Overview of DBS India Remit service that provides remittances to India for DBS account holders in Singapore with a How-to Guide and expected costs.
If you are an NRI visiting India or a new arrival from abroad, figuring out your banking can be a major challenge. But here is a quick guide to all the international banks in India.
Plus a closer look at the major ones to make banking easier. And be sure to check out the benefits of having an international bank to help you make the best decision for you.
Here are all the foreign banks operating in India per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI):¹
- Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.
- National Australia Bank
- Westpac Banking Corporation
- Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait BSC
- AB Bank Ltd.
- Sonali Bank Ltd.
- Bank of Nova Scotia
- Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.
- BNP Paribas
- Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank
- Societe Generale
- Deutsche Bank
- HSBC Ltd
- PT Bank Maybank Indonesia TBK
- Mizuho Bank Ltd.
- Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
- MUFG Bank, Ltd.
- Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A.
- Doha Bank
- Qatar National Bank SAQ
- JSC VTB Bank
- DBS Bank Ltd.
- United Overseas Bank Ltd.
- FirstRand Bank Ltd.
- Shinhan Bank
- Woori Bank
- KEB Hana Bank
- Industrial Bank of Korea
- Bank of Ceylon
- Credit Suisse A.G
- CTBC Bank Co., Ltd.
- Krung Thai Bank Public Co. Ltd. $
- Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Ltd.
- Mashreq Bank PSC
- First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC
- Emirates NBD Bank PJSC
- Barclays Bank Plc.
- Standard Chartered Bank
- NatWest Markets plc
- American Express Banking Corp.
- Bank of America
- Citibank N.A.
- J.P. Morgan Chase Bank N.A.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all the banks on the list have retail customer services. Check the services your bank may offer when abroad, as many of them only offer services to corporations or businesses in India.
While almost all the banks have NRI services, most banks may not allow non-Indian residents to open bank accounts locally without address verification.
|The Wise multi-currency account and card lets you hold, send, receive, and spend multiple supported currencies. Check if it's available in your country of residence.|
A few banks that have a strong presence in India are:
Let’s take a deeper look at each below.
Citibank has been a popular bank for travellers over the years and has been relatively easy to find in India too. But the convenience of Citibank is paired with particularly higher fees than other banks. This also goes for international transactions in case you are travelling.
Citibank India is in process of shedding its retail customer division in India. It is likely that bank accounts and credit cards will still work but they may come under another local bank in India. But if you have a Citibank account from a country abroad, you can still use your cards as intended.²
NatWest Group, based out of Edinburgh, is a UK bank that offers retail services to residents of the UK. It recently took over RBS in India.
The bank does not offer services in India to NRIs or expats but the Indian offices are rather a corporate center to help support their operations globally. But if you are a NatWest account holder from the UK, you can use your cards in India and you can take a look at the travel benefits with a Platinum account³
HSBC is a leading bank in India and is supporting services specifically for NRIs who are returning to India or heading abroad. Residents of India can also open bank accounts as well as credit cards, loans, and investments locally with HSBC.
HSBC is a digitally savvy bank too, so if you like banking with an app or applying for services online, this can be a good choice. But as always, keep an eye out for fees and minimum balance requirements for accounts.⁴
The popular UK bank, Standard Chartered can be found across major cities in India, providing banking, investment, mortgages, lending, and business services.
Standard Chartered account holders, whether in the UK or other geographies like Singapore, can transfer money to India with deals that offer discounted or 0% charges. But the bank does have penalties for not maintaining minimum balances in its accounts.
For residents of India who are looking to travel, Standard Chartered also offers unique travel cards where you can earn Skymiles, duty-free deals, and lounge access.⁵
Deutsche Bank, the German bank, is available globally including in India. Banking services like accounts, loans, investments, insurance, and NRI banking are offered in India. NRIs also have options for fixed deposits, bank accounts, money transfers and investments.
For certain cities in India, the minimum balance for Deutsche Bank accounts are as low as ₹15,000. And on the other end, Deutsche Bank also offers private banking with a dedicated relationship manager to high net worth individuals and families too.⁶
DBS is a Singapore bank that focuses on ease and modern tech for banking in India. With its signature Digibank, DBS makes it simple to bank from your mobile phone, including sending money transfers.
DBS has savings, investments, loans, and even a special section for Indians wanting to study abroad. And there is a low minimum balance fee of ₹5,000 for certain accounts. Plus, there is a same-day outward remittance transfer service available for sending money abroad. So while DBS may not be well known in the West, it can be a good option for banking services.⁷
Bank of America is a widely used bank in the US, but it does not retail or consumer banking services in India. So there are no branches or specific ATMs you can use when you are visiting.
However, if you are an existing Bank of America customer you can use your cards and withdraw money from ATMs in India. But watch out for the international transaction fee and hidden exchange rate fee, because they can pile up quickly.
It is good practice to let Bank of America know that you are travelling abroad, the travel dates, and the locations so the bank’s security doesn’t block your account when using it overseas.⁸
Barclays is a premier UK bank with a presence in India. And while they do offer retail and NRI banking services, they are more limited than other international banks in the country.
For NRIs, you can open a banking account or fixed deposit account with Barclays. It is possible to do money transfers to and from India too. But if you're looking for a bank that offers loans and investments, this would not be the top choice for you. However, UK residents will find the breadth of services available to them.⁹
|🔖 Read more: Top 10 NRO/NRE bank accounts in India|
There are ways to travel, visit and stay in India without dealing with an international bank. But you may find it easier, cheaper, and have more protection against purchases with an international bank in India. Here are the benefits of working with an international bank.
Moving money home, in either direction, can be a smooth process with a bank. Modern banks or companies often have ways to transfer money directly to local bank accounts or let you do it right from your phone from or to your Indian account.
But if you want to save on fees, Wise can help you save when sending money to local bank accounts. If you are already in supported countries, the Wise multi-currency account lets you be like a local in India. You can swipe for purchases in stores, online, and use the card at ATMs across India.
NRI services can help you and your loved ones save on taxes in India and manage your money domestically and internationally when earning abroad. If you have NRO or NRE bank accounts or will need to open them soon, an international bank can help you do that- even from abroad.
Cross-border taxation can be confusing which is why international banks can be helpful in understanding your tax burden. This is especially true for NRE or NRO accounts. So getting a bank that understands where your earnings are coming from and how to handle the tax liability can make your life easier.
And in an effort to attract customers and meet their needs, international banks will offer attractive interest rates for opening accounts with them. Be sure to check how much you can earn when opening a bank account that you plan to use abroad.
Whether on holiday in India or earning abroad that you wish to use locally, having an account where it is simple to receive money can be a big help. And on top of that, a bank that you can go to when there is a problem with your account or your card is not working can make a world of difference.
Sources used for this article:
- International banks in India
- Standard Chartered
- Deutsche bank
- Bank of America
All sources checked as of 30 January, 2022
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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