Keeping your money safe at any given time can be challenging and when you're traveling, it can be even more difficult. The following are some handy tips that you can use to protect your valuables while traveling abroad:
Using a credit card saves you from unauthorized charges should someone get ahold of it. Cash, on the other hand, can cause you to overspend and is far more likely to be lost or stolen. Want to feel safe? Tuck a credit or debit card in your wallet - look for cards that do not have a foreign transaction fee - and prepare to spend only as much as your next statement can cover. Supplement it with some ready cash.
The more visible you are, the better. Try to plan your trips to ATMs for the daytime and if you do need to go at night, you'll want to find someone you trust to accompany you. It is recommended that you choose ATMs that are in your hotel or are near busy areas, and if you have a vehicle, use drive-up ATMs. The more public these Automated Teller Machines are, the more protected you and your money will be.
These money belts and their derivatives, such as a bra stash, crocheted money pouches (that can be worn as necklaces), or travel underwear with secret pockets, remain invaluable for storing your money. You can keep your passport or driver's license in there too.
Want to deceive thieves? Stuff a cheap wallet with a few bills and some spare cards that could have appeared in your junk mail. This will lure pickpockets from the real target and could save your life in the event of a hold-up. Don't check for where the real wallet is until you're at a safe spot.
Some bags that are designed for travel come with features such as cut-proof, steel-cable-reinforced shoulder straps; slash-proof fabric; and locking zippers. these are ideal for stashing money since it slows down thieves, deterring them from grabbing your valuables. Never place your bag out of site.
They're less apt to cause roving eyes, easier to exchange and certainly easier to use in these typically cash-dependent countries, most of which are unlikely to have the change for massive bills. Convert into $1, $5 or $10 bills to be safe.
For Indians moving abroad, you will have a multitude of choices you will need to make. One of the most pivotal decisions you will need to make revolves around selecting the right bank account to manage finances. It can get very overwhelming. Rest easy, we are here to help make that decision as easy as possible. India’s banking system offers two types of accounts tailored for Non-Resident Indians(NRIs): Non-Resident External (NRE Account) and Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO Account). Understanding the nuances and similarities between these accounts is vital to making an informed decision.What is an NRE Account?An NRE account is a savings account allowing NRIs to deposit foreign income earned outside India. A significant advantage is the repatriation of both the principal amount and the interest earned, facilitating easy transfer of funds to your overseas account without restrictions.Additionally, interest earned on NRE accounts remains tax-free in India, providing NRIs with an efficient means to save and grow their foreign income. However, funds in this account must be maintained in Indian National Rupees (INR).How Does an NRO Account Differ? In contrast, an NRO account is designed for managing income earned within India, like rental income, dividends, or pension. While NRO accounts also offer repatriation benefits, they come with limitations. The transfer of funds from an NRO account to an NRI account is capped at $1 million per financial year, requiring a certificate from a chartered accountant affirming tax compliance, including TDS rates, deductions, and DTAA applicability.Interest earned on an NRO account’s balance is taxable under Indian tax laws, with funds also maintained in Indian Rupees. Choosing Between NRE and NRO AccountsThe choice between an NRE and NRO account should align with your income source and repatriation needs. An NRE account suits foreign-earned income and easy repatriation, while an NRO savings account is best for Indian-sourced earnings, allowing limited repatriation after tax deductions. Benefits of NRE and NRO Accounts:1. Access for Family Members: Both NRE and NRO accounts offer easy access for family members in India. Banks like ICICI Bank NRI Services provide a mandate Holder card and a chequebook to the customer’s family members for convenient access.2. Interest Rates: Interest rates on both account types are similar, varying slightly among banks. Checking prevailing rates before deciding is prudent. Explore ICICI Bank NRI ServicesOpen an NRE or NRO Account with ICICI Bank for lucrative features like Dedicated Relationship Manager, Family Banking services, attractive interest rates and more.Making the Right Choice Selecting between NRE and NRO accounts requires careful evaluation of your financial circumstances. Each offers distinct benefits catering to different needs. Consider income sources, tax obligations, repatriation needs, and family access before deciding. Consulting with bank representatives can provide clarity and guide you toward the optimal decision for your financial situation and goals.To compare the top NRE and NRO accounts–including ICICI NRI–to find the best one for you, visit the NRE Account Compare Page or the NRO Account Compare Page.
Best NRE Accounts for NRIs Across the GlobeFor Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), managing finances across borders becomes essential, and having the right bank account is crucial. One of the go-to options is the NRE (Non-Resident External) account, designed to facilitate seamless money transactions and savings for NRIs.What is an NRE Account?An NRE account is a type of bank account for NRIs to maintain and manage their foreign earnings in India. The acronym 'NRE' stands for Non-Resident External, indicating that the funds deposited into this account are from overseas sources. NRIs can deposit foreign currency into an NRE account, and the balance and interest earned are freely repatriable, i.e., both the principal amount and interest can be transferred abroad without any restrictions.NRE vs. NRO AccountIf you are just starting to explore the options of NRI banking, you might have heard of NRO accounts. NRE and NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) accounts are two distinct types of accounts catering to different financial requirements. While NRE accounts are primarily for repatriable income and earnings from outside India, NRO accounts are for managing income earned in India. Both account types serve NRIs' distinct banking needs, providing avenues for managing Indian and foreign income separately.What Makes a Good NRE Account?Several factors contribute to making an NRE account a preferred choice for NRIs:Repatriation Benefits: Opt for accounts that offer seamless repatriation of both principal and interest earned without any restrictions.Interest Rates: Look for accounts that provide competitive interest rates to maximize returns on your deposits.Convenience: Choose banks that offer easy accessibility through online banking platforms, especially for NRIs residing abroad.Customer Service: Opt for banks known for their reliable customer service and efficient grievance redressal for a hassle-free banking experience.Best NRE Accounts for US-based NRIs and Foreign-Based IndiansSeveral banks offer top-notch NRE savings accounts tailored to meet the diverse financial needs of NRIs. Here are some of the best NRE accounts available. To determine the best account for your needs, view a more detailed comparison of each bank’s interest rate, key features, and more on our CompareRemit NRE Account Comparison Site. ICICI Bank NRE Savings AccountA household name, ICICI Bank is a very popular and safe choice for your banking needs. It is the one most often chosen by NRIs.Key Features: Higher interest rates, zero balance requirement, online remittance services, and NRI-focused banking solutions.Learn more about ICICI NRI and to get started with your application. HDFC Bank NRE Savings AccountA competitive player in the field, HDFC Bank is known for its high interest rates and benefits for its customers. Key Features: Competitive interest rates, 24/7 online access, easy fund transfers, and a global presence.Yes Bank NRE Savings AccountYes Bank provides a unique feature which many NRIs find helpful, a personal relationship manager who can guide you through your questions and account needs. Key Features: Flexible interest rates, hassle-free fund transfers, a dedicated personal relationship manager is assigned to each account holder. State Bank of India (SBI) NRE Savings AccountAnother household name, State Bank of India is reputed for its reliable service and dedication towards keeping the process simple and easy for its customers. Key Features: Widest network, attractive interest rates, simple documentation, and multi-currency facilities.Kotak Mahindra Bank NRE Savings Account Kotak Mahindra Bank serves as an excellent choice for those looking for a service that will give you a reliable and a high interest rate wielding account. Key Features: High-interest rates, convenient banking services, and personalized solutions for NRI customers.Axis Bank NRE Savings AccountAxis Bank, previously known as the ever-reliable CitiBank, continues the staple practices that gave CitiBank its reliable name. This is a great option for those looking for a bank with years of experience and reliability. Key Features: Flexible deposit options, competitive interest rates, user-friendly online banking, and diverse financial products.Choosing the right NRE account depends on individual preferences and banking needs. Each of these banks offers competitive interest rates, online banking convenience, and excellent repatriation facilities suitable for NRIs managing finances from abroad.NRE accounts serve as an ideal financial solution for NRIs seeking efficient money management, seamless repatriation of funds, and tax benefits. By choosing the right NRE account based on individual preferences and banking needs, NRIs can effectively manage their finances and easily send money back home to their loved ones in India.
Electronic funds transfer (EFT) is one of the commonly used methods to send money nowadays. There are various ways of making an electronic fund transfer. It includes more than online ACH transfers or wire transfers.EFT payments have become an essential part of our daily lives. From online shopping to paying bills, transferring money electronically has revolutionized how we handle financial transactions.So, EFT is a term you've probably come across and most likely have sent money by EFT but what does it really mean?In this blog, we discuss what is an EFT, different types of EFT payments, how ETFs work and its key components, benefits, and drawbacks so that you can make a wise decision on which is best for your transfer needs.What is an Electronic Fund Transfer?Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), is a digital transfer of money through an online payment system, either between banks or people. EFT payments can be done within the same bank, or between banks.As the money transfers are all digital, there is no need for physical currency or paper checks. Because of this, EFT payments are far quicker and more accessible than other methods of sending money.As the traditional paper-intensive processes become more digitized, EFTs will continue to grow and evolve.The Key Components of EFT PaymentsTo fully grasp how an EFT works, it's essential to understand its key components. These include:Sender or OriginatorThe party or individual who initiates the electronic funds transfer. This could be a person sending money to a friend or a business paying its employees.ReceiverThe recipient of the funds receives the electronic transfer in their account. This could be an individual or a company.Financial InstitutionsBanks, credit unions, and other financial institutions play a crucial role in facilitating EFT. They serve as intermediaries that help process and complete the electronic transactions.Electronic ChannelsEFT transactions can occur through various electronic channels, including online banking, mobile apps, point-of-sale terminals, and ATMs.Payment SystemsPayment systems are the networks and protocols that enable electronic funds transfers. Some well-known payment systems include ACH (Automated Clearing House), SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), and card payment networks like Visa and MasterCard.Types of Electronic Funds TransfersThere are several different types of Electronic Funds Transfers, each designed for specific purposes. Here are some of the most common types:Direct DepositsThis is a common form of electronic funds transfer where funds are deposited directly into a bank account. For example, direct deposit from the employer's bank account to to employee's bank account.This EFT uses an electronic funds transfer network called the automatic clearing house (ACH). The money can be transferred instantly and automatically into the receiver's bank account.The ACH system is also used for recurring payments, such as utility bills, mortgage payments, and subscription services.Wire TransfersWire transfers involve the immediate funds transfer between two banks, often used for high-value or international transactions. The electronic transfers are handled by a network of financial institutions such as the Fedwire Funds Service, Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS) in the U.S. for domestic wire transfers, or the SWIFT network or IBAN for international payments.Debit and Credit Card TransactionsWhen you use your debit or credit card for a purchase, you're essentially conducting an EFT transaction. The funds are electronically transferred from your account to the merchant's account.The cards feature 16-digit numbers across the front, along with the expiration date and the cardholder's name. Both cards are used either by swiping through a reader, but the more common methods are the chip and PIN or contactless technology.Mobile PaymentsMobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay allow you to make electronic payments using your smartphone. To make a contactless payment, you hold your smartphone up to a reader like you would a credit or debit card.Bank ATM (Automated Teller Machine)Bank ATM transactions are EFT payments that use Internet banking to move money electronically between bank accounts, deposit money, or withdraw cash. The bank-issued debit or credit card and PIN are used to make the ATM transaction. Although ATM fees are common, they are usually waived if you use an ATM that is owned and operated by the same bank that holds your bank account.How Long Does an EFT Take?EFTs are typically far speedier than any paper-based option. However, there are different types and transfer times vary.For example, certain mobile payments, and peer-to-peer payments are settled instantly. Domestic automated clearing house transactions are completed the following business day.It can take as little as one minute for a domestic wire transfer initiated using a non-bank money transfer service and destined for an account at the same financial institution. Whereas it can take three to five days for an international wire transfer to clear.What is the Cost of EFT?The cost of an electronic funds transfer varies depending on the type of transfer you select and the total amount of money you wish to send.If you own a company and need to pay an employee's salary, using direct deposits is a cost-free option for you to consider. Or you can use a debit card or a smartphone to make a contactless payment in stores without incurring any transaction fees.Benefits of EFT PaymentsEFT provides several advantages, both for individuals and businesses.Speed: EFTs are much faster than traditional paper-based methods. Money transfers are instant, making them ideal for urgent transactions.Convenience: EFTs allow you to initiate and receive transactions from the comfort of your home or anywhere with an internet connection. You don't need to visit banks or handle checks manually.Security: EFTs are generally more secure than paper-based ones. Banks and payment service providers employ encryption, multi-factor authentication, and real-time fraud detection systems to safeguard electronic transactions.Cost-effective: EFTs are less expensive for both individuals and businesses. You can save money on postage, check printing, and transportation costs associated with paper checks.24/7 Availability: EFT systems are available 24/7, allowing you to make transactions at any time.Drawbacks of EFTsInternational wire transfers, which are a type of EFT, can be costly considering there are charges for sending and receiving money, including correspondent bank fees, and other penalties, such as investigation fees, in the event that the wire transfer is misplaced.Wire transfers are irreversible once sent. Any funds that were sent to the wrong person by mistake or at the request of a fraudster cannot be recovered.EFTs are vulnerable to fraud, hacking, and identity theft. It's essential to take precautions to protect your financial information. This includes regularly monitoring your accounts, using strong and unique passwords, and being cautious about sharing your financial details online.What is the Electronic Fund Transfer Act? (EFTA)The Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) is a federal law in the US enacted in 1978 to protect individual consumers engaging in EFTs.Guidelines and responsibilities for consumers and banks to address errors are included in the EFTA. Customers have the choice to dispute and correct inaccuracies without incurring financial penalties.In accordance with the act, banks are also required to give customers specific details on how to reduce their liability in the event that their card is lost or stolen.In light of the growing preference for electronic transfers over paper checks, customers required reassurance regarding the security of their money. This led to the development of new regulations that would enable users to safely utilize electronic fund transfer services.Alternative Money Transfer OptionsIf you are looking to transfer money overseas, there are specialized money transfer providers offering EFT services that offer overall better experiences in terms of costs, speed, convenience, and efficiency.InstaremInstarem offers seamless cross-border money transfers to more than 55 countries via its network of more than 8000 banks worldwide, with competitive exchange rates and low fees. Their user-friendly platform ensures swift and secure transactions for individuals and businesses alike.WiseWise revolutionizes international transfers by providing transparency, real exchange rates, and minimal fees. Users can trust Wise for cost-effective and efficient cross-border transactions. Additionally, Wise offers a multicurrency account that lets you keep more than 50 different currencies and convert them at an affordable rate.RemitlyRemitly focuses on fast and affordable money transfers, catering to the needs of expatriates and those supporting loved ones abroad. Remitly provides two-speed options for money transfers: Express ensures immediate delivery with higher fees while Economy delivers funds in 3 to 5 business days.XEXE is a trusted currency converter and money transfer platform, providing real-time exchange rates and tools for individuals and businesses to make informed financial decisions in the global market. It offers international money transfers in 139 currencies to over 220 countries and territories.PandaremitPandaremit stands out for its user-friendly interface and competitive rates in the remittance market. It's a reliable choice for individuals seeking convenient and efficient international money transfers. Transfers can be completed in as little as 2 minutes, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee ensures a full refund if expectations aren't met.AboundAbound, previously named Times Club and affiliated with the Times of India group, serves as a rewards and remittance app tailored for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). Abound enables the transfer of funds from the U.S. to India with attractive exchange rates, providing cashback and rewards. You get competitive exchange rates and no transfer fees when sending money to over 130 Indian banks from the U.S.PomeloPomelo introduces a fresh approach to seamless money transfers from the U.S. to the Philippines, integrating consumer credit with international remittance services. It offers a Family plan for global credit sharing, delivering individual cards within 10 days. Users can send money now, pay later at zero APR, and control card balances monthly at a competitive USD to PHP exchange rate.SBICFor fast money transfers from the United States to India, consider SBIC (State Bank of India-California), a subsidiary of India's State Bank of India. As a full-service bank with multiple California branches, SBIC provides various financial solutions and international services. Key features include zero-cost transfers to any Indian bank within hours, competitive USD to INR exchange rates, and flexible transfer options through the SBIC Mobile App, online, or in-person.PlacidPlacid offers a comprehensive platform for international money transfers, focusing on speed and security. It streamlines currency exchange across 25+ countries through direct affiliations with various banks. It ensures rapid transfers, allowing recipients to receive funds directly in their bank accounts or through convenient cash pickup at local agents. Notably, their spotCash! service distinguishes itself with speed, simplicity, and convenience for recipients.PassToPassto stands out for its commitment to providing cost-effective and reliable international money transfer services. It caters to expats in the UK, offering a mid-market exchange rate and transparent fees, facilitating money transfers to 60 countries and real-time airtime top-ups to 150+ countries. Users can PassTo Plus Points with each transfer, which is redeemable for fee discounts on future transactions.ConclusionElectronic Funds Transfer has revolutionized the way we handle financial transactions, providing convenience, speed, and security. EFTs continue to evolve as technology advances. The future of EFT holds the promise of even greater convenience and efficiency.As we have discussed in the blog, there are various specialized services for a seamless and efficient global money transfer. Explore these options to make informed decisions based on your specific transfer needs.To compare your options for international money transfers, use CompareRemit's comparison tool and find a provider that best fits your money transfer needs!