Transferring Money to India

1. Background

2. Money India

3. Paypal

4. Xoom

5. Western Union

6. Considerations


This article, 'Money India', shall look at the transfer of money between Britain and India. Transferring money is something many people in the UK do on a regular basis, whether spending on a debit card in a shop, buying something on the internet or paying rent by standing order. Millions of transfers take place within the UK everyday, the vast majority going through without a hitch. Moving money abroad can be more troublesome.

Two common types of bank transfer are BACS and CHAPS transfers. A BACS transfer is by far the most common type on money transfer within the UK, and is how the majority of people are paid monthly wages. It takes three working days to clear in the recipient's account, after leaving the sender's account. In 2003, over 4,000,000,000 BACS transfers were completed within the UK, which was greater than the amount of debit card transactions! Unfortunately, BACS transfers will only work between UK bank accounts and cannot be used to send money abroad.

CHAPS transfers are organised by the CHAPS clearing house and can be used to send money internationally. Within the UK, a CHAPS transfer will clear overnight but it can take longer to send funds internationally. These transfers are generally used for large amounts of money - in 2003, the average value of a CHAPS transfer was 1.91 million!

So, how should a private customer consider transferring funds internationally? As an example, under the heading 'Money India', we shall look at transferring money to India.

Money India

India is the world's largest democracy and an emerging world power with over a billion inhabitants. There was large emigration to the UK in the mid-twentieth century as India came out of the shadows of the British empire. This has created a situation where a lot of business is conducted between the two countries and a lot of money is sent internationally. Sending money to India can be done through through a number of different channels, notably through Paypal, Xoom or Western Union. For money India uses rupees, this money India is very attached to. So, how can you send money to India?


PayPal was founded in 1998 by eBay. It has grown on the back of the eBay phenomenom to become a popular way of transferring money around the world. It enables any individual or business with an email address to securely, quickly and easily send and receive payments online. PayPal's service builds on the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards and uses the some of the world's most advanced fraud prevention systems to create a safe, global, real-time payment service.

PayPal has quickly become a global leader in online payment solutions with 78 million account members worldwide. Available in 56 countries and regions around the world, buyers and sellers on eBay, online retailers, online businesses, as well as traditional offline businesses are using PayPal to send and receive money. When receiving money India, or Indians, can use Paypal. Ebay has been running in India since 2000 and is increasingly popular among Indian consumers, keen to find bargains on the internet.


Xoom Corporation is an online-to-offline international money transfer service. We offer a secure, fast, and inexpensive means of sending money from our website to offline recipients in the following growing list of countries. Recipients do not require a bank account or Internet connection to receive funds.

People who wish to send money to India should certainly consider Xoom as a potential service provider, especially those wishing to send funds to recipients outside of the major towns who are less likely to have recognised bank accounts. For this reason, this Money India article recommends considering Xoom to transfer money to India if the recipient doesn't have a bank account.

Western Union

Western Union Holdings Inc provides a system for making cash transfers through 80,000 agent locations in more than 170 countries. In the UK, agents include Going Places and the bureau de change Exchange International. It is a subsidiary of First Data Corporation. The company specialises in sending funds internationally, including sending money to India. When moving money internationally, India is a popular destination as the rupee is traditionally weak against international currencies such as the Dollar, Pound and Euro, meaning that money earned in the west can buy more goods or services. This is partly why this article is entitled 'Money India'.


The crux of this article, 'Money India', is that transferring funds to the east needn't carry any risk. This is especially true of purely electronic transactions which happen over the internet through services like Paypal, where neither recipient ever really 'sees' the money. Occasionally, however, things can go wrong when transferring money abroad.

CHAPS transfers which clear within 24 hours in the UK can take over a week to move to more remote parts of the world as they need to go through various clearing houses before they reach their destination. Very occasionally, chains of communication break down and human error can result in a payment being misplaced. When any transfer of money is organised, it requires a certain amount of human work, from the teller in the bank who writes down details of the transaction, to the clerk in the back office who organises the transfer, to the clearing house staff, to the staff at the recipient bank. Not all of these staff will speak the same language or work the same hours, so problems do occasionally arise.

Those of you who worry about money, India and the price of fish can relax in the knowledge that these errors are very rare and can always be rectified quickly with a well-directed phonecall to the bank