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For one reason or the other time comes when we want to transfer money to India. There can be many reasons for making this money transfer to India, it may be weddings, family support, investment or just as a gift to somebody. Depending on the occasion need for money transfer to India may be occasional, more frequent or regular.
Many new services and companies are now offering Money transfer services to India and across the globe. These may be banks, other financial institutions or dedicated money transfer companies. Old way of wire transfer or Western union are no longer the only options available, there are various other ways to send money home. Advent of internet has increased the options much further.
Before you choose a particular money transfer service, it is important to understand the basic concepts involved in money transfer and its mode of operation. A little understanding of this topic can make you save significant amount of money and get you some peace of mind as well.
Money Transfer Fees
Most obvious parameter is the Fees charged for transferring money to India. This varies widely from free to exorbitant rates. Some money transfer providers charge it on the basis of amount of funds you are sending others will take account the destination as well. Fees may be fixed or based on percentage of the total amount. There may also be a processing fees involved if you want to use paypal or credit cards as fund source.
Many of us have the the tendency to have extreme faith in financial institutions and believe that competition or regulations will force these institutions to provide customers with similar exchange rates but hardly it is the case. Exchange rate for transferring money from bank to bank will be different. There are so many parameters involved in defining an exchange rate at a point. Usually at given moment in time a currency is being traded in open currency forex exchanges at a particular bid and ask rates. Some banks charge the spot rate others have their own criteria.
Before worrying about fishing for best exchange rate for your money transfer to India request make out weather it will be important criteria for you. If the total amount is few hundred dollars you may be better off not worrying over exchange rate and go for the one with best fees and other favorable parameters. But if amount you want to transfer is big then exchange rate becomes important. In that case paying few more dollars in fees will be worthwhile if you are getting a better exchange rate. In essence you should compare apples for apples For example if you have option of a free currency exchange and a fees based currency exchange then minus the fees from the destination amount and then compare it to destination amount for free exchange.
Delivery time and delivery locations
Exchange rate and fees may become secondary if you are ion emergency and want your funds to be transferred within a day or too. Sometimes an institution might not be able to send your funds to your preferred location or will take lot more time than normal to deliver funds to that location.
Accounts and accounts
Many a time money transfer service provider will need you to have a compatible bank account in India. For some the requirement may be nre account or for some their own bank branch. For some a limited amount of main banks and branches. As funds source some will need you to have account in their bank. Some money transfer agents can use funds from credit cards, debit cards or even paypal accounts. Some will need you to deposit cash funds to them. So there are myriad of options.
Money transfer Transaction Status
You will also be interested to know the status of your funds once they are out of your hands. There are so many stages in a money transfer transaction that you need to be updated on where your money is at a point in time. This will giveyou control over the action to be taken in case transaction is struck at a particular stage.
Credibility of the company is also very important. You don't want to hand your money to an overnight shop ands loose it. In this digital age when your money has become digital as well it is easily possible for it to vanish.
Customer support provided becomes important if your transaction gets into some problems. Is there some one who can listen to you in case you need help in tracking down your money you send and either never reached or delayed or delivered a wrong transaction.
Ease of use
How easy is it to use. Even if you find a brilliant service but you can't figure out how to use it then it is useless.