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Top 3 Money Transfer Providers for UK to India

Provider Amount Received Fee Exchange Rate Speed
Azimo Azimo 18,438.95 £0.00 92.1947 1 day more...
Global Reach (formerly FC Exchange) Global Reach (formerly FC Exchange) 17,349.94 £10.00 86.7497 1-3 days more...
WorldFirst WorldFirst 18,448.51 £0.00 92.2425 1-3 days more...
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UK
There are no exchange controls in the UK for the pound sterling (GBP), and transferring money to the UK and sending money from the UK is very easy Read More
INDIA
There are few restrictions on transferring money to India, but the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has begun enforcing an existing Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) article that prohibits rupees from being taken out of India Read More
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India Money Transfer Guide

Daniel Webber
Daniel is Founder and CEO of FXcompared and has 18 years of experience in the international finance world focusing on cross-border payments, technology and the property sectors. Daniel is widely quoted as an expert within the money transfer industry including by The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNBC and Bloomberg. Daniel is passionate about helping consumers and businesses find the best and most efficient ways to transfer money internationally.

Contents

  • Summary
  • India money transfer regulations
  • India’s regulatory authority
  • India’s economic background
  • Currency
  • Summary

    There are few restrictions on transferring money to India, but the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has begun enforcing an existing Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) article that prohibits rupees from being taken out of India. As a result, outgoing wire transfers from India may not be conducted in rupees, and travellers are required to convert any remaining currency before departure. Sending money from India is very challenging due to these currency restrictions.

    India money transfer regulations

    India’s money transfer regulations change frequently. The RBI increased the amount of currency that can be remitted from India to USD250,000 under its latest scheme, the Liberalised Remittance Scheme, which came into effect on 1 June 2015. Under this latest proviso, Indian residents, including minors, are allowed to remit a maximum of USD250,000 each financial year (which runs from April to March). An individual is considered to be a resident of India if they have resided in the country for a minimum of 180 days during the financial year.

    The remittance limit is inclusive of NRI/PIO rupee gifts or loans, private visits to a foreign country (exclusive of Bhutan and Nepal), travelling abroad for employment, emigration, supporting family members abroad, travel for business or medical treatment. If an individual is required to remit more than the cap amount of USD250,000 for emigration purposes as required by the particular country, they may submit a claim to the RBI for review.

    India’s exchange restrictions also focus on capital account transactions, which include foreign direct investment (FDI), portfolio or other investment, both in India and abroad. This will most notably have an impact on foreign ownership of property, corporate shares and other assets.

    Foreign investment in India can generally be repatriated freely via an authorised dealer. Non-residents can sell shares of publicly listed Indian firms and repatriate the proceeds via banks, if they have prior tax clearances. Foreign nationals residing in India are able to acquire fixed property, but must declare the purchase to the RBI and cannot transfer this property without approval from the central bank. In addition, central bank approval is required to exchange Indian currency above certain limits for purposes such as foreign travel and studies.

    India’s regulatory authority

    India’s central bank, the (RBI), formulates and implements the country’s monetary policy, with the primary goal of ensuring price stability and credit flows. The RBI also supervises the financial system and manages the country’s foreign exchange operations, which are regulated under FEMA.

    FEMA, which has been in force since 1999, sets the guidelines for India’s remaining foreign exchange controls. Money transfers to India are entirely unrestricted for current account transactions, which include payments for goods and services and the transfer of foreign-earned income. Non-residents are able to open temporary rupee-denominated bank accounts in India without a visa.

    India’s economic background

    In the years following independence, India adopted a state-driven, nationalistic development policy, with strict controls on foreign exchange. However, the government began a process of liberalisation in the 1990s that led to the privatisation of many public enterprises, industrial deregulation, openness to foreign investment and looser currency controls. These reforms helped to stimulate the country’s impressive GDP growth in the 1990s and 2000s, and while the state maintains some currency controls today, it has confirmed its openness to the foreign exchange market. From 2014 onwards, India managed to overtake China as the fastest-growing economy in the world.

    India’s currency, the rupee, was fairly stable in the first decades following independence, riding on the back of the country’s GDP growth. India’s annual GDP growth fell to the lowest point in a decade in 2013, bogged down by the country’s heavy budget and current account deficits. In May 2013, news that the US Federal Reserve planned to taper its foreign bond purchases caused capital flight from a number of emerging economies, including India, Turkey, Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia. Once considered the engines of economic growth during the global downturn, these countries were then dubbed the Fragile Five by Morgan Stanley, an investment bank. As a result, the value of the rupee dropped sharply in 2013 and early 2014. However, a trade war that China became involved in allowed India to capitalise, and its GDP has been the fastest growing in the world every year between 2014 and 2018.

    Currency

    One Indian rupee (INR) consists of 100 paise. Currency is issued by the central bank, and notes are available in denominations of Rs5, Rs10, Rs20, Rs50, Rs100, Rs500 and Rs1,000. Coins come in denominations of Rs1, Rs2 and Rs5, as well as 10, 20, 25, and 50 paise.

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