What are the Best Ways to Send Money to India?
There is a huge expat population of Indians residing in the UAE. These Indian expats in the country send money back home to support their families and for making investments. Thus, people are on the lookout for fast, reliable, and safe methods for sending money back home. The good news is that there are plenty of online and offline methods to do so.
Let’s discuss how to send money from the UAE to India. Let’s take a look:
Exchange houses have been a time-tested and popular way to send money from the UAE to India. In fact, the UAE exchange houses dominated the ‘2020 Forbes Middle East Top Exchanges List’, acquiring 7 out of the 10 leading positions. If you are wondering how to send money from the UAE to India through these exchange houses, you have several options. All you have to do is visit one of their network branches across the UAE. You can either send money directly to a bank account or choose cash pick-up where the money you send can be securely and easily collected from a wide agent network based in India. There are over 100+ exchange houses located across the UAE. Some highly popular exchange houses include Al Rostamani, Al Ansari, Lulu Exchange, GCC Exchange, Wall Street Exchange, and Orient Exchange.
You can also select between instant transfers through which your money can be received within a couple of hours and regular transfers that usually takes 1-2 working days. The exchange rates and fees vary for the different money transfer modes.
Money Transfer Services
Renowned money transfer service providers like MoneyGram, Western Union, and Xpress Money offer instant money transfer service through their huge network of agents located world-wide. All you have to do is visit the nearest exchange house in the UAE, select the service you want to use for your remittance and make the cash deposit to make the transfer. In minutes, your beneficiary can go to an agent in his country and collect the transferred money.
Back home in India, these instant money transfer operators have tied up with multiple agents ranging from banks to local convenience stores and your beneficiary just needs to show a valid government ID, along with the tracking number received from the sender to collect the cash. This is an instant service which is usually more expensive than the regular transfer method.
Online Money Transfer
Covid-19 made the whole world digital and gave a push to the already growing online money transfer category. Although a little late, the UAE is now catching up to the convenience of online money transfers, with the white-collar segment moving to use the various apps and the web to remit money back home.
The residents of the UAE have multiple options to choose when it comes to sending money online. Reputed banks like Emirates NBD, ADCB, RAKBANK & Mashreq Bank offer bank transfer services through their mobile apps. All you need to enjoy the seamless and convenient service is an account with the bank. Many of these banks offer 0 fees on AED to INR money transfers, making it an attractive way to send money.
In addition to the bank, some of the traditional exchange houses have also now started offering digital channels to send money. Leading exchange houses like Lulu Exchange and Al Ansari offer online transfers through their mobile apps and are now becoming popular because of their good rates and the convenience. Through their apps, you can remit money either to your beneficiary’s bank account in India or as cash pickup. The apps also give you the option of transfers from 2 hours to 2 days, each with different exchange rates and fees. Even Western Union has its mobile app and allows transfers using your debit or credit card.
As the digital category grows, global online money transfer companies have also started setting up base in the UAE. Wise (formerly Transferwise) was one of the first digital money transfer services that started offering their remittance services. Highly popular in the UK for money transfers to India, Wise is now looking to create a strong foothold in the Middle East starting from the UAE.
What are the Charges and Costs Involved?
There are many ways you might be charged, depending on the service provider and the transfer mode.
Here are 3 main ones:
- Fixed fees/commission: Most transfer brands charge a fee which could be either fixed or a % of the amount you transfer. Currently, the major banks offer free transfers to India.
- Exchange Rate: If you have ever sent money before, you would have noticed the difference in the rate from what is shown online on Google.com or XE.com. This is the markup that most transfer companies add to the rates they offer to their customers. When a brand says they offer the best exchange rates, they are usually offering you a lower markup than their competition.
- Other charges: Some countries in Europe charge a small fee on the money transferred and this is usually deducted from the final amount your beneficiary receives. This charge varies from brand to brand. None of the channels in India deduct this amount.
Research is essential to decide on how to send money from the UAE to India. It’s a good idea to stay aware of currency exchange rates. Note that rates offered by banks, exchange houses, and others might differ from the spot rate of the day that pops up in internet searches.
So, whether you choose an offline or online mode of remittance, make sure to understand the costs involved. Compare fees, the facilities offered, currency exchange rates, and time involved to transfer before choosing an option.