Central Bank of India International Transfer: All you need to know

Aman Saxena

Central Bank of India (CBI) is over 100 years old with more than 4,500 branches across all the states in the country. But if you are looking to do international transfers to and from India, you may want to consider other options.

📝 Table of contents

Sending money from India with Central Bank of India

Central Bank of India does not have remittance services for sending money from India to overseas.

If you do want to send money abroad, you can use a service like Wise for easy and fast transfers to local accounts abroad, or other Indian banks that provide outward remittances.

Central Bank of India is primarily focused on domestic transfers, services, and transactions, but they do offer NRI (Non-Resident Indian) services. More on that in the next section.

The bank does have the ability to get traveler cheques or foreign currency from CBI branches with proper notification.

Fees and charges

Outward international transfers from a Central Bank of India account are not possible so there are no fees available.

But if you are looking for domestic services, Central Bank of India can be a low-cost account option. However, be ready for limited and general services that often require going to the bank in person.

The true cost of sending INR to USD

Time taken

Sending money internationally is not available with Central Bank of India. But typically, transfers abroad can take a day or less with fast options like Wise on popular routes, or 3-5 days with Indian banks.

Sending money to India with Central Bank of India

Central Bank of India allows for deposits from abroad into local Indian accounts. This includes remittances from friends and family abroad, but also for NRIs looking to fund FCNR accounts as well.

You can send money to a CBI account through the SWIFT system or money transfer services. Both types of services allow for direct transfers into a bank account, although some remittance providers allow for cash pick up in certain cases.

To send money through the SWIFT global bank system, you will need the CBI SWIFT code:

CBININBBXXX or CBININBBOSB.

🔍 Find or check your SWIFT codes with Wise

This code along with the bank account number and personal details can get you started with a SWIFT transfer to India.

Remittance or money transfer services, especially modern ones, will ask for details such as the recipient's email or mobile phone number too.

But if you are the recipient of funds from abroad into your Central Bank of India account, you are likely to be required to submit a form to your local branch. You will need to have the bank details of the sender as well.

CBI does have additional services for NRIs or Non-Resident Indians. There are loan facilities, repatriation services, NRE accounts, and also Foreign Currency Non-Resident (FCNR) accounts.

With an FCNR account, you can open a foreign currency deposit with CBI and send money to the deposit account. An FCNR account can be held in:

  • US dollars
  • British Pound
  • Euros
  • Canadian Dollars
  • Australian Dollars

The deposits can be for 1-5 years and convert to an NRE account after the time period.

If you are looking for a safe way to gain some interest on a foreign currency earned abroad, an FCNR can be one option for you. You can apply for it using the second form in this PDF and heading to your local CBI branch. Once you are set up, you can then send money to fund the account.

An FCNR deposit has a minimum opening account balance depending on the currency:

CurrencyMinimum Opening Amount
US Dollars$1,000
British Pound£1,000
Euro€1,000
Canadian Dollars$500
Australian Dollars$500

Fees and charges

There are no fees with receiving funds into a local Indian CBI account. The fees are paid for by the sender.

And those fees can depend on the service that is used to send money to India. There are typically 2 fees that come with sending a transfer:

  1. A transfer fee for completing the transaction
  2. A hidden exchange rate fee

The hidden exchange rate fee is often tucked away in the exchange rate given on a transfer. By giving users a weaker exchange rate than the mid-market exchange rate, the service is able to sneak in a fee in every dollar or pound or Euro converted. And that means less money gets sent- even when there is zero transfer fee.

Services like Wise only use the real exchange rate, so there is no money lost to an exchange rate fee. Take a look at how that works out in this example of sending $1,000 USD to India using different services

The true cost of sending USD to INR

Time taken

Depending on the transfer service used, a deposit to India can take from just a few minutes to a couple of days.

Modern tech services like Wise can have funds deposited into a local Indian CBI account in under an hour on popular routes. But older methods like SWIFT can take 3-5 days to arrive in a local account.

Manage money internationally easily with Wise

Wise Web/Android/ iOS app makes it simple to send money from India overseas, right from your phone or computer.

Wise only uses one low transfer fee and the real exchange rate on every transfer. Over 11 million people around the world use Wise to send money. And with smart tech that not only keeps your transfers cheap but also secure.

And if you are already abroad, check out the Wise multi-currency account. It is one account where you can hold multiple currencies in one place to send, hold or receive. And it comes with a linked debit Mastercard to be able to shop locally with just a swipe.


Sources used for this article:

  1. Remittances
  2. FCNR

All sources checked as of 3 March, 2022


Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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