Sending money from India? Save up to 3.9x with Wise.

Chee-Xuan Tang
27.05.21
5 minute read

An independent researcher compared Wise to the big banks and non-banks money transfer providers in India. They found that we’re up to 3.9x cheaper for sending money overseas from India.

What we researched

The research was carried out in April 2021 by market research agency, Alderson Consulting, with an in-market researcher in India, in conjunction with Wise. The data was gathered through publicly available pricing information and mid-market rate comparison data provided by Refinitiv, formerly known as Reuters.

The different fees recorded for this price comparison include costs to send 50,000 INR and 500,000 INR. The costs collected are made up of both the foreign transaction fee and any exchange rate mark up.

Research took place over five working days in April 2021, on transfers from Indian Rupee to USD, GBP, AUD, EUR, CAD and SGD routes. The companies compared were SBI, ICICI (Money2World), HDFC, Axis Bank, PayPal, Western Union and InstaRem.

Note that PayPal does not support person to person payment from India. PayPal only supports payment to merchants online from India. Merchants here is defined as those who support payments for goods and services online.

How we did it

When comparing Wise to the propositions of the specified brands, we remove the consumer initiated advantages i.e use of currency balances or currency auto-detection. In brief, we assume that the conversion takes place at the point of transaction. This is consistently applied across all propositions, including Wise.

Comparing the cost to send money with banks:

When comparing the cost to “Send” funds, we have used the customer journey on their websites to determine the Exchange Rate.

For the fees, we used information taken directly from the relevant brand's website relating to the specified product or as guided by the brand i.e fee documents. Where there was any question of interpretation, we obtain further clarification via Social Media or Customer Channels before applying the fees reported.

When calculating the total cost of sending funds overseas, the rate provided by the brand is compared to a “to the minute” accurate mid-market rate provided by Refinitiv, formerly Reuters. The difference between the two rates provides the % taken by the brand, also known as the retail margin. The retail margin value is then added to the fees to provide the total cost to the consumer.

Comparing the cost to send money with non-banks (Instarem, PayPal, Western Union):

When comparing the cost to “Send” funds, we use the customer journey available on the brand's website to determine the Exchange Rate.

For the fees, we used the information provided by the brand during the customer journey.

When calculating the total cost of sending funds overseas, the rate provided by the brand is compared to a “to the minute” accurate mid-market rate provided by Refinitiv, formerly Reuters. The difference between the two rates provides the % taken by the brand, also known as the retail margin. The retail margin value is then added to the fees to provide the total cost to the consumer.

Research is undertaken over 5 working days (Monday to Friday) during standard trading hours and is currently updated annually. It is acknowledged that brands may change their propositions during that period and therefore, the published results should be considered indicative and individual experiences may differ.

The banks and non-banks providers in this comparison charge customers for money transfers in the same way:

  • A markup added to their exchange rate, also known as hidden fee. This is derived by (mid-market rate - provider rate) / mid-market rate.
  • A transaction fee. This could be a variable % fee or a flat fee, depending on the bank or provider.

Note: Wise always uses the real exchange rate when sending your money - this is the market rate, like the one you see on Google, with no hidden markup added.

What we found

Sending 50,000 INR from India

On average, it’s 2x cheaper to send 50,000 INR internationally with Wise compared to the listed providers. Below, we list how much cheaper it is to send money with Wise for the stated routes. For full breakdown of upfront transaction fees and exchange rate markup, refer to the table at the bottom.

INR → AUD: Wise is up to 3.5x cheaper

Total cost to send 50,000 INR to AUD

Wise: ₹966.18
Axis Bank: ₹3,344.53
HDFC Bank: ₹2,115.51
ICICI Bank: ₹2,194.88
InstaRem: ₹712.50
PayPal: ₹2,890.17
State Bank of India: ₹2,844.79
Western Union: ₹231.21

INR → CAD: Wise is up to 3.5x cheaper

Total cost to send 50,000 INR to CAD

Wise: ₹984.53
Axis Bank: ₹3,475.13
HDFC Bank: ₹2,127.18
ICICI Bank: ₹2,197.00
InstaRem: ₹1,160.10
PayPal: ₹2,707.58
State Bank of India: ₹2,380.58
Western Union: ₹180.29

INR → EUR: Wise is up to 3.9x cheaper

Total cost to send 50,000 INR to EUR

Wise: ₹935.02
Axis Bank: ₹3,683.34
HDFC Bank: ₹1,961.10
ICICI Bank: ₹2,122.03
InstaRem: ₹600.00
PayPal: ₹2,797.83
State Bank of India: ₹2,915.92
Western Union: ₹90.25

INR → GBP: Wise is up to 3.4x cheaper

Total cost to send 50,000 INR to GBP

Wise: ₹1,012.23
Axis Bank: ₹3,366.99
HDFC Bank: ₹2,188.82
ICICI Bank: ₹2,249.79
InstaRem: ₹1,100.00
PayPal: ₹2,971.58
State Bank of India: ₹3,409.25
Western Union: ₹206.61

INR → SGD: Wise is up to 2.8x cheaper

Total cost to send 50,000 INR to SGD

Wise: ₹965.03
Axis Bank: ₹2,556.66
HDFC Bank: ₹2,083.01
ICICI Bank: ₹2,153.23
InstaRem: ₹600.00
PayPal: ₹2,711.39
State Bank of India: ₹2,197.39
Western Union: ₹168.35

INR → USD: Wise is up to 2.7x cheaper
Total cost to send 50,000 INR to USD

Wise: ₹1,038.08
Axis Bank: ₹2,050.59
HDFC Bank: ₹2,085.79
ICICI Bank: ₹2,057.33
InstaRem: ₹451.41
PayPal: ₹2,788.10
State Bank of India: ₹1,442.33
Western Union: ₹148.59

Sending 500,000 INR from India

On average, it’s 1.3x cheaper to send 500,000 INR internationally with Wise compared to the listed providers.

INR → AUD: Wise is up to 3.1x cheaper

Total cost to send 500,000 INR to AUD

Wise: ₹9,066.67
Axis Bank: ₹20,341.28
HDFC Bank: ₹10,175.14
ICICI Bank: ₹13,900.16
InstaRem: ₹7,125.00
PayPal: ₹28,356.48
State Bank of India: ₹12,755.29
Western Union: ₹2,272.25

INR → CAD: Wise is up to 3x cheaper

Total cost to send 500,000 INR to CAD

Wise: ₹9,168.95
Axis Bank: ₹21,647.26
HDFC Bank: ₹10,291.77
ICICI Bank: ₹13,645.67
InstaRem: ₹6,500.00
PayPal: ₹27,075.81
State Bank of India: ₹10,797.96
Western Union: ₹1,802.88

INR → EUR: Wise is up to 3.2x cheaper

Total cost to send 500,000 INR to EUR

Wise: ₹8,804.93
Axis Bank: ₹15,230.24
HDFC Bank: ₹8,630.97
ICICI Bank: ₹12,893.83
InstaRem: ₹6,000.00
PayPal: ₹27,978.34
State Bank of India: ₹9,696.10
Western Union: ₹902.53

INR → GBP: Wise is up to 3.1x cheaper

Total cost to send 500,000 INR to GBP

Wise: ₹9,525.30
Axis Bank: ₹20,565.90
HDFC Bank: ₹10,908.16
ICICI Bank: ₹14,176.45
InstaRem: ₹6,500.00
PayPal: ₹29,715.76
State Bank of India: ₹11,736.53
Western Union: ₹2,066.12

INR → SGD: Wise is up to 3x cheaper

Total cost to send 500,000 INR to SGD

Wise: ₹8,878.38
Axis Bank: ₹12,462.64
HDFC Bank: ₹9,850.10
ICICI Bank: ₹13,208.05
InstaRem: ₹6,000.00
PayPal: ₹26,585.74
State Bank of India: ₹9,848.36
Western Union: ₹1,683.50

INR → USD: Wise is up to 3x cheaper

Total cost to send 500,000 INR to USD

Wise: ₹9,416.31
Axis Bank: ₹12,417.67
HDFC Bank: ₹9,877.86
ICICI Bank: ₹12,247.47
InstaRem: ₹4,514.12
PayPal: ₹27,881.04
State Bank of India: ₹6,432.78
Western Union: ₹1,485.88

Wise has the approval from the Reserve Bank of India to offer the service in India with a local bank partner.

Wise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

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