Next to Chinese-born Australians, Indian-born Australians are the largest non-anglo group in the country. As the Indian community feels strong bonds with their relatives in India, they try to ease their lives by arranging to transfer money to India from Australia. Parents in particular are recipients of remittances which help them cope with medical expenses, general living expenses and perhaps to have a more comfortable life. Many Indian born Australian residents also dream of the day when they can return to India for their golden years.
There are four usable ways to transfer money to India from Australia, the following is a brief comparison of the time to send the money and the relative cost.
- Remittance agents: Remittance agents are individuals or companies that have correspondents in India who will deliver money to Indian recipients. Based on a transfer of A$1,000 the costs to arrange the transfer range from A$15-20 plus a fee equivalent to 3% of the exchange rate. Although this is an expensive way of transferringfunds, it is instant.
- Wire transfers: Wire transfers using a commercial company rather than bank to bank cost approximately A$25-30 per A$1,000 transferred plus a fee of 1.5% of the exchange rate. For the recipient to access the funds takes one to two days.
- Check transfers: When sending a check drawn on the recipients bank in A$ there is no transaction fee. When the check arrives in India via post it must be presented to the recipients bank where it is converted into rupee at a poor exchange rate and a fee of approximately 1 to 1.2% of the exchange rate. As the check must return for clearance, it takes up to a month for the recipient to get the remittance.
- On-line transfers: Each company is different but normally the fee is between A$5 and A$9. For transfers above a certain amount, and all the services have pegged different amounts, the fee is waived. In addition to the fee approximately 1% of the exchange rate is charged. The time from making the remittance to getting the cash is 2 to 3 working days.
Considering the above, it appears best to transfer money to India from Australia by on-line transfer. For convenience and simplicity it is hard to beat on-line transfers. The sender can remit funds from any bank account in Australia regardless of the location. It can be done at any time of the day or night; there is no need to go to the bank or to a wire transfer agency. The process is secure, through the use of highly encrypted data transfer; the money is transferred directly to the transfer companies banking partners in India. The transfer company does not handle your money; it goes from your bank to the receiving bank directly.