you need to register with Xe to use these tools.
Remitly is a Seattle-based online money transfer company specially created for immigrants to provide easy, affordable, and fast money transfer services. It operates in 17 countries, allowing money transfers to over 90 countries.
Why Should You Use Remitly?
How to Send Money to India From the UK With Remitly?
For Non-resident Indians, Remitly allows direct transfers to your NRE and NRO accounts. Check the Remitly's transfer limit page to know how much you send to India.
What Is the Cost of Sending Money With Remitly?
Remitly offers great exchange rates and low fees every single day. You will be able to view the rates and fees when setting up your transfers.
The two modes of transfer, namely, Express and Economy, differ in speed and fees.
Use promotional rates when you make a transfer for the first time with Remitly to save money. These rates are automatically applied when you make your first transfer. You can also get a referral reward when you refer a friend and when they use Remitly to send money to others.
Your payment method will also affect the cost of sending money. Payment via credit card carries additional charges.
What Is Remitly Best For?
Remitly is best for sending money to family and friends. With its multiple receiving options and payment methods, Remitly offers flexibility when it comes to sending money to loved ones in India.
Skrill is an online wallet platform that offers zero transfers to sending money to a bank account overseas. Based in London, it offers the option to select from 40 different currencies for international money transfers in 180+ countries directly to a bank account, mobile wallet, email address, and phone number.
Why Should You Use Skrill?
How to Send Money to India With Skrill?
What Is the Cost of Sending Money With Skrill?
Skrill does not charge any transfer fees for international transfers to a bank account. There are charges depending on the payment method. Skrill makes money on the exchange of currencies.
The exchange rate mark-up fee per transaction is up to 4.99%.
The fee for Skrill to Skrill transfer is 2.99%.
Funding by debit card, Paysafecash, and Bank transfer via Sofort/Klarna is up to 1% and up to 2.99% for payment via credit card.
What Is Skrill Best For?
Skrill is best for fast, secure, and simple transfers to a bank account overseas because of the zero transfer fees if you are looking for the cheapest way to send money to India.
Instarem is a Singapore-based digital cross-border money transfer service provider having offices and licenses in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, USA, Canada, UK, the US, and the EU. It enables users to send money to over 55 countries via its global network of over 8000 banks.
What Should You Use Instarem?
How to Send Money to India With Instarem?
What Is the Cost of Sending Money With Instarem?
Instarem fees differ depending on the sending countries and transfer corridors and vary between 0.25%-1% per transaction.
The fees are subject to change and can be viewed at any given time on their currency converter. The fees are shown upfront before every transfer.
What Is Instarem Best For?
Instarem is a popular choice for small transfers, and it is one of the most cost-effective money transfer services. You also get to accumulate loyalty points with your transactions which will save money in your next transfer when you redeem those points.
Panda Remit is a Hong Kong-based online international remittance service provider founded by Wo Transfer Limited and backed by Sequoia Capital and Light Speed, two world-renowned large investment firms.
The company was also selected for the Mastercard Start Path Program in 2020. The company has expanded globally and offers money transfers to over 30 countries.
Why Should You Use Panda Remit?
For CompareRemit users, you get cashback of 5 GBP for your first transfer and zero transfer fees for money transferred from the UK and receive the money within 24 hours.
How to Send Money to India With Panda Remit?
What Is the Cost of Sending Money With Panda Remit?
Panda Remit charges a low FX markup and lies between 0.02% to 0.62%. You can select your country/currency pairs and enter the money on Panda Remit's calculator to check the live rates of the chosen pair and see how much your recipient will get.
The payment method also impacts the cost of transfer. Payment via bank transfer costs no fees, while if you pay with a credit card, you pay fees for withdrawing money to your credit card company.
Deals and discounts further reduce the cost of your money transfer and save you more money.
What Is Panda Remit Best For?
For maximum payout for your recipient, Panda Remit is a great option because of its low FX markup coupled with promotional offers, coupons, and deals to reduce the transaction fees. Also, take advantage of the zero transfer fees to get the most of your money.
State Bank of India (UK) Limited, established in April 2018 with 12 branches across the UK, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of State Bank of India, the largest Indian Bank.
It offers a full range of products and services, including commercial lending, remittances, money transfers, Buy to let Mortgages, Cash ISAs, Safe Deposit Lockers, Instant Access Savings Accounts, Business Accounts, and Fixed Deposits.
The SBI UK's YONO app has been launched to provide users with all the banking needs on a mobile device. SBI UK is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority, regulated by FCA, and is registered in England and Wales.
Why Should You Use SBI UK?
How to Transfer Money From the UK to India With SBI UK?
SBI account holders can send money to India online from the UK through its online remittance portal or fill up the Remittance Application Form and visit the nearest SBI branch in the UK to send money to India.
Non-SBI account holders can still send money to other banks in India. It can take 2-3 days. Visit an SBI bank branch in the UK to complete the transfer and pay the additional fee.
What Is the Cost of Sending Money to India With SBI UK?
SBI account holders who maintain a minimum balance can save on transfer fees. Remittance via internet banking is free. Otherwise, it is GBP 5.00 (cash handling charge may apply)
For non-account holders, payment by debit card is GBP 20.00. There is also a limitation on how many transactions can be done over a 3 month period.
What Is SBI UK Best For?
SBI UK is best for SBI UK account holders in the UK looking for simple, quick and free money transfers to SBI accounts in India.
The best way to transfer money from the UK to India will depend on your transfer needs - whether it is speed, cost, network, payment, payout options, and favourable exchange rates. So when comparing your options, it is important to know which service provider matches your transfer requirements.
If the cost is your main concern, there are tips to reduce the transfer cost. Many companies offer new customers discounts, referral bonuses, cashback, and promotional rates. Take advantage of such offers to waive the transfer fees.
Time your transfers when the exchange rate is favourable for you to get the most of your money. Set alerts to notify when the rate reaches the desirable value. And always compare your options before deciding on a service provider.
Hopefully, as the adoption of cryptocurrencies gains traction, the cost of international transfers will get cheaper and faster.
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