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Business Landscape: Cross-border remittances in India

Cross-border remittance in the Indian business context refers to the transfer of funds across international borders. 

This is particularly important in India given its huge population of Indian businesses operating abroad with international vendors. mainly in regions such as the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. These individuals frequently send money back to India to provide financial support to their families or for investment purposes.

Read on….

What is cross-border remittance in India?

Various channels facilitate cross-border remittance in India, including banks, online payment platforms, remittance service providers, and informal networks like hawala. Indian enterprises, particularly those in finance, retail, and real estate sectors, heavily rely on these remittances as a significant revenue stream.

Technological advancements have spurred the popularity of digital platforms for cross-border remittance in India. These platforms offer convenience, swiftness, and often lower transaction fees compared to traditional banking methods. Furthermore, innovations such as blockchain technology are being explored to enhance the efficiency and transparency of cross-border transactions.

Types of cross border remittances in India

Cross-Border Remittance Types
Type of Cross-Border Remittance Description
Bank Transfers Transfer of funds between countries facilitated by banking institutions. This method ensures security and reliability, albeit potentially involving higher transaction fees and lengthier processing durations.
Online Payment Platforms Utilization of digital platforms such as PayPal, TransferWise, or Paytm for international money transfers. These platforms offer convenience and swiftness, often accompanied by competitive exchange rates.
Remittance Service Providers Services offered by companies specializing in global money transfers, such as Western Union or MoneyGram. They provide diverse transfer options, including cash pickup and direct deposit, leveraging extensive networks for widespread accessibility.
Informal Channels Unofficial avenues like hawala networks, enabling money transfers outside formal banking systems. While these channels may offer expedited transfers, they lack regulatory oversight and legal scrutiny.

How to make cross-border payments in India? 

Here are the top 9 things to do. We have explained these points with some examples to help you understand better.

  1. Choose the Right Payment Method: Imagine a software development company in India, "TechSolutions Pvt. Ltd.," needs to pay licensing fees to a software vendor in the United States. They compare the fees and exchange rates of different payment methods and opt to use TransferWise for its competitive rates and transparent fee structure.
  2. Research Exchange Rates: "GarmentEx India," a textile manufacturer in India, is importing machinery from Germany. Before making the payment, they research the current exchange rates using reliable financial sources like XE.com to ensure they get the best value for their money when converting Indian Rupees (INR) to Euros (EUR).
  3. Consider Transfer Fees: "Spice Agro Products," an Indian spice exporter, needs to pay an invoice to a buyer in the United Arab Emirates. They compare the transfer fees of different banks and choose HDFC Bank for its lower fees and efficient cross-border payment services.
  4. Verify Security Measures: "GlobalTech Solutions," an IT consulting firm in India, is outsourcing a project to a development team in Ukraine. To ensure the security of their payment, they use PayPal Business for its robust encryption and fraud prevention measures.
  5. Understand Transfer Limits: "Textile Mills India," a textile manufacturer, is making a large payment for raw material imports from China. They verify the transfer limits imposed by their bank, ICICI Bank, to ensure they can transfer the required amount without exceeding regulatory restrictions.
  6. Provide Accurate Information: "Brighter Futures Education Consultancy," an educational service provider in India, is paying tuition fees for Indian students studying abroad at universities in the United Kingdom. They double-check and accurately enter the bank details provided by the universities to ensure seamless payment processing through Axis Bank.
  7. Consider Timing: "AgriProduce India," an agricultural products exporter, needs to make a payment for a shipment of spices to a buyer in Europe. They plan the payment well in advance, considering the processing times for international transfers, to ensure timely delivery using State Bank of India's international banking services.
  8. Review Transaction Details: "SolarTech Solutions," a solar energy company in India, is paying for equipment purchases from a supplier in the United States. Before finalizing the payment through their account with Kotak Mahindra Bank, they carefully review the transaction details to confirm the accuracy of the amount and recipient information.
  9. Keep Records: "MediServe Healthcare," a healthcare provider in India, is paying licensing fees for medical software to a vendor in Canada. After completing the payment through Yes Bank, they retain copies of the transaction receipt and confirmation email for their records and audit trail.

How much foreign remittance is allowed from India?

There is no limit as such for the kind of cross-border remittance in India, in the context of the business international remittances. But for more information, you should check this page for the outward remittance limit in India. 

Mistakes to avoid while making cross border remittances in India

  1. Forgetting Exchange Rates: Make sure to check how much money you'll get in the foreign currency. Rates change, so it's essential to send money when you get the most for it.
  2. Not Watching Transfer Fees: Some companies charge a lot to send money. Look for ones that don't charge too much so more of your money reaches the person you're sending it to.
  3. Getting Documents Wrong: If you fill out forms incorrectly or miss some details, your money might not get where it needs to go. So, double-check everything before sending money.
  4. Avoiding Risky Channels: Some ways to send money might not be safe or legal. Stick to well-known companies or banks to make sure your money is secure.
  5. Check Recipient Details: Make sure you have the right account number and name of the person you're sending money to. Otherwise, it could end up in the wrong place.
  6. Stay Within Limits: There's usually a maximum amount you can send at once. Don't go over it, or your transaction might get stuck.
  7. Keep Your Money Safe: Use secure methods to send money online and make sure you have extra security, like using a password and a code sent to your phone.
  8. Don't Rush: Take your time when sending money. Check all the details before you click "send" to make sure everything's correct.
  9. Consider Timing: Sending money can take longer on weekends or holidays. Plan ahead so your money gets where it needs to go on time.
  10. Follow the Rules: Make sure you're following the law when sending money across borders. Breaking the rules can get you into trouble, so it's essential to know what you're allowed to do.


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