Beware of currency markups on international transfers

Over the past few months, banks have improved their online platforms to make it as easy as sending money to someone in India. For example, Kotak Mahindra Bank recently enabled international money transfers in its mobile banking app. This is the first bank to do so.

Even RBI is evaluating new technologies through regulatory sandboxes. We have accepted entries from fintech companies working on new technologies in the money transfer space. You can also use a new company, such as Transferwise, that charges a portion of your bank’s fees.

There are differences in regulations and fees when sending money from other countries and when sending money overseas. RBI strictly controls overseas remittances.

When sending money to other countries, you can use the bank’s online platform only if the money transfer is under the Liberalized Money Transfer Scheme (LRS). This system allows individuals to make international remittances only for specific purposes. You are free to send up to $ 250,000 per fiscal year under the LRS for close relatives retention, education, medical care, immigration, employment, investment, gifts or donations, and travel.

However, there is a $ 25,000 limit per fiscal year for sending money online under LRS. Some banks may have limits on the amount of money you can transfer each day. If the amount is high, the sender needs to access the branch.

For commercial transfers, such as payments to freelancers, you must first submit the required documents at your bank branch.

However, if you purchase items online from another country and pay with your card, you are free to do so without any paperwork. In such cases, it is the card companies and merchants that must meet government regulations.

Domestic remittances are not very tightly controlled. The sender can use any service as long as it is credited to the bank account. For inbound forwarding, most banks do not charge a fee. However, there is forex markup. This is the difference between a typical exchange rate and a bank rate.

For example, the exchange rate of $ 1 72.55, banks call it, for example 71.85.If the sender sends $ 100, the beneficiary will 7,255 based on the exchange rate.However, due to the markup of foreign exchange, the beneficiaries 7,185-difference 70. At small doses, the markup may appear small. But for higher amounts, the difference is important.

Remittance fees are high due to the costs borne by the bank. “They use a traditional money transfer mechanism called SWIFT, which requires you to deposit money in a foreign bank with your Nostro account. If someone from India sends money to the United States, that bank will transfer the money from your Nostro account. We will deduct. That money will fall due to the exchange rate and we will not earn any interest that would cost banks, “said Navin Gupta, Managing Director of Ripple’s South Asia and MANA.

Ripple is an alternative service to SWIFT that banks use for international money transfers.

You can send money on your bank’s money transfer platform or online banking website. You need to add a payee to your bank account and transfer the funds.

Currently, only Kotak Mahindra Bank makes overseas remittances via the mobile app. Fani Shanker, President and Co-Head of Finance and Global Markets at Kotak Mahindra Bank, said: “When some customers got stuck abroad because of covid, they requested such a service.

banking fee 1,180 yen (tax included) regardless of the transfer amount. There is also a forex markup fee. There is no minimum limit. Senders can send money for a minimum of $ 1.

Most banks charge the same range of fees. Customers should be aware of forex markup. Sudarshan Motwani, CEO and co-founder of BookMyForex, said: “Given the overall charges, including forex markup, the sender will pay 2-4% of the remittance amount through the bank.

However, these rates apply only to popular currencies. Most Indian banks have a list of 16 to 20 currencies to which these rates apply. According to Motowani, for example, sending money to a small country in Africa can be much more expensive due to the involvement of multiple banks.

In some cases, using a platform other than a bank may be cheaper to process even if you use the same bank for the transfer. However, the higher the transfer amount, the lower the markup the bank will offer.See the example of the person you want to transfer 10,000 rupees to the United States.Transferwise charged when writing this 72.56 for $ 1 2,283 with fees and taxes. The recipient gets $ 1,347.

In BookMyForex, the dollar rate is higher, 73.05, but charges and taxes 446. The recipient receives $ 1,363.

Larger private bank was billing 73.44-73.97, and prices were up 800.

Non-bank platforms may offer better forex markup, but may charge higher service fees. Please check the service charge and Forex markup before sending money abroad. Summing the two makes it clear which mode is cheaper.

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Beware of currency markups on international transfers

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