Home » Living in US » Personal Finance » How to send Money to India from USA? ACH, Direct Deposit, Demand Draft ?

How to send Money to India from USA? ACH, Direct Deposit, Demand Draft ?

Few years ago, when I came to US for the first time, I got a check payable to my university in dollars towards tuition fee from an Indian Bank…As I got scholarship, few thousand dollars from the check I got were refunded…I was really excited to send some money home, you know how that feels to send money back home ? I looked around various options and picked up one option, it was my best option. I have been using this service for seven years…Just to experiment, I did try few more services during these years, but they all were not good and did not give me good exchange rate and service was bad…I have sent amounts ranging from couple hundred dollars to over twenty thousand dollars per transaction, I will try to share my experience sending money and suggest what worked for me.

Options to send Money to India from USA ?  ACH, Demand Draft, Instant Transfer ?

There are various options to send money. I have used few of these, let me explain the ones I have used.

Demand Draft(DD) delivery : As the name says, you can send money to anyone as a demand draft. If you are not sure about bank account details or if you want to surprise someone with a monetary gift, you can use this. I used Demand draft method to surprise my Parents and Grand Mother with my first salary 🙂  To cash the demand draft, most of the times receiver has to have a bank account. This takes anywhere up to 10 days or more (including holidays) to reach as the DD is sent in courier or using postal service

ACH (Automatic Clearing house) Transfer – Direct deposit: This is probably the most popular means to transfer money. In this transfer method, money is automatically deducted from your US bank account and deposited into the Indian bank account. Usually money is deducted from your US bank account in 3 days and then the transfer to your Indian bank account occurs. This takes relatively a little less amount of time compared with demand draft delivery. Most of the times, the receiver can get money within 6 to 7 days.

Instant Transfer : If you need to send some urgent cash in minutes, you can use instant transfer. There is a limit on the sending amount. This costs you more money to send and you get less exchange rate, but you pay for the speed. It is very simple, you send money from US and they give you a pin, you tell the pin to person in India and they can pick up the money at a location using the pin you tell them and an ID verifying their identity.

There are other options like Wire transfer, where you can send lot more money within less time, I have never used it as it costs more money…I think you do not need to use this unless needed.

Service Provider to send Money to India :
I have used all of the below service providers over the years : Remit2India, Western Union Money transfer, State Bank of India , ICICI Money2India, Xoom ( part of Paypal now)…Here are my experiences and perceptions about these service providers.

Western Union Money transfer : This is very expensive service. I would never use this in my life unless I am in urgent need. You get less exchange rate and you have to pay more to send money. The only thing is, you can send money in minutes and other person in India can collect money  right away. Also, you have the option to send money using credit card, thats one thing that sometimes may help.

State Bank of India : This is one of my worst experiences ever. I thought they were offering better exchange rate and tried it couple times. You cannot even talk to anyone, it took me more than 15 days and there were issues on the receving side also. ZERO customer service, no email responses. I had to track my receving bank and ask that manager to contact Mumbai and do it..it was a hassle. DO NOT use this.  Also, the rate is not that great. The primary reason for bad service is, it is not a private bank and you do not get any good customer service.

ICICI Money2 India : This service is OK. Many people use this service as they have ICICI accounts in India and it is easy to do it….I have not used this in  last few years and my perception is, they do not give competitive rates…

Remit2India: This has been my favorite money transfer service for the past 7 years. I like this service because good customer service, good tracking, good rates. In fact, this started as service only from US to India and has expanded to many countries. This service provider is now called times of money and has grown by leaps and bounds over years….These guys used to compare their exchange rates with ICICI and tell that they are giving better rate and gained lot of customers….In fact, most of my friends use this service too and have had good experiences. The exchange rate is charged based on the day of transaction i.e., 3 to 4 days after you initiate transfer, so there may be some disparity, nevertheless…it is still the best for me. The downfalls of this service is the transparency in exchange rate from the day you send to the day the funds are deposited, it can be slightly frustrating as you do not know the actual rate when you send the money, but it works. They have something called rupee guarantee as well, but it is on the losing side for consumer, I feel.

Xoom Money Transfer : I have been using Xoom for few years now, one of the key compelling reasons to use Xoom is that the delivery of money is almost done in few hours and sometimes instantly, if you send to certain banks. It can range from few seconds to 5 hours. There is a big catch though, does not happen for very first transaction as they need to verify your account and other things. But, once done, the delivery is swift. If you send to HDFC Bank, PNB, Axis Bank and Yes Bank, the money is deposited instantly( few seconds) and for other banks, if you send money in India banking hours between 8 AM and 5 PM IST, you will have the money delivery to most of the nationalized banks quickly in few hours.  The exchange rate is slightly less at times, but the good part is it is quite transparent and very fast.  They have a beautiful mobile app and the website is nice. You have certain limits to send money like 2950 USD per day and such if you do not share your job and Gov. ID info , but if you verify and give those details, you can send as much as 10,000 USD per transaction. Again, they tell to call. This is pretty standard like Remit2India.

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  1. Hi, first of all, great information – thanks for sharing such useful tips and experiences!
    The questions I have are about the tax and amount limit on money transfer (from US to India).
    Q1 – Can I send a bank check for any amount to my relatives in India or is there any limit on that? Same question for xoom or remit2india – is there any max limit on the amount to transfer?
    Q2 – Is there any tax to be paid for money transfers either when using bank check or online money transfer services?

    • Tamanna,
      Q1. No limit. It may take time for the check collection and the foreign bank for processing charges.
      Q2. No, if you already paid taxes in US for the money you earned and sending the savings, there is no need to pay tax again.

  2. I me debendra Nayak from India is a antique seller,I have contacted with a US buyer by doing chatting and the rate for my coin finalised for 10000 dollars.the buyer told me to deposit 5000 INR for account verification fees, because bank of America demands.after the seller deposit money the buyer can send money to seller by account transfer.i cannot understand what to do? kindly help me in this matter.

    • Hi ,

      This is Arunkumar Varadharajan from chennai.

      I have been facing issue now to receive a money from USA.

      I advertised my camera in OLX. after few days i got a message from USA. He said i like you camera and i want to buy it. send pic of camera and tell me tha last price of camera. i sent it
      after he asking my bank details.. due to this i confused. i asked him for sending his identity card. he sent something. after that i sent bank account details. ater that he asked me to send a camera through DHL ..and shared shipping address is dubai. He was wishing to gifted his cousin. after that i said ok and asked how will i get my payment..he said go and make a shipment and send a receipt will tranfer the money to your account. i sent the shipment to duabi
      .and also sent receipt to that person from.USA. Even i got a mail from bank of america.. Xxx paid some amount money..and you have to send shipment receipt your fund will transfer you like that. i sent it to bank too..after that i informed that person..still now i didnt receive the money from you bank..asked him to check. he said bank is closed will get back to you.dont worry .

      Next day asked him to release my money. he said i m on the way to bank. after few minutes i called me and asked me to pay 10000k Tax fee. like then only u will get ur money.after few arguements i paid. and asked him for after payment he said wait for 15 minutes..
      again he called me asked me to pay another 10k for authentication fee.i shouted and after many arguements again i paid 10k and asked him for payment status.. he asked me to wait 15 minutes after few minutes i got mail.from bank of america..stated server issue.after 19hrs ur money will be activated. i tensed alot and shout him for long time.and said ok.

      again will chat him on next day.after 19hrs. i said given time is completed..but money not releasing yet..and shouting again. he said wait will go to the bank and get back to u. after few minutes he called me back and asked me to pay last 5k for compensation fee. i tensed alot. and shouted for long…till now toatally 25k paid but no responses yet u people cheating me.i need my money and also i nees my camera. he said am not cheating u. promisely u will receive ur money after many arguements. i paid 5k too. he said wait for 10 to 15 mins. after 15mins i called him.back and shouted alot. ater few hrs he called and said congratulations u money released to fedaration of indian banking. you will get it.today .
      after a long hrs no payments received my account. again i chat him..still i didnt receive my money.and shouting. after many arguements he said today sunday..tomorrow u wil get ur money.
      i am.waiting for my money.

      inbetween shouting him.. he said i m not cheating and bla bla bla. and he said i shared ur number to FBI and i got messages from FBl
      .like xxx person not cheating u..u will make a payment and u will get money
      .even i asked him for send his identity card. he said we are not send ids…

      And he asked me to pay payments to indain account number only..hence i have little hope. but l sent camera worth 40k and paid 25k. still now no response my payment. still i m waiting. i dont know he is cheating me or he is true..

      pls anyone assist me.pls.
      my mail:arunkumar.vidhai@gmail.com

      I want to know is there any rules to pay this much to send money USA TO INDIA.. and i paid account number from kerala esaf bank account.

      i confused..alot.pls. assist me anybody.please reach me..as soon as possible.its happened from 21/12/2018 to 23/12/2018 till now.. i didnt receive single money.

      But he properly responding mem do not block me..if i said i dont want anything pls leave me alone. he said dont waste ur money. dont wry u will receive.. so confused
      .he is cheating or surely these rules are here..pls confirm me. i spend total 60 to 70k my friends..pls assist me.

      • Sorry to hear…It seems like fraud….frankly there is nothing like authentication fee, etc…it is all fake and you may have been tricked. There are no rules as such, anyone can send you money to you and there is no authentication or tax involved here… Many deal international transactions using PayPal so that you have buyer and seller protection.

  3. Hello,
    I have a simple question. I am USA citizen and my father opened a NRO account for me so that it’s easy transfer for his money to my account for future when they are not alive.
    Bank of Baroda, national bank and they want to transfer max $50 from USA as the requirements of the first transaction . I have a account in Bank of America and they said $45/transaction they charge! They need the name of the bank, account no. And swift code!! I have everything.
    What’s the cost effective and reliable way to transfer small amounts? Any suggestions will be appreciated!
    Thank you,

    • You can register for account in any of the services listed above like Remit2india, Xoom and others and use their service. They will charge very less maybe around 3 to 5 dollars max.

    • Hi Swathi,

      What is the procedure for transfer money from US Company to Indian vendor ?
      Which bank will be more genuine and less service tax ?
      Any documents needed for this process ?
      Please let me know it.

      • US Vendor can directly do wire transfer to your account in India. It will cost some money, but that is an option. Also, you can use third party services like Payoneer to get payments.

  4. Hello! this is the first time i am using your service an d i am glad you make peoples work easier with your knowledge of cash handling across nations.

    I have a friend who is interested in investing in my hand made home decorative items, she wants to invest big but i wish to take it from an initial stage so we decided to settle at 350,000 dollars that amounts to 2.5 +crores.

    What is the procedure i must follow legally to avoid issues from the government of India? This is my first business in investing a big amount so i wish to play safe right from the start.

    Please help

    • You should talk to a CA in India, register an entity and have him/her as your investor. After that let them invest money in the company. This makes everything clean and legal for everyone.

  5. hi Kumar,

    I’m Viraf P Chinoy from Mumbai – India again. sorry to bother you but my problem is not getting resolved.
    I’ve a friend in USA whom I’ve given some loans (approx. 15,000 USD) & now she has to repay the same back to me.

    She’s got a bank a/c & a Debit card but for reasons best known to them, the bank manager is unable to transfer money by wire / western to me electronically. She just told me this morning that when she’s here in India she’ll get the transfer done via ATM’s I don’t know what that means? Is it possible I doubt it very much for this kind of amount !! small amounts are ok.

    After she arrives here in Mumbai, if I take her to some foreign Bank or EVEN State bank of India or to some Forex Dealer / Company & ask them to transfer the sum from her a/c via the card to my a/c can it be done. I’m asking you? filling up forms or making an application all that is ok no problems but where / how can this be done?? (By Forex Dealer I mean Weizmann Forex / Centrum Forex, etc.) Incidentally my a/c is in Bank of India.

    I would have asked her to get a Demand Draft / Cheque payable at par payable at Mumbai in my name for the said amount but don’t know if that would be done or not by her Bank??

    I’m sorry to keep on hassling you but until the problem is resolved I’ve to take yr opinion / feedback. sorry to bother you again. Thanks & await yr reply soon.

    Viraf P Chinoy

    • I am not sure how the Forex thing will work when she is in India. She could withdraw money from ATM and give it to you, but there may be limits on cash.
      If there are issues, you could ask her to send you US bank check, you can deposit the check in your Indian account, it will take couple of weeks or so, but at least it will be deposited. Frankly, if you were to get check from day 1 you asked, you would have had it deposited. Also, I do not understand why they cannot do Xoom, Trasferwise or others, they are very simple process. I believe something is fishy.

  6. hi Kumar,
    this is viraf chinoy again sorry to bother you. but i’m to ask u a very typical query
    I’ve been asking u about transfer of money from US to india in the last 8-10 days thro western / wire, etc. ok. However the bank in discussion when doing the wire / western Trans is creating probs (without any reason) & hence money is not received by me here. Can they do such a thing ? I doubt if they cannot allow trans in an account like this. pl reply

    pl don’t advise DD as it takes between 25-30 days to get realized but something quick / FAST.

    ALSO when my friend comes to Mumbai, if she gets with her USD 10,000 in form of SBI / AMEX travellers cheques & that she enchases here in Mumbai & then transfer the same to my account will there be any hassles / probs?? are you aware of the maxi amount / limit in such cases??

    If this is not okay, can u tell me any other way in which she gets the money in some form (maybe ewallet, something like cash / credit card or similar to travellers cheques, etc.) with her & then transfer it to my account directly.

    sorry to keep on bothering you but im looking at alternate ways to resolve my prob & get my money is discussion soon here in Mumbai? Await yr reply Asap. Thanks — Viraf

    • No, they cannot do anything like that. All they need India’s account number, IFSC code and Bank Name and Type of account and address, it should not be an issue. You need to declare at customs if you are carrying anything over $5000 USD. Check customs airport page
      Xoom, Wire Transfer, Remit2India are all the best options you can get. I cannot think of others..

  7. kumar,

    last time i’d asked u charges for wire transfer for about US$ 12000 – 13000 from USA to india
    n u had told me it will be under $ 100 is it correct?
    bcoz my friend informs me her bank says it will charge $ 800 as charges for wire trf
    & that too they wont debit her bank acct but she ll hv 2 pay charges in cash??
    i think that’s wrong?? they must debit charges to acct right na??

    also for a $ 2000 payment by western they charge $ 200 as charges is it OK? i think its too costly

    yr comments on both the above points pls so i can inform my friend in the matter as per yr reply Thx

    Viraf P Chinoy, Mumbai India

    • Viraf,
      I suggest, they go for Xoom or Remit2India and send money, it takes 3 days and it will be free of cost to send to India for anything over 1000 USD. Regarding wire, check Chase Wire Transfer fee to get an idea. It says 45 USD. Also, I do not recommend Western Union, it is very expensive.

  8. hi kumar,

    I’m Mr. Viraf P Chinoy from Mumbai – India.

    i’ve a friend in USA whom i’ve paid about usd 10,000 as a loan. now she’s to pay me back the same but when she tried to do thro western union she was told that for $ 5000/= they ll charge $ 500 as charges / commission. she feels its a bit too costly so what other option is possible?? also its a western union counter inside a bank yet they say for charges she has to pay cash & that they wont debit her acct? is it possible or they are taking her for a ride? I feel both the amount & comm can be debited to the acct directly all the more as it is in the bank itself. Your feedback in the matter pls.

    is there any other mode like western that’s not too costly but i get money quickly ?? & it costs less commission to my friend in USA too?

    Also i’ve an a/c in bank of india mumbai. is it ok if i ask her to send a DD in my name & I then submit the DD with my ID proof / bank a/c details to Foreign Exchange dept. of bank of india? i hope the DD gets cleared in 8-10 days time??

    I’m pretty confused how / what is the best solution for me in the matter? can you pl guide / help me in the matter. After reading your posts i feel companies like western union are good but too costly. so in such a case where does the common man go & what is best option for him . Pl advise

    Thanks for your help & assistance.


    • She can use Xoom.com or any of the other services listed above. With options provided above, it is pretty much free to send money from US to India..but, it will take 3 to 5 days. Also, she can do something called wire transfer to your account directly from her US account, it will cost her maybe 50$ or less. Check Chase for example, they charge 45 USD. She can also, send you a check and you can cash it. So, there are many choices, western union is very expensive and I do not recommend for large sums. Wire Transfer is the quickest and you will get funds pretty much in a day or tow at max.

  9. I want to get money from Bank of America to state bank of India.usa bank demands tax charges to transfer the payment.is there such tax for sending money from USA to India

  10. fantastic elaboration .it is simply excellent.one can easily understand about the money transfer from uss to india.thanks a lot.

  11. Can anybody tell me about PayPal service. I have not got the money credited into my bank account for more than 15 days. I have been calling customer care but till now I haven’t received any amount.

  12. Hello sir,
    I am currently working at Usa, Los angeles and i got some project work cheque amount of $398,791.96 in my salary account of bank of america and i wanted to send some big money to my family which is living in india to my brother SBI account an amount of rs21lakhs in india currency, so please suggest me which type of transfer will be better and quicker?

  13. how much money can be send by Demand draft at a time ?
    I mean is that possible to receive a demand draft for 1 lac or more dollars from USA ?

    • Sanjay,
      It is usually governed by the sending bank. Check with them. When you send large sums of money, you will need to ensure that you have proper documentation to support your source and taxes paid for the same.

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