Which bank would you recommend for international wire transfers via SWIFT? and what are the cheapest options available right now?
For international remittance, I would recommend you to use third party services such as Wise or world remit.
You will get the best conversion rate and same day remittance in any bank in India.
Thanks for the suggestion but I cannot use them since these transactions are not personal.
I have to use SWIFT wire transfers, thus my question.
I have used Icici bank. It is good.
In general private banks offer better service. But public banks are cheaper.
Then go for Bank to Bank transfer. May be costly but safe.
The best that I have noticed where the exchange rate is most competitive and you can do online is Indus Forex.
No other bank that I know off, will give the rate they give. Yes, you can get better exchange rate than the rack rate if you have sizable banking relationship with a bank. The RM will go to their treasury and get you a better rate than what is mentioned (rack rate). You will have to submit the request with all details and the Bank will book the forex and will do the transfer. All transfers are generally done by SWIFT.
Indus Forex belongs to Indus Ind bank. Do note that many small finance bank cannot provide this service i.e outward remittance.
A matter of caution: If you are approaching a bank for doing the remittance, get all the service charges before doing the transfer, do not only look at exchange rate. Federal Bank is famous for giving concessional rate on exchange front (if you ask) but will slap you with processing and other fees which is unheard off, even PSU banks do not charge this level of processing fee. After doing the transaction you will feel bad about it. So get all the fees before doing the transfer.
With regard to Indus Forex, you need to pay a fee apart from exchange rate.
In general, the following are the charges.
- Exchange Rate
- Correspondent Bank charges.
- Processing fees which includes swift charges etc.
(taxes etc will also appy if you are a resident - This is exempted if you are doing transfer from NRE account for NRI’s)
Point No 2 is the foreign bank charge. This gets charged and not in the control of the bank who is doing the transfer. Point No 3 - sometimes it is a flat charge but can be waived.
One other option you should check, only if you wish, is to find out the correspondent banks of bank.
Assume your bank is IDFC First Bank in India and you need to transfer funds to USA to citibank (this is where your beneficiary bank is). If IDFC correspondent is citi and your beneficiary bank is also citi, then it will be convenient and charges MIGHT be lower. Howevever if your beneficiary bank is in Wells Fargo Bank and you wish to transfer from IDFC bank, and assuming, IDFC do not have Wells Fargo as their correspondent bank, then the routing of transaction will be
IDFC - CitiBank - Wells Fargo. In this case there is a intermediary bank as well. So charges will be higher.
This is just for information, but get the charges upfront for start to end transactions.
If your beneficiary where the funds to be received has an account in foreign bank which has a branch in India, like Citi, HSBC and others, you can approach them as well. Their charges MIGHT BE lower, but then you might have to open account etc…not worth it for one transaction.
Disclaimer: I have no clue about exchange houses if any in India. All I know is Bank (Public and Private) bank in India.
If I were you, I will do transfer only through a well known bank and not through apps and what not. It could be cheaper but your capital is important as well. Again this is my personal view only.
I use Federal Bank for outward remittance for my business. Fees are high but I have a good banking relationship and it works out in the end.
Thank you for the very detailed reply!