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How to Remit Money to India
The most commonly used options for NRIs remitting money to India are:
Also called Pay Order or banker's cheque in India, this requires the remitter to pay cash to his local bank overseas handling such transactions, the amount he wants remitted. The bank prepares a cheque which the NRI can mail or courier to India. However, the cashier's check is made in the local currency, and the remittance would have to be converted into Indian currency by the receiver in India.
Bank Drafts in Foreign CurrencySimilar to a Pay Order or Cashier's Check, the amount has to be paid to the local overseas bank in cash, cheque or directly from the NRI remitter's account. This instrument would also need to be mailed or couriered to the beneficiary's address in India and encashed at his bank.
Wire TransferSpeedy and safe, this requires the remitter and the receiver to have their accounts in the same bank to enable the transaction. Some banks have inter-bank arrangements to facilitate wire transfers in case the remitter and the receiver do not have an account in the same bank. The NRI remitter would require the beneficiary's account number and branch to execute the remittance in either case. The wire transfers take at least 2-3 days to process, depending on the countries involved.
Credit CardThis requires purchasing a Visa or Master Card for the person the NRI wishes to send the money to in India. The beneficiary can draw cash in India which can be covered by the NRI from overseas. However, exercising control over the withdrawals is difficult, and ATM withdrawals limit the amounts that a payee can withdraw.
International Money Transfers
Firms like Western Union and MoneyGram facilitate remittance of money across their world wide network. The NRI remitter can pay up in his local currency through cash or cheque, which the beneficiary receives in Indian rupees. These firms honor on-line requests for money transfers to India and save the snag of having a bank account.
However, this service comes at a price, and a lower exchange rate offered by these firms is a cost disadvantage. Moreover, refunds are not made by these companies in case of default on their part. The limits imposed on money transfers by the companies also restrict the remittance to USD10, 000 on an average.
Some of the centres NRIs can avail remittance services from:
State Bank of India
State Bank of Travancore
Bank of India