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The expat’s guide to sending money from the UK to India

Looking to send money to India? Discover the top methods and tips in our guide. Plus, learn how you can make lighting fast payments to India with Zing.

by The Zing Growth team on 07 Jun 2024

There are almost 1.5 million people of Indian origin living in the UK. For many, sending money back home is a regular occurrence – whether it’s financial assistance, supporting education expenses, investing or celebrating special events, the need for a reliable and efficient money transfer service is a top priority. 

In this guide we’ve pieced together some practical tips for anyone remitting money to India or is just curious about how it works. 

Check your exchange rates

One of the key considerations when sending money from the UK to India is understanding the British pound (GBP) to Indian Rupee (INR) conversion rates. Like most currency pairs, the exchange rate between the GBP and the INR can fluctuate daily. Keeping an eye on these rates and choosing the right time to make your transfer can help maximize the value of your money sent back home.

Check out Zing’s currency calculator to monitor the real and transparent rate. You’ll also be able to see a breakdown of fees (more on these later!) and how long your payment will take to arrive so you can make informed decisions when sending money to India. 

Pick your transfer method 

It’s important to pick the method that works best for you and your payee. Factors to consider include: how quickly you need the money to arrive, how much you are sending, and what details you have from your payee. We’ve put together some of the most popular ways to send money to India. 

Bank transfer 

This is probably the first method that comes to mind when you think of international transfers. It’s a secure option that’s widely accepted across India, with most individuals and businesses having bank accounts. It’s great for larger sums of money and banks are regulated financial institutions, so your money is protected. 

There are specific details to make bank transfers to India. For online transfers to an Indian bank account, you will need to get your:

  • Payee's name 

  • Payee's address

  • Bank account number

  • Bank branch’s IFSC – Indian Financial System Code. This is 11 characters, containing only letters and numbers without spaces or special characters.

One thing to be aware of is fees – some banks charge high fees for international transfers. Hidden fees mean you end up paying more than you first thought. They can often have less favourable exchange rates too and can result in your payee getting fewer Indian Rupees for your Pounds.  

UPI UPI stands for unified payments interface. It’s used to transfer money between people and is supported by different apps, like Google Pay, Paytm and a lot of banking apps. It makes sending money simpler as it removes the need to enter bank details and other personal information when making transactions. 

UPI transfers are also fast! It’s a real-time payment method so your money gets to where it’s needed quickly.  

It’s also secure. UPI was created by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation that oversees retail payment systems in India. The NPCI is governed by the central banking authority, the Reserve Bank of India. There are a number of security measures to keep your money safe including mobile verification, a 4 or 6-digit mobile pin (MPIN) used to authenticate each payment and the ability to check the authenticity of merchants. 

Limits and fees can vary depending on which account you transfer money from so make sure you check before sending. There are some international limitations too as UPI is currently primarily available within India, but international expansion is underway – which may affect you picking this as a transfer method. 

Cash transfer services

This method is less common, but cash transfer services are a great solution if you’re sending money to someone in India if you don’t have their bank details.

Cash transfer services are pretty fast with funds usually available for pickup in India on the same day.

Similar to bank transfers, cash transfer services can charge both the sender and the recipient high fees. The maximum limit for money transfer from the UK to India is typically pretty low when you send money via cash transfer services so that’s another factor to consider depending on your circumstances. As with any financial transfer, always make sure you use a provider that you trust. 

Sending more for less to India with Zing You can use Zing to make lightning fast or local payments to India fast, easy and worry-free.

Lightning fast payments

Send money using UPI so your loved ones in India receive money in a flash. There’s no additional fee for using this method (just conversion fees if they apply) and you can send between 200 - 200,000 Rupees per transaction.

Zero international transfer fees

We’ve made the decision to waive transfer fees. This is to help make sending money abroad in all Zing supported currencies a less worrying experience as these fees can often vary – and it's easier on your wallet.

Zero transfer fees apply to all outgoing international payments. 

Pay no conversion fees on the first £500 you send every month

No one likes being stung with high conversion fees, especially when you send money to connections in India regularly – they start to add up.

Every month* you pay no conversion fees on the first £500 you convert. If you need to send more, our conversion fee for Indian rupees is a low 0.2% so more of your money ends up with the people that matter most.

What’s next? 

We’re always looking to improve Zing to make it even easier for you to remit money internationally with confidence. We keep this page updated with the latest ways you can send money in India with Zing.

*until 30th December 2024. Currency conversion fee is waived for converting up to £500 or equivalent amount per calendar month. T&Cs apply. Please note that this information is provided for general guidance and does not constitute personal advice. We always recommend seeking your own financial advice from a professional advisor before making any transactions.

The Zing Growth team