Below are some of the options people use for transfer of money to India.
- (NL) Bank to (India) Bank transfer – ABN charges 0.1% transaction fee to transfer your Euros to your bank in India. Transfer takes about 3 working days. The bank in India receives the Euros and converts it to Rupees. The exchange rate you get is about 25 paise (0.3%) less than the market exchange rate of day 3 for nationalized banks- but you cannot be sure because the rate fluctuates through out the day. Nationalized bank do not take commission – only service charge of Rs 1500 or so. But you will find that private banks give much lesser conversion rate. Sometimes you can call your India bank manager and ask them to hold for sometime before conversion to rupee – if you wish so.
- transferwise.com: they will convert Euro to Rupee themselves and then transfer the amount to your bank in India. They charge about 0.5% transaction fee, but claim that they will give market rate exchange price. An advantage though is that you can set an instruction as to what is the minimum exchange rate you want. (Note: the website claims that they are so much better than bank transfer – the values they show are not true at least for Indian banks. So don’t fall for it. You will also see many people on facebook etc blindly (and shamelessly?) vouching for transferwise and will also give you a link….this is because they will get a commission when you use their link. So think before you decide which method is beneficial for you)
- money2india, hdfcremit etc: These also convert Euro to Rupee themselves. Some offer fixed (but much lower rate) and variable (day 3 rate) exchange rate options. On top of this, there is a % transaction fee. On the variable option, the exchange rate is not transparent…..they probably make money taking a cut from the conversion rate. Transaction takes 1 day OR 3 working days based on your choice.
Overall, from an exchange rate perspective, public opinion is split – different people say different methods are better! There is not enough transparency to say one is better over the other. I think options 2 and 3 get expensive beyond €5000/- as compared to direct transfer from ABN AMRO. My suggestion is to first check with your India bank and ask their transparency/commission rate for conversion and then decide if 1 is better or the other two.
Above are my experiences + what I have heard from friends/facebook. If you have personal experiences/suggestions, please leave a comment.
Disclaimer: These are my experiences and thoughts only and responsibility will not be taken for any inaccuracies.