Nov 082014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

We have known many money transfer services that allow transfers to India and similar developing nations. Sending money from India is however subject to a lot of restrictions, it is not impossible though; but the options are very few and many of the common people are unaware of them. Any leading money transfer service you mention, they have no way to send money out of India due to the restrictions involved.

There are few foreign exchange companies that offer money transfer from India to many countries. Thomas Cook is a leading foreign exchange company and a travel agency that has branches in all major Indian cities. They offer money transfer services from India to over 120 countries.

Thomas CookIn order to send money, one has to walk into a Thomas Cook office and complete the process to send money abroad in a fast, reliable and convenient manner. They have special services for speedy transfers and for students looking to study abroad. Other than that, the transfers need to be for personal use only.

Money can be sent abroad for maintenance of close relatives, and the Reserve Bank of India has defined who falls into the definition of ‘close relatives’. It includes the sender’s spouse, or a member of their Hindu Undivided Family, which is a form of family business in India. Other relatives include parents, children and their spouses, grandchildren and so on. A list of 22 relatives other than the spouse has been mentioned.

As per the regulations, any resident of India, including a minor is allowed to remit up to USD 100000 per financial year, provided a proper reason is specified. For larger amounts, prior approval of the RBI is necessary, and this is not easy to acquire.

Being a foreign exchange dealer, they can offer good rates. But that is not something that the senders would bother, as finding a service that allows money transfer out of India is a difficult task.

 

Oct 022014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Indian post office, Department of Post has made a money transfer service which is fast, convenient and accessible to all Indians. Generally, a person needs to visit a post office and fill the send money form before handing over the cash to the clerk. But here, the form can be downloaded and filled in before visiting the post office.

From a mobile phone, users can visit http://www.dopmobile.in/ to access the postal services and download the forms. Any amount between INR 1000 and 10000 can be sent with this service. When the sender visits any of the post offices and hands over the form and the cash, the details are entered into the mobile application by the clerk and both the sender and the recipient receive a confirmation message with the transaction ID.

DOPThe sender also receives a secret code that has to be communicated with the recipient. The recipient can immediately visit any of the post offices and collect the cash by providing the transaction ID and the secret code.

Or amounts between 1000 and 1500, the fee applicable is INR 45 (fee+tax), INR 79 for amounts between 1501 and 5000 and INR 112 for amounts between 5001 and 10000. The recipient is required to collect the cash within 14 days of the transaction date, after which, the amount is returned to the sender.

The sender receives an SMS that the money was not collected and has to be withdrawn from a post office. The sender has 7 days from the date of receiving the SMS to collect the cash from a post office.

This service is called DOP Mobile Money Transfer and is called so because it enables instant money transfer from one place to another place using mobile, through Indian post offices. The difference, however is that the mobile app is not used by the sender to send money, but by a post office clerk to process the transaction.

Sep 112014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

I wrote about instant money transfer offered by Bank of India in the last post. This service requires the senders to be customers of BOI while the recipient can be just anyone. The unbanked are still away from instant money transfer, considering that the withdrawal should be done from a BOI ATM only.

Like Kenya innovated to create a product like M-Pesa, India is working on a product called OxiCash. Over 60% of the unbanked population will now be able to instantly send and receive money across India through this service. OxiCash was launched earlier this year by Oxigen Services. The service works via a mobile wallet, comparable with M-Pesa.

OxiCashIn addition, senders are able to send money from a bank account to the wallet. All transfers are instant and on real time basis. The project is a partnership between NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) and Oxigen. The real time transfer is done using IMPS (Immediate Payment Service).

55 banks have joined in to support transfers from bank account to OxiCash wallets. It is available for use online at www.oxicash.in and on mobile using a mobile application on Android smartphones. In addition, the service can be accessed with SMS as well, to support non-smartphone users.

The service is available all over India and can be created over simple SMS. The wallet can be initially funded at over 100000 touch points or through IMPS.

Oxigen also has wallets to use for reloading mobile phones, DTH and other services, apart from money transfer. Money transfer from the wallet can be done in three ways, which are wallet to wallet, wallet to bank account using MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) and wallet to bank account using the account number.

The ability to transfer to any bank account is amazing. It uses the IFSC (Indian Financial System Code) to make this possible.

Sep 102014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Indians are used to receiving money using Western Union and MoneyGram, when they talk about instant money transfer. A system exists to send and receive money between bank accounts within the country, known as NEFT (National Electronic Fund Transfer), but this requires at least 12 hours for the approval of a beneficiary and requires a day for the funds to be deposited to the beneficiary account.

Once the money has been deposited, the recipient is free to do whatever they want with it, as it is in their bank account. Banks have been less innovative, until recently, when Bank of India (BOI) announced the introduction of instant money transfer to anyone in India. When I say anyone, it includes those who don’t have an account with the bank as well.

Bank of IndiaThe service is available throughout the year and can be accessed at any time of the day, by both the sender and the recipient. Senders should, however be customers of the bank; they should have an account at BOI.

The service is ideal in cases where the bank details of the recipient are not know or the recipient doesn’t have a bank account, or even when the recipient prefers cash or needs the money instantly. Cash, here, refers to withdrawal from BOI ATMs, without using a BOI card; and in fact, without using any card at all.

The card-less cash withdrawal works with a mobile number. The sender has to provide the recipient’s mobile number, on which, partial transfer details will be sent. Rest of the details have to be communicated by the sender, personally. This ensures extra security and zero fraud risk. The sender provides the sender code to the recipient while the latter receives a PIN via SMS. Both of these have to be provided along with their mobile number at a BOI ATM to withdraw cash.

As per regulations, withdrawal limits of INR 25000 per month and INR 10000 per transaction apply per recipient. Once initiated by the sender, the recipient has 14 days to withdraw the cash, after which, it is cancelled and the amount is credited to the sender.

Dec 152013
 

By Mohammed Waseem

How often have you transacted with someone in India and have had to pay online or have had to send money to your friends or relatives in India? This article deals with ways to send money from USA to India; the different services available and how they compare with others.

Out of the many services available in the market, a few of them stand out in terms of ease, accessibility, price and quality of service. The service provider you select would depend on what matters to you most: the exchange rate, the fee, tracking facility, speedy delivery, security, and so on. A few of these service providers are mentioned below with.

Dollar-Rupee

1.       Remit2India (https://www.remit2india.com)

 Remit2India is one of the commonly used services to send money to India. The reason could be better exchange rate provided by them. They charge a transfer fee of $3 for transfer amounts between $50 and $500 and charge $5 for amounts between $500 and $1000. All transfers for amounts above $1000 are not charged any fee. In addition to this, a service tax is charged at the receiving end which starts at 0.12% of the transaction amount. Remit2India takes longer time to deliver the money through AHC (Automated Clearing House), which is where they fall behind compared to others.

2.       Xoom (https://www.xoom.com/india)

Xoom is among the most widely used transfer services, the reason could be fast delivery and transparency. The exchange rate they offer is comparatively lower, but they deliver the payment very fast: delivered within 4 business hours (according to India), into the recipient’s bank account. They charge a fee of $2.99 for transfers from a US bank account, while transfers using Credit/Debit cards are charged at $4.99. All transfers above $1000 are charged no fee.

3.       Transfast (https://www.transfast.com/sendmoney-IND.aspx)

Transfast is quite an interesting service provider. They work on a guarantee that they provide the best exchange rate. However, they are aware that others MAY sometimes give a better rate than them, so they request the sender to email them the proof that their competitor offers a higher rate and they would give an even higher rate. I find this to be a good initiative to make new customers and retain existing customers; in other words, it is a good way to retain loyal customers. They charge a fee between $2.99 and $4.49. The transferred amount is delivered to the recipient in India on the same day (within 24 hours after sending); in some cases they claim that the money will be available in 15 minutes after sending the amount. All transfers above $1000 are free from any fee.

4.       Western Union Money Transfer – WUMT (http://www.westernunion.com/india)

Western Union is among the most trusted and widely used international money transfer players. For ages, transactions have been carried out and controlled using the money transfer control number (MTCN). Usually, it takes seconds for the money to be available at the recipient’s location, as soon as the MTCN is generated, and the recipient is expected to collect the money from one of the WUMT agents. Now, Western Union has launched online transfer and as the introductory offer, they are charging no fee for Bank to Bank and Credit/Debit Card to Bank transfers; and $1 for transfers to WUMT agent locations. They also provide very good exchange rate, which gives the recipient a few rupees extra.

5.       Money Gram (https://www.moneygram.com)

Money Gram is another trusted player in the market which is widely used all over the World. Indicatively, they offer the best rate, while the charges are $8 for transfers using Debit/Credit cards and $2.99 for transfers from bank accounts. The difference is that the former takes 15 minutes while the latter takes 3 business days for delivery. They do not have an option to transfer money directly into Indian bank accounts; the recipient has to visit a merchant location for collection, where 1 Indian Rupee is charged for the transaction.

There are other services in the market, but these stand out in comparison.

In summary, the following table should help you choose your service: