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.


Aug 142014

By Mohammed Waseem

London based money transfer service provider, Speed Fast operates in the UK and Switzerland and allows users to send money to over 80 countries at great rates. They have partnered with banks and agents in each of these countries for smooth processing and timely delivery of money. In addition, they have partnered with Western Union and Ria for sending money to all countries supported by them.

Senders can pay in order to send money, by visiting one of Speed Fast shops – in other words, branches – or they can visit their agents or pay using phone or internet. They strive to provide good customer service in the language that the customer prefers, including English, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian. They also claim to offer rates better than other companies.

Speed FastOther than money transfer, Speed Fast also deals in money exchange without charging any commission and offering better rates than others in the market. They buy and sell USD, EUR, BRL and CHF. In addition, they also provide check cashing services. Launched in 2002, they have been striving to build trust among customers and provide better services.

Speed Fast guarantees delivery of payment within 2 business days. Payment has to be made by transferring the money to Speed Fast’s bank account or by paying in cash. The current exchange rates can be confirmed from here. Based on the country (UK or Switzerland), users can select the country from the bottom.

This link can be used to make transfers online by remitting money into Speed Fast’s bank account. But before doing this, they have to register for the service. I found the registration process to be old fashioned, downloading PDF forms, printing them, filling them manually and sending them by email to or to any of their main offices in the UK and Switzerland, by post.

Jul 132014

By Mohammed Waseem

Ecobank, the Pan African bank that serves the residents of Africa, was founded in 1985 and has over 1300 branches across Africa. They have over 2400 ATMs and 13800 POS machines serving over 10 million customers. They were also the largest employer in Middle Africa with over 19500 employees, as in March 2014.

Ecobank has an excellent money transfer service which enables residents of 36 countries in East, West and Central Africa to transfer money. It is called Rapidtransfer. The service is available in all the countries where Ecobank operates. The service is fast, convenient, reliable and accessible. It is available to both account holders and non-account holders.

RapidtransferIn order to send money, the sender has to visit an Ecobank branch and fill the send form and submit a valid means of identification. After that, the amount has to be handed over to the clerk along with the applicable fee. A reference number is then generated for the sender to communicate with the receiver.

The receiver can collect the amount by visiting any of the Ecobank branches and present the reference number along with a form of identification. After verification, the amount is handed over to the receiver, without any charge.

This works like Western Union or any other international money transfer service. For money transfer to any country that is not supported by Rapidtransfer, Ecobank has partnered with Western Union to offer the service. Senders can use both the online money transfer service, as well as in-person service and even at Ecobank ATMs.

The online transfer happens through Ecobank Internet Banking and is available to Ecobank customers only. If the receiver holds an account at Ecobank, they can access the funds by logging into the website and transferring the funds to their account.

It is good to have a service similar to the leading players in money transfer industry, though it is meant for only 36 countries within Africa. Ecobank’s partnership with Western Union fills the gap that exists between Rapidtransfer and other countries where the senders might want to send money to.

Jun 232014

By Mohammed Waseem

In my last article, I had discussed about a money remittance service offered by Shinsei Bank called GoRemit. The bank has another money remittance service for international money transfer, which is called PowerFlex. Like GoRemit, this service also offers remittance is 12 different currencies, but different. Both differ by the way they work and who can use the service.

Unlike GoRemit, PowerFlex can not be used by any Shinsei Bank customer who registers for GoRemit. PowerFlex is available to customers who have a PowerFlex account with the bank, which is a bank account with special features including zero ATM fee, zero fund transfer fee for one transfer per month, handling fees waived for one domestic banks transfers a month to accounts at other banks over the Internet and so on.


PowerFlex Account Welcome Kit

With PowerFlex, the account holder can register only one recipient and can not send money to anyone else with this service. Registration can be done in person by visiting a branch or by phone. Remittances also have to be initiated at the branch or by phone if the recipient is pre-registered. The funds are processed on the next working day after confirmation of availability of sufficient funds.

The fee charged is ¥4000 for every transaction after the first one, which is free of cost. This is unlike GoRemit, which has a ¥2000 fee for every remittance. However, fees charged by intermediary banks and beneficiary banks may still apply. Customers can also get a better exchange rate, depending on their level with the bank.

PowerFlex is best for individuals sending money to their families. They usually send money once every month, which makes this service ideal for them. This is true if they send it to one person only. It is expensive for sending more than once in a month, but for the fact that the first transaction is free, senders can save some money. In order to apply for a PowerFlex account at Shinsei Bank, residents of Japan can use this form.