PNB International Transfers: Your full guide

Aditya Shrivastava

Punjab National Bank (PNB) has a long legacy of banking in India and provides end to end services to its customers across the country and the world. Learn about how PNB can be one option for you when sending money and get to know the charges and fees associated with it. This guide will cover:

Beneficiaries in India can receive money from abroad in a few different ways with PNB- through the banking channels, the post, correspondent banks or money transfer service schemes¹. PNB also provides easy ways to set up, fund and move money with Non-Resident accounts.

However, as you read on, you’ll see that PNB has benefits for sending money if you are already a PNB account holder. If you use any other type of bank, it could be worth looking at alternative transfer options that are easy to use with better exchange rates and without all the fees. Wise has made an easy comparison tool so you can compare money transfer providers in order to pick the one that is best for you.

Remit to India with Punjab National Bank

Remittances to India fall under NRI services at PNB. In most cases, you can use your local bank abroad or a transfer service to send money to a PNB bank account in India. Your recipients, or you if you have NRI accounts, won’t have to take any actions if only receiving money into a PNB account. You will be notified when the money is deposited if set up for alerts.

Living in the UK? Money Transfer to India from PNBIL

PNBIL is a subsidiary bank for residents of the UK to access services and is fully owned by PNB. Residents can manage their PNBIL bank accounts and send money to India.

To use PNBIL for remittances, you must first have a current or savings account with the bank and have enough in your account for any transfers. The benefit of using this service is speed, as you can send deposit money to a PNB India account in less than 24 hours.³

You can send a transfer in three ways:

To complete a transfer, you will need to provide payment instructions which include the Indian account number, the amount you’d like to send and the reason for the transfer. While many may use PNBIL for transfers to India, you can also send money to other countries including Europe, Australia or the U.S.

Fees and charges with PNBIL Remit to India

Your transfer with PNBIL may have a service charge depending on the destination, and an exchange rate fee.

Here are the service charges to expect with a PNBIL transfer:

Transfer destinationFee*
PNB bank account in IndiaNone
Other non-PNB bank accounts in India.10% of the transfer amount with a minimum fee of ​​£5
Other international transfers in foreign currencies£25

*As of 27 November 2023.

The exchange rate fee is hidden in the exchange rate you get on a transfer. By adding a markup to the exchange rate, the bank can charge an additional fee on the amount converted into Indian rupees or another currency. You can find the mid-market exchange rate without a markup to compare. While the exchange rate fee can seem small, it can add up quickly and take a chunk out of your transfers.

Receive international funds with PNB

PNB has a wide network of affiliates and correspondent banks to help you receive money from loved ones around the world. The bank also has an overseas presence in 9 countries including the UK, Dubai, Hong Kong, Bhutan, Nepal, and Kazakhstan².

PNB internet banking

You can receive deposits straight into your bank account with PNB internet banking. As long as you provide the sender the IFSC code, account number and your necessary details, you can see the amount in your account the fastest this way. This is definitely the most convenient and quickest option for the sender as well.

PNB Wire transfer/ Telegraphic transfer

You can receive money into your PNB accounts through wire transfers from correspondent banks in the US, Eurozone, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Denmark, New Zealand, UAE, Sweden, Norway, Hong Kong, and Singapore. You can also check out the list of PNB partner banks in each of these countries⁴.

To receive funds through a correspondent bank by wire transfer, the sender should have the following information⁵:

  1. Correspondent bank name, swift code & the PNB Nostro A/C number for the respective currency (for example HSBC Bank Plc, London for GBP)
  3. Beneficiary name, 16 digits A/C no. & branch
  4. Purpose of remittance

While this is a common way to send funds to India, it is prudent to keep an eye on the time taken to send a transaction with PNB. We will look at the transfer times with PNB further in the article.

PNB personal cheque

A personal cheque can be received and then deposited in person at your nearest PNB bank branch. This however then goes through a process of being cleared from the foreign bank which can take a considerable amount of time. You may find this to no longer be an efficient option to send money.

PNB demand draft (DD)

Demand drafts can be done in rupees or the foreign currency it is coming from. The DD is then to be deposited in your Indian account branch. While the charges tend to be quite low for demand drafts versus other methods, it does carry an inherent risk as it comes by post.

Money service providers with PNB

PNB has partnered with specific money service providers to provide efficient paths for remitting funds-

  • Thomas Cook India Ltd for MoneyGram
  • UAE Exchange Financial Services Ltd for MoneyGram
  • UAE Exchange and Financial Services Ltd. for Xpress Money
  • BFC Forex& Financial Services Ltd. for EzRemit
  • Weizmann Forex Ltd for Western Union

Under money transfer services schemes, the RBI has set limits on how they operate. There is a cap of USD 2,500 on individual remittances, and a total of 30 remittances per calendar year for a single beneficiary. For cash payments, there is a maximum amount of INR 50,000/- that can be paid to a beneficiary in India. For amounts higher than INR 50,000, it is suggested to pay by cheque/ demand draft/ payment order, etc., or credited directly to the beneficiary's bank account⁶. In all cases, if you are receiving the money in cash, make sure to keep an ID on you to verify the transaction at the bank branch.

Charges and fees to receive money with PNB

In most cases with these payment options, the charges and fees are primarily borne by the sender. However, the fees associated with each of these paths often lead to you receiving less than what was put in. Here are the fees that are deducted from the sending amount⁷:

Method of Remittance Charges
Wire/ Demand Draft/ Personal cheque/ Money Transfer At the current TT buying rate + Upto ₹100,000 - Minimum ₹150Above ₹100,000- 0.15% of the amount with a Minimum of ₹500/- and Maximum ₹7500/- (including cost of FIRC/Courier Charges/ PostA commission is also charged unless the funds are going to an NRE account.
Western Union No charges for receiving funds

These fees are also on top of any amount that is lost in the PNB determined exchange rate. Banks like PNB often levy a markup over the mid-market rate, which are hidden costs to your international transfers. Wise on the other hand sends your money across borders at this fair exchange rate and a small, fixed fee.

How much time does it take to receive money with PNB

The time it takes depends on your unique transfer. Here’s a quick guide to approximate time, but keep in mind that it may differ depending on your type transaction⁸.

Method of transfer Time Taken
SWIFT remittances 1 - 3 business days
Demand Draft 7 - 28 days
Wire/ Telegraphic Transfer 2-7 business days
Money transfer services like Western Union 4-5 business days
Personal Cheque 10 - 60 days

If your sender is a PNBIL account holder and they do a SWIFT transfer, you will receive same day credit to the PNB account in India for no additional charge. If the transfer is to a non-PNB bank account in India, then the transfer will take between 24-72 hours⁹.

If you are looking for a quicker and more convenient way to transfer money, give Wise a try. You can also keep real-time track of your transfer on the go with its award-winning app and website.

Send money abroad with PNB

If you are located in India and using PNB, you can only send money abroad by physically going to the Foreign Exchange approved PNB branches¹⁰. However, if you do have a PNBIL account, there is a lot more ease and freedom to send money from its London based subsidiary.

How to send money abroad with PNB

You can send money abroad through PNB by going to a bank branch that is authorized for foreign exchange. If you do not have a PNB bank account you will also need to complete the KYC documents necessary before sending. It is important to note that you will receive an exchange rate determined by PNB at the time of placing your transfer. If you are doing the transfer in person, you will need to be ready to fill out the following details¹¹:

  • Your contact information
  • Currency of remittance
  • Amount of remittance
  • Value date
  • Beneficiary’s bank information
  • Beneficiary’s account number
  • Beneficiary’s name
  • Purpose of remittance
  • Receive Money Form
  • KYC documents

Add international beneficiary

Ensure you have all of your beneficiary’s information on hand when you go to the bank branch. This will include name, address, bank account, and bank information. It would be best to consult your bank representative or call PNB in India at their toll free number 1800 180 2222 beforehand to make sure you have all the information you need for your particular transfer.

Send money to a beneficiary

Sending money from India to other countries is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under the Liberalized Remittance Facility for Resident Indians. You will need a modified Form A2 for transactions below USD 5000 or equivalent, and the Form A2 for anything above that. The RBI only allows for an outward forex remittance up to USD 250,000 per financial years, subject to certain restrictions¹².

Charges and fees for sending money with PNB

Any money transferred out of India from PNB to an individual will be charged¹³ at 0.125% min ₹500/- + ₹100. SWIFT charge for sending funds outside of India is ₹100. Goods and Services Tax (GST) is also charged on top of these charges. However, if you are sending money from your NRE or repatriating your account from PNB in India, there are no transfer fees attached to it.

How much time it takes to send money with PNB

A transfer using SWIFT into a beneficiary’s account abroad can take anywhere from 2-7 business days.

Check the status of money transfer with PNB

You should be able to see the status of your money transfer through your online banking and will receive notifications by SMS in India.

PNB does offer two NRI specific accounts to help hold money between India and abroad. One is a Global Foreign Currency Deposit, and the other is a Rupee Deposit Scheme. Both accounts require it to be opened by the NRI, themselves. The Global Foreign Currency Deposit is housed in a PNB forex approved branch and it can be held in 5 currencies, including GBP, USD and Canadian dollars. The account is in the form of a 1-5 years fixed deposit. The benefits include a free remittance up to Rs. 100,00 per year to anywhere in India, and the bank offers concessions on transferring and holding funds with them. The Rupee Deposit account has similar benefits but allows foreign currency funds to be converted into rupees with an exchange margin of only 2 paise per unit of foreign currency in case remittance is received through SWIFT for opening an account¹⁴ ¹⁵.

The true cost of international transfers with PNB

While PNB has a legacy of helping Indians move money, take care of loved ones and start businesses, they haven’t been as innovative for their money transfer processes off late. Sending money from India can’t be done online yet while receiving money in India has significant costs associated with it.

Furthermore, PNB chooses its own exchange rate, which is less than the fair mid-market exchange rate you see on Google. If you use PNB frequently for your international transfers, this can burn a hole in your pocket. And more than anything, transfers with PNB can take much longer than other operators. With the fees for sending money, paperwork, time required and lower exchange rate, it is worth looking at other options, especially if you are a non-PNB account holder.

A cheap, fast and transparent alternative: Wise

For a more modern approach to transferring funds that is lightning fast, transparent and easy to use, try Wise. Majority of transfers to India using Wise are delivered within 1 business day from the moment Wise receives the payment.

There are no such things as free transfers, but what you won’t see are unfriendly rates and fees. The extra fees are never hidden in the exchange rate, so what you usually see on Google is the rate you will get on your transaction with Wise. It is a fast, low-cost and secure way to send money online from the comfort of your home. To know how much can you save with every transaction, compare Wise with other providers and make the informed decision every time.

Sources used for this article:

(1, 10,11)

*All sources checked as of 20 May, 2019.

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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