How NRIs Can Save On Money Transfer Fees & Get Best Exchange Rate

Sponsored by: Xoom, A PayPal Service

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) around the world sent a total of $83 billion to India in 2019, as per a World Bank report

NRIs often pay a heavy price to send their hard-earned money. In 2019, the average cost of sending $200 to India was 2.9% of the amount sent according to the World Bank data on remittances. On average, NRIs spent close to $2.4 billion in just fees and charges to send money home in 2019.

According to the data above from the Reserve Bank of India, family maintenance and savings constitute a majority of the remittances sent to India along with money sent for investment purposes. The money spent on avoidable fees could have benefited the loved ones instead. In this blog, we will break down the various costs associated with sending money to India, and tips for saving on money transfer fees. 

Cost of sending money 

There are 5 main factors that impact the cost of sending money: 

  1. Exchange Rates 
  2. Speed of Transfer 
  3. Payment Method 
  4. Transfer Fees 
  5. Transfer Amount 

Exchange Rates 

Traditional money transfer service providers like banks and money transfer stores make money by marking up exchange rates and transfer fees. It has proven to be expensive and time-consuming. 

As exchange rates fluctuate depending on market dynamics, make sure you compare the exchange rates before sending money. Xoom, PayPal’s digital remittance service, offers competitive exchange rates when compared to other digital remittance players, and even more so when users send higher amounts through Xoom. For example, for transactions to India, Xoom offers competitive exchange rates on transfers over USD $2,000, and the best Xoom rates are for amounts USD $10,000 and above.

Speed of Transfer 

Speed is a key differentiator while evaluating money transfer services. The speed at which your money transfer reaches your recipient depends on the money transfer service provider, your recipient’s destination, your preferred payment and payout method. We have compared the top money transfer service providers for online money transfers from the US to India.

Just like Xoom’s brand ambassador Usain Bolt, Xoom is a speedy option within the money transfer industry. Transfers below 2 lakh rupees will reach your recipient in India typically in minutes, and high-value money deposits above two lakh rupees for both cash pick-up and bank deposit arrive typically within two hours – without having to wait for transactions to be processed during typical Indian banking hours. This includes most major Indian banks such as HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, and State Bank of India (SBI)

Payment Method 

Your cost of sending money also depends on your method of payment. You can send money overseas using multiple payment methods: 

  • Online
  • Bank Wire Transfer
  • Debit Card
  • Credit Card
  • PayPal 

SinceXoom is a PayPal service, customers who already have an account with PayPal can also fund their Xoom transfers to India with their balance, and they don’t pay a Xoom transaction fee if they send $1,000 or more.

Transfer Fees and Transfer Amount 

There is a direct correlation between your transfer amount and the transaction fees you are charged. Think of it as the average cost of a can of coke from the major retailer near you vs. buying in bulk from a big box retailer. The higher the amount, the lesser you are likely to pay in fees.

A Reserve Bank of India (RBI) survey found that private sector bank charges on money transfers can go up to 12.6 % for money transfers to India under $200. The cost of remittances through digital remittance services is competitive vis-à-vis high street banks. Which brings us to Xoom, a digital remittance service. Let’s look at the transaction fees to send money through Xoom:

  • $499 or under  $2.99
  • $999 or under  $4.99
  • $1000 and above  $0.00

Below we have compared the transfer fee of sending $1000 from the US to India charged by top money transfer companies vs. Xoom.