If you only need small amounts of money from your account abroad, you can use your bank card and simply withdraw the money at an ATM in India. The bank operating the ATM will charge a fee, however, usually a set percentage of the amount withdrawn. Even though this option can be expensive, it allows you immediate access to your money.
On-line money transfer to India
You will have to ask a friend in your home country to set up an account. He then will have to fill in his bank details and your personal details on the website. After the money is sent, you will receive an email and also have to set up an account. You can then decide whether you want the payment to be transferred to your Indian bank account or to your credit card from home. The payment can also be a cheque, which you would have to cash in at a local bank.
Sending money to India using one of the two on-line money transfer companies should usually take about one week.
Money transfer agencies in India
If you do not have Internet access you can use the services of international money transfer companies companies, such as Western Union and MoneyGram. There are also Indian companies offering international money transfers, such as Times of Money or Samachar Money Transfer.
To use a money transfer agency, you will also have to ask a friend in your home country to send you money. Your friend will have to go to the agency's office and deposit the money. You will then be able to pick it up at any of the agency's offices in India. These are usually connected to post offices. Don´t forget to bring your passport or driving license as proof of identity!
All money transfer agencies charge high fees, so you should only consider them emergency options only. These transfers usually take about one week.
Regular SWIFT bank transaction
You can, of course, also send money using a regular international bank transaction. You will need the international bank account number (IBAN) and SWIFT number of both accounts. That enables you to make an international transaction.
Costs of international bank transfers depend on both your home bank and your Indian bank. Using regular bank transfers is generally a very expensive option and should only be used if there is no other choice.
ICICI bank transactions
Transactions between International Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) bank accounts are free of charge. Since ICICI is expanding worldwide, opening an ICICI account in your home country and in India is a cheap and easy solution to the problem of transferring money to and from India.