The non-resident Indian, whether he is working outside the country on contract, or living permanently as an expatriate, will want to send money to India. There is no doubt that India is rapidly coming of age when it comes to the Internet, very few people in the major cities and larger towns do not have some sort of access. However, much of India is still rural, with little or no supportive infrastructure and as a result, traditional methods to transfer money to India from UK are still popular.
The traditional methods are wire transfer and remittance companies. Wire transfer can be accomplished two ways:
- Bank to bank, where both the remitter and the recipient have accounts
- Office to office of companies that specialize in international wire transfer
In the case of a bank to bank, the individual who wishes to transfer money to India from UK makes arrangements through his UK bank to transfer to the recipient’s bank in India. It is not necessary for the banks on both ends to be the same, the use of correspondent; third party banks make the transfer interbank seamless. To send money, the sender must visit his bank with all the necessary details of the recipient; his name, his bank and the account number. Once the sender pays the remitting bank the amount to be transferred and the transfer fee, the electronic wire transfer takes place. It usually takes less than thirty minutes for the money to be in the recipients account.
If the recipient does not have a bank account, the wire transfer can be made through one of many companies that specialize in sending money between their branch offices worldwide. The sender must visit the branch closest to his home and arrange to send the money to the branch closest to the home of the recipient. This is a little more complicated than bank to bank, as the sender must first prove his identity. At the sender’s bank, he is known so there is no reason to go through this step. The results are the same, the money is available quickly but the recipient must go to the office and collect the money in cash.
If the recipient lives in a backward rural community, there may not be a bank or a wire transfer office in the immediate vicinity. There are companies that have correspondents in many rural areas of India. The individual in the UK can visit the remittance office locally, purchase rupee at the accepted exchange rate, pay in Sterling and the equivalent amount in rupee, less a fee, will be delivered to the rural home of the recipient.