Remittance: Is this the right time to send money to India?

Remittance: Having doubts whether it is the right time to send money to India? It always is, if you are alert enough to trace the market and currency depreciation. The right time can be evaluated by keeping certain tips and tricks in mind that will help you save more on remittances and figure out the “right time”.

Remittance: Is this the right time to send money to India?

The COVID-19 outbreak has shunned the world and it is a very legitimate doubt that most of the NRIs are encountering presently. Let us guide you through how you can identify the best time to send money to India! 

Remittance: Is this the right time to send money to India?

1. Understanding the Market and Currency Scenario

The basic understanding of the market scenario and currency fluctuation is quintessential for understanding the right time to send money – 

To start off, you can see what’s happening with the overall market in India, look at 1-5 year of Sensex and Nifty to understand the macro picture. You can also learn about the potential of the country in future, and depending on the current market and future potential, make a thought.

Let’s talk of a specific situation now, in case of COVID-19, when the world is about to slip into recession, how can you think of the market. Let’s see few historical trends – 

It has been proven historically that after every major downfall, the markets rise at a rapid speed. After the Global Recession (1986-88) that had an overall 40.8% fall in the market, the return growth valuation  in just 3 years was 199.5%. Post the Gulf War (1990-91), the market rose to a profit of 320.5% after a 56.4% downfall. A 73.2% strengthening against the 30.6% market fall during the inflation of 2006 and the recent European Sovereign Debt Crisis of (2010-11), that showcased a 80.8% growth rate in 3 years in response to a 11.6% fall in the market are all noteworthy examples. Hence, if you are willing to take a bit of risk, based on the data from history, it’s safe to assume that you can expect >30% returns over the next 3 year period if you invest now. According to Moody’s, Fitch and S&P, India would be one of few countries which might escape recession and is still expected to have a positive GDP growth. Hence, it might be a good time to invest. But wait! You will have to understand what‘s happening with currency fluctuation.

The Currency Fluctuation is the most important aspect. At present, the indian rupee has depreciated to the 76 mark relative to the US$ but the prices of crude oil have fallen. Since, India spends a lot of dollars in the imports of crude oil, with a relief on that expenditure it can be expected that Rupee will appreciate in the coming few years.

What can be understood here is the relation between the ups and downs in the market and its effects on the weakening and strengthening of the Indian Rupee. As India is also witnessing a plunge in the market because of COVID-19, it will be a good time to invest and send money in India and wait for the market to replenish itself in the coming years. 

2. Opt for the best Money Transfer Channel

The exchange rate charges on remittance can be minimized to an extent depending on the market and currency scenario, if you choose the right Money Transfer Channels. Check out the various channels that you can use for remittances to India.

MediumAccess PointsSourceTime Taken
Top Operators
(source: World Bank)
Transaction Cost
Online BankingOnline or Mobile AppCredit/Debit Cards and Bank Account Transfers1-2 working daysCitibank (same day transfer)
Remit Money (within an hour)
No fee (for own and partner bank accounts
$1.64 per $200
Money Transfer Operators*Online or Mobile AppCredit/Debit Cards and Bank Account Transfers1-2 working daysTransferwise (1-2 days)
Moneygram (1-2 days)
$4.77 per $200
$7.38 per $200
AgentsBanks and Money Transfer OperatorsCash or Credit/Debit Cards1 working dayWestern Union (within an hour)
Ria (same working day)
$9.04 per $200
$8.00 per $200
Call CentresBanks and Money Transfer OperatorsCredit/Debit Cards and Bank Account Transfers1 working dayWells Fargo (one working day)
Western Union(one working day)
$1.60 per $200
$3.94 per $200
Foreign Currency Demand Drafts*Banks (branch visit can be required)Bank Account Transfers
2-3 weeks
ICICI BankAxis Bank
Varies as per Bank(For eg: Axis Bank charges Rs.200/- for issuing Foreign Currency DD;ICICI charges Rs.250/-)

SWIFT* Transfers

Banks (branch visit can be required)

Bank Account Transfers

1-2 working days

Axis Bank
Varies as per Bank(For eg: HDFC charges flat Rs.1000/- for transfers above $500 or equivalent transfers;ICICI charges minimum Rs.1500/-)

*Money Transfer Operators: Money transfer operators (MTOs) are financial companies (but usually not banks) engaged in cross border transfer of funds using either their internal system or using their collaborations with other international banking networks. Eg: Transferwise.

*SWIFT: Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Offline money transfer facility that can be availed at bank branches in India)

*Foreign Currency Demand Drafts: A form of demand draft made in foreign currency at various bank branches located in India  to remit money overseas. The equivalent amount in INR will be debited for remittance.  

After you have understood the market behaviour, the next step will be to decide on how to send the money to India. The table above holds information about the various mediums that can be  chosen to transfer money to India. Since, we are all fighting together against the pandemic by staying at our homes under lockdowns, we would suggest you to opt for mediums such as online banking and Money Transfer Operators such as Transferwise which you can use while being safe inside your homes and also, these are the fastest and cheapest mediums right now. 

You can even save more on these mediums, read along to know how.

3. Planning ahead and setting alerts

Now, for saving more on your remittances, planning is a very crucial step that will help you in optimization of the time to send money to India. To save most on currency exchange margins and transfer charges, you should set alerts to remain updated about currency fluctuations. Transfer operators like Transferwise provide alert features that will keep you updated on major currency fluctuations and you can decide the best time accordingly. You can also set alerts on Google and get emails every time any change occurs in the currency exchange rates.

Till now, we have understood the market and have chosen the best suited mediums for remittance with respect to the current situations. We also discussed why we need to plan ahead and be alert and updated and the processes regarding how to do so. Also, there are deals and promotions run by a few transfer services, operators and Banks from time to time, the next section guides you through the same

4. Opt for Promotions and Deals

Once you have chosen the best medium for remittance and are sure that the time is optimum for transfers to India considering the currency exchange rates and the market scenario, always be on the lookout for promotions and deals offered by various money transfer services and banks. You can also refer to various coupon aggregator websites such as Retailmenot to check out the latest deals and promotions. Gift Cards, Referral Discounts and free transfers when exceeding a particular amount of remittance are some of the other ways that can save you some money along with other deals. 

That’s how you can optimize your remittances to help you save most while sending money to India. If you have any doubts or queries, you can talk to an expert from SBNRI to understand more about remittances. For instant remittance from anywhere in the world to India, click in the button below.

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Remittance: How to opt for The Best way to send money to India?

We discussed how NRIs can contemplate the market behaviour, opt for the optimum medium and anticipate the correct time to remit money to India. This is an entire process, that if you get used to, will benefit you in multiple ways. You should keep a few things in mind before diving into the process:

Take Responsibility! Look around. Don’t go for the very first option that you browse through. A minute of consideration can save you hours of repentance. Select the best channel for transfers. Compare and contrast between them and save more. Always!

So, there it is! You can take the call now, a little more confident than what you were before you started with this article. Right? Next time when you ask yourself “Is this the right time to send money to India?” You will know. 

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