Find the best way to send money from the UK to India
Transferring money internationally to India from the UK is easy and safe. However, knowing how to transfer money to India at the best exchange rate can be difficult.
How do you know the exchange rate you get from your transfer is the best you can get - especially with each bank and money transfer service charging you differently?
After comparing over 20 different banks and money transfer services, Exiap found money transfer services consistently give you the best exchange rate. In addition, they often charge lower transaction fees and sometimes even fee-free money transfers.
best exchange rate
Use our comparison table to find the best money transfer service for you and get the most out of your British pounds.
Find the money transfer company with the best rate for you
To get the best exchange rate when transferring money to India from the UK, it's always better to use a money transfer service.
We recommend the following 4 money transfer companies:
1. Wise (formerly TransferWise)
Wise offer the best exchange rates for smaller amounts (under £15,000) and are the most transparent about the small fee it charges and the exchange rate you will receive on your currency exchange. It's incredibly simple to set up an account or make a transfer using their app.
- Transparent fees and offer the best rates online
- Quick online set-up
- Very fast transfers to a bank account
- Simple mobile phone app
OFX is one of the oldest money transfer companies and have a good track record for security. Recently, OFX stopped charging a flat transfer fee for transfers over £10,000. They are a good option for online users who still want to send large amounts to India.
- Good exchange rates and lock-in rate for larger amounts
- Easy online set-up
- 24/7 phone support
- Mobile phone app
As a trusted and seasoned name in the foreign exchange, XE does not charge a fixed fee. However, charges may occasionally be applied by a third party bank when transferring the funds to XE or before the funds arrive in your recipient's account. They also don't have any minimum amounts.
- No fees or minimum amounts for money transfers
- Exchange rates improve for larger amounts
- Well known and trusted brand
- Business and individual support, plus accessible customer service
WorldRemit specialises in remittances and smaller transfers. They're perfect for personal money transfers to your mobile instantly. Their rates are usually better than companies like PayPal, Western Union or MoneyGram. Airtime mobile top-ups are a great way to connect with your family.
- Offers cash pick-up, bank deposits, Mobile Money and Airtime top-up
- Easy online platform and mobile phone app
- Transparent costs with accurate calculator tool
- 24/7 customer support
How to top-up mobile phones with WorldRemit in 4 steps
- Create an online account (your address, email and phone number will be required)
- Enter the details of the person you are paying – full name, phone number, address
- Make local payment to WorldRemit using your phone via – bank account, debit card, credit card, SOFORT, INTERAC or POLI
- The person receive the funds instantly on their mobile in India
How to transfer money to India from the UK
Using a money transfer service
What information will I need to transfer funds to India?
- Your personal information. Your full name, address and date of birth. For security reasons they need your photo id scanned or photographed. You can use your phone to take a photo and send
- How you wish to pay: Your bank details, account numbers and address or debit/credit card details
- The full name and address of the person you wish to pay
- Indian bank account details, the name on the account, the Bank Sort Code (BSC) or SWIFT code and bank account number
- IFSC code (for transfers over 100,000 INR)
- Make sure your photo is of a high quality so they can see the picture. Make sure the id is valid and within the expiry date.
- You can't give your work/office address or PO box address.
- If the person you're sending money to in India is not an Indian resident (NRI) you’ll need to refer to their account as a NRE. For internet banking put this information in the payee’s details.
How to choose the best money transfer company in the UK
Whichever money transfer service you use to handle your money transfer to India, here are key things to consider:
1. Total costs
These are the transfer fees plus the exchange rates and any additional fee (normally charged by banks). The better the exchange rate, the more Indian rupees you receive. Total costs are lower with money transfer companies than banks.
2. Transfer speed
If you need your Indian rupee under 3 days it is best to transfer funds with a money transfer company. A bank will take between 3-5 days to transfer your converted GBP to INR currency to India. Although bank transfer speeds are improving, they are inconsistent.
3. Minimum or maximum amounts
These limits will vary with each money transfer company or bank. Under £1000 there are plenty of money transfer companies competing for your business. For larger amounts of money, it's best to find a provider with a higher limit.
4. Right product or service for your situation
Are you making a personal or business transfer? You might need a foreign exchange products to manage your currency risk so you can lock in the exchange rate or you might want to look at using a foreign currency account to make your transfer.
5. Good customer service
How long does it take to send money from the UK to India?
Money Transfer Services can take 0 - 3 days
When using money transfer services, like TransferWise, they tend to quote arrival time in hours not days. Unlike banks, they keep you updated on the movement of your funds. This includes the estimated arrival time of your funds to the account you're sending money to.
Bank to Bank Transfer can take 3 - 5 days
These are also known as a 'wire transfer' or 'telegraphic transfer'. Bank transfers are slow, because the money may go through a network of correspondent banks (SWIFT network) before landing into the account in India.
The time it takes will also vary depending on the bank receiving the money. Plus, it's up to you to check if the person you sent money to has received it.
Tax implications of transferring money to India
Transfers from the United Kingdom to India are taxed based on residence status.
If the person you're sending money to is a non-resident in India or they have stayed outside India for more than 180 days in a financial year, the person is NRI.
- If the person in India you're sending money to is NRI, that person is only taxable for the bank deposit interest or any income made in India. The money transfer itself is not taxable.
- If the person you're sending money to is a not a NRI, he/she has to show the source of the money transfer, which is taxable.
Is my money safe online?
One of the main questions people ask us is “will my money be safe online?" The answer is yes for money transfer services and banks.
Money transfer services need to be regulated by Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to send money from the UK. They have very stringent guidelines to be allowed to send money.
These money transfer services implement strict verification processes to ensure they fully identify all of their customers. They also invest in identity protection, fraud prevention and encryption to create a secure connection with your browser when you register and login into their online services.
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