According to the latest figures available from the World Bank, the UK’s biggest remittance corridor is to India. Nearly $4 billion is transferred each year, which works out to roughly 16% of the total remittances from the UK. Considering India is the second most common country of birth among migrants to Britain, this shouldn’t come as a surprise1.
So if you’re looking to send money to family or friends in India, what are your options?
The first port of call for many people is their bank, as it was traditionally the only way to send money abroad. You can still arrange a bank transfer, but there are two potential obstacles. Firstly, not everyone has a bank account- around 40% of Indians don’t have access to financial services2. Secondly, even if the receiver has an account, this is the most expensive way of sending money3. However, some people prefer sticking with what they know, while ATMs make accessing cash relatively straightforward.
Sending cash is one of the easiest and quickest ways to transfer money. All you have to do is pop into an agent, hand over the cash you’d like to send and provide the receiver’s details. The receiver can then collect it immediately from a local agent. One thing you should take into consideration is the size of the agent network in India- the receiver must collect the cash in person, so a bigger network means the receiver won’t have to travel too far. For example, in Delhi alone Xpress Money has over 1,300 agents.
Nearly 40% of mobile phone users in India are projected to own smartphones by 20194, so more and more people are sending money from a mobile wallet. A mobile wallet is an app you download on your phone, which works just like a physical wallet. It allows you to store money, make payments and send money directly to another person’s mobile wallet anywhere in the world. The cash is available immediately for the receiver to either spend, pay bills or withdraw from an agent.
Xpress Money also offers UK residents the option of transferring money to India via our mobile app, Xopoto. The receiver can collect the cash immediately from an agent at the other end and can even request money in case of an emergency.
As we discussed in a previous blog post about global trends in remittance prices, it’s important to compare prices with various transfer services and to make sure you’re paying the lowest fees.With a global average cost of 2%, Xpress Money charges one of the most competitive rates in the industry. Click here to find out more.