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Michelle Monck

Michelle Monck

Consumer Finance Expert
Published: 12/11/2020

This Saturday, Diwali will be celebrated by millions across the world and, according to foreign exchange company Xe, it will see a 35% increase in the number of payments sent from those living in the UK to India. People send money to India to help support family and friends and as gifts, especially at Diwali.

How to send money to India

The high street banks offer services to send money abroad, however some may charge a fee to do this and their exchange rates may not be as competitive as those available from a specialist exchange service. Those wanting to send money abroad should compare exchange rates to make sure they are getting the best value for their money. For example, Xe has a currency conversion calculator to help compare exchange rates.

Those holding a HSBC Premier or Advance bank account can send money for free to those with a HSBC account in India when using the HSBC online service. Read more about these accounts in our guide to HSBC bank accounts. State Bank of India (SBI) UK allows its account holders to send money to India for free when sending Rupees using their online service.

Another way to send money to India is to use a money transfer service, which includes those organisations that can deliver payments in cash to the recipients, for example Western Union. However, when choosing a cash service, the exchange rates may be more costly than alternative services. Those that want to send money abroad to a bank account can use a foreign exchange broker to do this quickly online. Users of these services must set up an account before they can send payments.

Generally, those that are sending larger sums of money abroad need to pay careful attention to getting the best exchange rates, as even a small percentage difference could result in the payment received having a lower or higher value. Xe is cutting the margins it charges on exchange rates by half on its British Pound to Indian Rupee exchange rates and there are no additional fees to pay. This means someone sending £1,000 to India now would gain an additional 773.6 Rupees.

Those wanting to send money to India can do this using their bank, with an international money transfer service or a foreign exchange broker.

Check the tax rules for sending payments to India

Those sending money to blood relations in India, including spouses, siblings, children and grandchildren, should find there is no tax applied to the money transferred. Any money sent to individuals that are not blood relatives may need to report the receipt of this money to the Indian Revenue Service. Full regulations are listed but on the Indian Income Tax Act. There are steep penalties for those that do not report transfers received as required so it is important those receiving money check what they need to do.


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Diwali sending money to India

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