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