HDFC international money transfer: Your full guide

Wise
03.04.19
8 minute read

HDFC bank facilitates transfers of funds from India, and to India from different countries in the world. It is important to understand how they work and how you can get the best out of your international money transfers.

It is best to always check the exchange rate offered on transfers, as banks like HDFC tend to add a convenience fee to the exchange rate which may make your money transfers more expensive. When receiving money from abroad, consider Wise, which is a much more convenient, faster and cheaper option.

Compare exchange rates with Wise

Table of contents

Receive international funds with HDFC

You can receive funds with HDFC from most regions of the world. HDFC offers a host of convenient facilities to receive money in India from abroad. Some of these methods require you to hold an HDFC account in India, but using some methods, international funds can be transferred to non-HDFC accounts as well.

The charges and fees for transfers depend on the mode of transfer. With HDFC bank, you can use SWIFT/ telegraphic transfers, QuickRemit, IndiaLink, demand drafts, cheques, and third party fund services to receive money from abroad. You can choose the mode of transfer depending on your specific requirements, region from where the transfer is made, frequency of transfers, and proximity to an HDFC branch. Receiving international funds with HDFC can take anywhere between 1 - 21 days depending on the mode of transfer.

HDFC Quickremit

HDFC Quickremit services are only available for money transfers from Australia and Singapore (South East Asia)¹ ². With Quickremit you can transfer money in INR to both HDFC and non-HDFC bank accounts in India. You can also choose for door delivery of INR demand drafts at over 1,650 locations in India. Quickremit can be used to make online donations to charitable trusts and organisations in India. You can track the status of your transfer online or via email.

The minimum amount that can be sent using HDFC Quickremit is AUD 250/ 250 SGD 250, and the maximum amount that can be sent in a single transaction is AUD 10,000/ SGC 30,000¹.

HDFC IndiaLink

HDFC IndiaLink is an easy way to receive international funds in India from African and Middle-Eastern countries (UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and more)³ ⁴. The amount is credited to your HDFC bank account or any other bank account within 2 hours subject to the NEFT/ RTGS cutoffs. You and the sender both will receive an SMS about the transaction as soon as it your funds are transferred.

HDFC SWIFT/ Wire/ Telegraphic Transfer

HDFC wire or telegraphic transfer allows you to receive funds in your HDFC bank account from local banks outside of India. Wire transfers also allows you to open an INR/ foreign currency fixed deposit in India⁵.

To transfer funds through wire transfer, a remittance form needs to be completed and submitted at the local bank outside India. The form should contain the following details-

  • HDFC Bank Nostro Account Number
  • HDFC Bank SWIFT or IFSC Code
  • Beneficiary account number with HDFC bank in India
  • Deposit instructions (for example, opening a new rupee NRE account, or booking a new FCNR deposit for 1 year in USD)

Third party fund transfer with HDFC

HDFC has tie-ups with a few international online money transfer companies through which funds can be sent to India. In the USA, HDFC has partnership with four such companies - Xoom Corporation, Wells Fargo, Remitly, and Transfast⁶. These third party providers are much more simpler and convenient to use, but like banks, these can also have high fees and exchange rates. To make sure you are getting the best deal, it is best to compare money transfer service providers with Wise, which can save you your hard earned money.

Xoom Corporation

To transfer funds instantly from US to an Indian HDFC account, you can use Xoom Corporation services through their website. Once you have registered yourself on the website, click on HDFC logo on their website for a quick access to transfer money to India through Xoom.

Wells Fargo

If you have a Wells Fargo account in the USA, you can use their service ‘Express Send’ to send money to an HDFC account in India easily. The transfer is possible only to the bank account and not as a cash transaction.

Remitly

HDFC has also partnered with Remitly, an online money transfer company to remit funds easily to any HDFC bank account in India. You can create a Remitly account by signing up on their website. You have to provide only your email address to set up the account. To transfer funds, you have to provide beneficiary account details. You can also transfer funds using a debit card.

Transfast

Transfast is another online payment company that HDFC has partnered with to transfer funds. To send funds, you must register with Transfast website. Once you have signed up, you can easily transfer funds through your debit card or account by providing the beneficiary account details.

Charges and fees for receiving money internationally with HDFC

The charges and fees applicable for various modes of transfers with HDFC have been provided below. These charges, however, do not reflect the high foreign exchange conversion rates used by HDFC or its partner services, which may add to the overall cost of your transfer. There may be a significant difference in the rates provided by HDFC and the rates that are found on Google or Reuters. This is because banks make additional money on foreign exchange conversion rates at the cost of the customer. To avoid such losses, you can use Wise which always provides transfers at the real mid-market rate, which is the rate you see when you google the exchange rate at any time.

Mode of Transfer Outward Remittance Fee (charged to the sender of money abroad)
Quickremit Australia¹ AUD 250 – 999- SGD 5AUD 1000 and above- Zero service fee
Quickremit South East Asia² SGD 250 – 999- SGD 4SGD 1000 and above- Zero service fee
IndiaLink⁷ Correspondent bank charges applicable
Wire Transfer⁸ Upto USD 500 or equivalent- ₹500/- flatAbove USD 500 or equivalent- ₹1000/- flat
Xoom⁹ Paying with:Bank account- NilDebit card- $60.49Credit card- $60.49 + bank charges
Wells Fargo¹⁰ Nil
Remitly¹¹ Less than $1000- $3.99More than $1000- Nil
Transfast¹² Delivery in 3-5 business days- FreeInstant to 24-hour delivery- Fees from 4.99 USD

How much time does it take?

Mode of Transfer Time Taken
Quickremit Australia¹
  • HDFC bank account- 1 working day
  • Non HDFC bank account- 2 working days
  • Fixed rupee transfers- within 24 working hours
  • Demand Drafts- 8-10 days
Quickremit South East Asia² 48 hours
IndiaLink³ ⁴
  • Instant credit- 2 hours (subject to NEFT/RTGS cut-offs)
  • Demand Draft- 3 working days
Wire Transfer⁷ Within 24 hours after sighting the credit in Nostro Account
Xoom⁹
  • Instant deposits for select banks
  • 4 hours for all other banks
Wells Fargo¹³ 3-5 business days
Remitly¹¹
  • Express- 4 banking hours
  • Economy- 3-5 business days
Transfast¹²
  • 3-5 business days
  • Instant to 24 hours for an additional fee

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Send money abroad with HDFC

If you have an HDFC bank account, you can send money abroad with HDFC through their netbanking option called RemitNow¹⁴. You can send money anywhere in the world using RemitNow, other than to countries under OFAC sanctioned countries list.

The maximum limit per transaction is USD 5000, and only up to two transactions are allowed per day. The international transfers using HDFC RemitNow is subject to the rules of RBI Liberal Remittance Scheme (LRS). This means that the maximum money that can be transferred in one financial year is USD 250,000. Money can be sent in 19 currencies using RemitNow, given below-

UAE Dirham (AED), Australian Dollar (AUD), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Omani Riyal (OMR), Swiss Franc (CHF), Danish Krone (DKK), Euro (EUR), Singapore Dollar (SGD), Pound Sterling (GBP), Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), JPY (Japanese Yen), South African Rand (ZAR), Korean Won (KRW), Norwegian Kroner (NOK), New Zealand Dollar (NZD), Saudi Riyal (SAR), USD (US Dollar), Swedish Krona (SEK), Thai Baht (THB)

How to transfer money abroad with HDFC

To transfer funds using RemitNow, you have to register for HDFC netbanking. Once you are registered, follow the below process to initiate a transfer¹⁵-

Register for third party payment

  • Login to HDFC NetBanking and go to ‘Funds Transfer’ tab
  • Register for third party payment
  • Select ‘Transfer within the Bank’ option
  • Fill in the required details and click ‘Confirm’

Add international beneficiary

  • Under ‘Request’ tab select ‘Add a beneficiary’
  • Fill in the international beneficiary details and click ‘Confirm’
  • You will receive a One Time Password (OTP) on your registered mobile number. Use the OTP to authenticate the beneficiary
  • After successful authentication, beneficiary will be added within 30 minutes

Remit funds abroad

  • Login to HDFC netbanking and go to ‘Funds Transfer’ tab
  • Once beneficiary is added, click on ‘Foreign Outward Remittance’
  • Fill in the transfer details and confirm to initiate your money transfer.

HDFC international transfer charges and fees

The charges for HDFC RemitNow are as below¹⁶:

  • Fund transfers up to USD 500 or equivalent- ₹500/- per transaction
  • Above USD 500 or equivalent- ₹1000/- per transaction

Goods and services tax (GST) is also applicable on all transactions as described below-

  • On amount of commission: 18% of the amount of commission/ fee/ charge
  • On amount of foreign currency exchanged, as per the table below
Amount of Currency Exchanged (ACE) GST rates Minimum GST Maximum GST
Upto ₹ 1 lakh 0.18% of ACE ₹45 ₹180
Between ₹ 1 lakh and up to ₹ 10 lakh ₹180 + 0.09% of ACE ₹180 ₹990
Above ₹ 10 lakh ₹990 + 0.018% of ACE ₹990 ₹10,800

These charges, however, do not take into account the high foreign exchange rates used by the banks. Always compare exchange rates provided by the bank with online money transfer service providers like Wise before making a decision. This may well save you a few hundred rupees on every transaction.

How much time does it take

Requests submitted before 2:30 PM are processed and remitted on the same day. Requests submitted after 2:30 PM will be processed the next working day¹⁴. Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays are non-working days for foreign exchange transactions.

The true cost of international transfers with HDFC

HDFC provides many convenient and fast modes of international money transfers. However, banks like HDFC are not always transparent about their exchange rates. This is because when mentioning fees and charges, the banks do not include the extra cost of high foreign exchange rates used by them.

The foreign exchange rates that you see on a quick Google or Reuters search are known as the mid-market rate, which is the real foreign exchange rate at that moment. HDFC releases a list of foreign exchange rates everyday, and you’ll notice that there is a significant difference in the mid-market rate as compared to the published HDFC rate.

To explain how much this can cost you, let us consider an example. As of 3rd April 2019, the real mid-market rate of USD to INR is 1 USD = 68.60 INR¹⁷. The published rate of HDFC for USD inward remittance is 1 USD = 67.71 INR¹⁸. If you were to transfer USD 1000 to an Indian account, without considering any additional fee, you would be paying an extra ₹890 on currency conversion alone.

USD 1 USD 1000
Read mid-market rate ₹68.60 ₹68,600
HDFC rate ₹67.71 ₹67,710
Difference ₹0.89 ₹ 890

This higher exchange rate is used by almost all the banks and many popular money service providers in order to profit from the exchange rate conversion. Until the money is received in the beneficiary account, you will not be sure about the exact amount of money that will be received.

A cheap, fast and transparent alternative: Wise

Wise

Wise uses the real mid-market rate for international money transfers and charges a small, fixed fee. As compared to traditional banking transfers, Wise uses smart, new technology to transfer your money much more conveniently and cheaply. There is no such thing as free transfers, but what you won’t see are unfair exchange rates. We are always transparent with our customers, so at any point, you can compare Wise exchange rates and transfer fees with other banks and service providers and decide what is best for you.


Sources used in this article:

  1. QuickRemit Australia
  2. QuickRemit South East Asia
  3. Africa-India Link
  4. Middle East- India Link
  5. TeleWire Transfer
  6. TPT USA
  7. Compare Money Transfer Africa
  8. Forex Service Fees
  9. Xoom Send Money
  10. Wells Fargo Cost Estimator
  11. Remitly India
  12. Transfast India
  13. Wells Fargo Wire
  14. HDFC Foreign Outward Remittance
  15. RemitNow foreign remittance
  16. HDFC Forex Fees
  17. HDFC Forex Rates

*All sources checked on 3rd April, 2019.


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 TransferWise 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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