IOB International Remittance: Your full guide

Aman Saxena

Indian Overseas Bank, or IOB for short, was started almost 100 years ago to help make transactions and commerce easier in the South Asia region.

But if you want to send money using IOB today, it can feel more like a challenge compared to modern ways of sending money globally.

Read on to learn more about how IOB handles overseas money transactions from India and if there are other better options out there.

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Send money abroad with IOB

The best option to send money to India or from India with Indian Overseas Bank is through a wire transfer. IOB does offer demand drafts, but a SWIFT or wire transfer would be easier and faster to complete.

IOB is a member of the SWIFT system which lets banks send money globally. Each bank has a specific SWIFT code, which you will need to get from your beneficiary..

To get started on sending money abroad, you will have to go down to an IOB branch. If you are an existing IOB account holder the process should be easier to register your transfer. If you are not, you may be required to open an account with IOB to send your overseas transfer.

Any money sent out of India is seen as an outward remittance in the eyes of the bank, and gets the applicable charges. Check out the section below on charges and fees to know how much it may cost you.

But, if you are an Non-Resident Indian (NRI) trying to send money to India, IOB makes that process easier with an NRI remittance process for the following currencies:

US dollarAustralian DollarCanadian DollarNew Zealand Dollar
Singapore DollarHong Kong DollarDanish KronerNorwegian Kroner
Great Britain PoundJapanese YenSwiss FrancEuro

Inward remittances to India will need to be done through the same SWIFT system with IOB.¹

Before sending money abroad, make sure to check if you're getting the best deal with Wise's honest comparison tool

The true cost of sending USD to INR

How to open a IOB account

You will need to go to an IOB branch to open an account with the bank. Once you have an account open you can then move forward with sending money abroad.

Make sure to bring photo identification, such as an Aadhaar card, address verification, and other documents plus passport sized photos, with you when you go to the IOB branch.²

You can also enter in your name and contact number on the IOB website to get a call back from the bank, as an alternative to going to the branch first.

IOB charges and fees

There are a few fees when sending outward remittances with IOB bank. The first is a service charge of .075% on the amount you are sending.

The service charge is capped at ₹ 4,000 with a minimum floor of ₹ 150.

You will also be charged with a SWIFT fee of ₹ 500. ³

Last but not least, you will be hit with a hidden fee, tucked away in the exchange rate from IOB. IOB sets their exchange rate to be weaker than the real exchange rate that the banks use themselves.

mid market rate

And with that small difference in the exchange rates, IOB is able to take a cut of every rupee that you convert. You can see how this can add up in the next section.

IOB transfer limit

IOB has not listed a transfer limit for sending money, however you will have to follow the Indian government’s Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) regulations for sending money abroad.

As an Indian resident, the maximum amount you can send abroad is the currency equivalent of $250,000 USD per year.

Time it takes with IOB

IOB in most cases will require you to go to a physical bank branch to get your transfer completed.

That additional time to go to an IOB branch can be added to the time that SWIFT transfers usually take. The SWIFT transfer time can range from 3-4 days, but check with the IOB bank representatives when you are submitting your transfer.⁴

Did you know you could sign up for Wise for free online? With a free Wise account, you can send money directly to bank accounts in 60+ currencies from your computer or while you’re on the go from your mobile.

The true cost of international transfers with IOB

There are few big hurdles in the way when you are sending money with IOB.

The first is that there is no easy way to send money globally online or through your mobile. You will have to take time out to head to an IOB branch.

Next, your outward remittance from India will have a minimum fee of ₹ 150 although it can go up to ₹ 4,000 as a percentage of your transfer.

You will also get a ₹ 500 SWIFT fee on top of that. And a hidden fee in the exchange rate with IOB.

Let’s see what that looks like in an example comparing using IOB vs. the online and transparent Wise. Say you are sending ₹ 20,000 to the UK as a gift:

Sending Amount₹ 20,000₹ 20,000
Outward Remittance fee₹ 1500-
SWIFT fee₹ 500-
Transfer fee-₹ 840.98
Exchange Rate₹ 95.18₹ 94.6011
Receiving Amount£ 189.11£ 202.52

In this example, you saved more than £ 13 GBP on your transfer just by using Wise. With more than half saved in fees, Wise is the cheaper and easier way to send money globally.

A cheap, fast and transparent alternative: Wise

Sending Money Abroad? Meet Wise

Getting the real exchange rate on every international transfer matters. Especially on your wallet.

The real exchange rate is one of the reasons why over 8 million people choose to send money globally with Wise. You get the same exchange rate that the banks get and the one you see on Google. No mark up or hidden fees here.

Wise uses smart technology to make your online transfers to or from India secure, easy and fast. And to help save you money in the process.

So take it easy, and sign up now for a free Wise right from your home computer or mobile. And see how much you can save on your next global money transfer.

Sources used for this article:
  1. IOB Remittances
  2. Opening an IOB account
  3. Charges & Fees
  4. Time it takes for SWIFT

All sources checked as of 8 October, 2020

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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