Category Archives: India Money Transfers

Instant Money Transfer Within India With Oxigen

By Mohammed Waseem

Instant Money Transfer is the trend today and small operators are coming up with instant money transfer solutions and are gaining lot of customers. Since the introduction of M-Pesa, the world has seen a large number of e-wallets and m-wallets. M-Pesa itself has been adopted in a number of countries, either independently or in partnership with a local mobile operator.

In India, M-Pesa works with Vodafone, while many other wallets are also available, including Airtel, YPAYCASH, OxiCash and so on. These operators require authorization from from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in order to operate in the country. All operators function in similar ways, but offer slightly different features.

OxigenOxiCash is a mobile wallet, also known as Oxigen Wallet, that facilitates instant money transfer to bank accounts, as well as to other Oxigen Wallets. The cash that can be stored in the wallet depends on what type of wallet one owns. They have Oxigen 10000 and Oxigen 50000; the former has a limit of INR 10000 maximum storage, while the latter does not.

Oxigen 10000 does not allow cash withdrawal and maximum limit per transaction is INR 10000. Maximum deposit allowed is INR 5000 and INR 10000 per month. The Oxigen 50000 wallet does not have such limitations.

There are three ways to send money with an Oxigen Wallet. The first one is wallet to wallet transfer and the second one is transfer to a bank account using the NEFT (National Electronic Fund Transfer) network, that works with IFSC (Indian Financial System Code). The third way is transfer to a bank account using MMID (Mobile Money Identifier).

This service is excellent for those who do not have a bank account of their own. Even if they do, they can transfer money to any bank in India instantly. This is a major difference with OxiCash, compared to other mobile wallets.

To open a wallet account, this link can be followed, or an SMS can be sent with the following details: “Oxigen*Agree*DOB(DDMMYY)*Full Name”, sent to 9870888888. The wallet can be refilled through net banking, debit cards, credit cards, in cash through any of Oxigen outlets and IMPS (Immediate Payment Service), which is an inter-bank electronic instant mobile money transfer service through mobile phones in India.

Xpress Money, an Online Money Transfer Service

By W. H. Abdelgawad for SafeCashTransfer.com

Update: I started researching this article four months ago, but when I checked just now I found that the website – which used to be XpressMoney.com – is down, and that the company seems to have migrated their website to XpressMoney.biz (if it is even the same company).

That seems strange and shady to me. So at this point I’d have to say that I cannot recommend Xpress Money. Nevertheless, here is the review that I started back in May 2012:

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Xpress Money
Xpress Money logo.

I recently learned about a money transfer service called Xpress Money. Xpress was founded 12 years ago and is based in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. Their website says they have 135,000 agent locations in 125 countries. They seem to specialize in money transfers to Asia and the Middle East (they have no agents in Latin America, as far as I can see). Unsurprisingly, their corporate officers, directors and shareholders are mostly Indians and Arabs.

It looks like the Xpress Money service does not have independent money exchange centers. In Canada, for example, the Xpress Money service is offered through major banks like RBC Royal, BMO, Canada Trust and Scotia Bank, and is available to account holders at those banks.

Sending Rates and Currency Exchange

Xpress Money’s money transfer fees are reasonably low. I used their rate calculator to find out how much they charge to transfer $100 from the USA to India. Their fee is $8.

Some unscrupulous money transfer services offer low transfer fees, but hit you hard on the exchange rate. That’s where they make their profit. Is Xpress Money doing that?

In a word, no. Xpress Money’s exchange rate for the transfer is 53.36 INR (Indian rupees) for one U.S. dollar. I checked Yahoo Finance’s currency converter, and the current exchange rate on the open market is 53.79. If you sent $100 through Xpress Money, your recipient would get 5,336 INR, as opposed to 5,379 on the open market. That’s a difference of 43 rupees, or about 8 cents U.S.

So you’re losing almost nothing on the currency exchange.

Xpress Money User Reviews

I’ve never used Xpress Money’s service and I don’t know anyone who has. Their website has several positive testimonials from customers who have sent money to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. But of course Xpress would not give publish negative experiences on their website.

They also have a Facebook page with 40,000 likes. It’s a mix of corporate news, interesting articles and random odd facts, like, “Eating a packet of crisps a day is equivalent to drinking five liters of cooking oil a year.” (Ha ha).

If you have used Xpress Money, please comment here and let us know if you were happy with the service or not.

SBI and MoneyGram Teaming Up – SBI Branches Become MoneyGram Agents

SBI branch office
An SBI branch office. SBI has inked a deal with MoneyGram to provide inbound money transfer pickups in its branch offices.

New Pick-Up Options for India Money Transfers

The State Bank of India – SBI – announced last month that MoneyGram in-bound cash remittance services will be available in 100 SBI branches in Chennai and Mumbai.

Basically what this means is that if you send money to someone in India from any of the tens of thousands of MoneyGram locations worldwide, the recipient in India will be able to receive the cash at participating SBI branches. SBI is India’s largest public-sector bank, with 13,000 branches. And India was the world’s largest recipient of remittances in 2010, according to the World Bank, amounting to nearly $55 billion last year.

In order to receive the money transfer, the recipient must have the money transfer code, and must show a photo ID and proof of Indian residency. According to RBI guidelines, Indian nationals can draw up to Rs50,000 in cash immediately. Transactions above Rs50,000 are paid out in the form of a cheque. Foreign nationals can withdraw cash up to the equivalent of $2,500 after producing a valid passport and visa.

This is a pilot program. SBI has plans roll out the MoneyGram tie-in to all of its 13,000 branches in the next two years.

MoneyGram has been rapidly growing its network of partners in India. MoneyGram offers a convenient and reliable way to send money to India, with competitive rates and good currency exchange rates as well.

Interestingly, SBI already has the same sort of tie-in established with Western Union in all its branches. So within the next few years, Indians will be able to pick up either Western Union or MoneyGram money transfers at all SBI branches. SBI continues to aggressively position itself as a one-stop money transfer center for Indian nationals.

Inquiry From a MoneyGram Agent

I recently received the following inquiry from a reader who apparently already has a MoneyGram agency in India, and wants to know if this website offers a different money transfer service. amit zinzuwadia wrote:  sir, i am having moneygram agency in india want to became an agent pls send me more details for ur co.

Answer:

Amit, as I understand it, you are not asking how to become a MoneyGram agent, as you are already a MoneyGram agent, correct?

This website, SafeCashTransfer.com, is an informational website. We are not a money transfer service. We provide analysis and reviews of new and established money sending services, including MoneyGram, Western Union, and many others.

We also write original articles about remittances, such as the different services that people use to send remittances back to their home countries, and trends in the remittance industry.

MoneyGram Agency Sign
Sign in the window of a MoneyGram agency

For those who might be interested in becoming MoneyGram agents, you can check their website here to contact MoneyGram and express your interest:

MoneyGram:  become an agent.

According to my understanding, MoneyGram provides all the equipment and training needed for those wanting to become agents, assuming they qualify.

Two faster ways to send money through SBI, the State Bank of India

State Bank of India branch
State Bank of India branch

Following up on my previous outline of the SBI money transfer process, if you want to send money to India through SBI (The State Bank of India), and you want to do it as quickly and easily as possible, there are a few options that are faster than going down to your local bank and filling out a wire transfer form.

1. SBI Express Remit. SBI offers online money transfers to India through their online Global Link Service – http://www.onlinesbi.com/glsus/

This is an express remittance service that is done totally online, so you don’t even need to visit your bank. You can do the whole transfer quickly and easily on your home computer, assuming you have internet service. You can transfer money from your account with any U.S. bank. The exchange rate is competitive, and this online transfer method has the lowest service charges of any SBI transfer. The money will take three to five business days to appear in the Indian bank account.

2. SBI Instant Transfer. SBI’s Instant Transfer service is a real time rupee transfer facility offered by the State Bank of India. You must visit your nearest SBI foreign branch office to do the Instant Transfer. Remittances to India takes place instantly and the money is available in the Indian account within few minutes. This is obviously the fastest money transfer option, if you have an SBI branch office in your area and don’t mind taking the time to go there.

Wire Transfers to SBI – State Bank of India

State Bank of India sign
State Bank of India - I'm not sure if this sign is a joke?

How to Apply to Your Local Bank for a U.S Dollar Wire Transfer to India, Bangladesh, Nepal or Sri Lanka

The following information is provided by SBI and other sources:

A. Wire Transfer to SBI and its Associate Banks in India

Do you need to send a wire transfer to SBI, the State Bank of India? Or maybe remit money through one SBI’s associate banks? SBI associate banks are:

State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur
State Bank of Hyderabad
State Bank of Indore
State Bank of Mysore
State Bank of Patiala
State Bank of Saurashtra
State Bank of Travancore

If so, ask your bank to route the wire transfer through State Bank of India, New York. Click here to download a form that will serve as a handy guide when you fill the wire transfer application form of your bank.

Transmission Time

  • Onward transmission on the day of receipt of funds by SBI, New York.
  • 450 branches of SBI, which have SWIFT facility, receive funds generally on the next banking day in India. Click here to view a list of SWIFT-facility branches of SBI in India.
  • Other branches receive funds via a nearby SWIFT-facility branch.

In addition to whatever your bank charges, you will have to pay SBI’s wife transfer fee, which is a flat fee of $30, deducted from the amount received by SBI, New York.

Conversion to Indian Rupees and Exchange Rate

Conversion to Indian rupees, where required, is done by the Indian SWIFT-facility branch to which the SWIFT message is sent. While the exchange rate cannot be precisely known in advance (due to the difference in time zones), the exchange rate offered by SBI and its Associate Banks in India is generally among the best in the Indian market.

Tracking

To track your remittance online, enroll for the internet banking service of the branch of SBI or Associate Bank where you have an account in India (if the facility is offered by that branch). To enroll for this service with SBI branches, and learn more about the service, click on the following link: www.onlinesbi.com

Inquiries

SBI states that all inquiries pertaining to wire transfers must be made through your local bank. Please allow the normal transmission time to elapse before asking your bank to make an inquiry.

B. Wire Transfer to Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka

SBI advises that you apply for a wire transfer to your local bank to send money to any bank in Bangladesh, Nepal or Sri Lanka through SBI correspondents in those countries, and ask your local bank to route the wire transfer through State Bank of India, New York.

Click here to download a form that will serve as a handy guide when you fill out the wire transfer application form of your bank.

Transmission Time

  • Onward transmission to SBI’s branch/correspondent on the same day.
  • Beneficiary bank receives funds a few days thereafter.

SBI’s Charges

In addition to whatever your bank charges, you will have to pay SBI’s wife transfer fee, which is a flat fee of $30, deducted from the amount received by SBI, New York. SafeCashTransfer.com did a little research and it appears that if you have a local branch of SBI to send from, you may only have to pay the one fee. For example, SBI California has several branches, in Los Angeles, Artesia, San Jose, Fresno, Canoga Park, Bakersfield and San Diego. If you send your money through them, there is no fee for drafts over 50,000 rupees. So you would pay only the $30 fee deducted by SBI New York.

Conversion to Home Currency and Exchange Rate

Conversion to home currency is done by the SBI correspondent in the recipient country. While the exchange rate cannot be precisely known in advance (due to difference in time zones), SBI states that their correspondent will strive to offer competitive exchange rates.

Inquiries

SBI advises that all inquiries pertaining to wire transfers must be made through your local bank (from which you initiated the wire transfer). Please allow the normal transmission time to elapse before asking your bank to make an inquiry.