How to transfer money to India from Singapore: A guide for SMEs

5 minutes
Business tips
How to transfer money to India from Singapore: A guide for SMEs
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Navigating payments between Singapore and India can be challenging for SMEs. 

You’ll want every SGD to maximise its value upon reaching India, so you can achieve greater operational efficiency and foster trust among your offshore team members.  

In this article, we’ll explore the best ways to send money to India from Singapore, and how you can save on cross-border payment fees through fintech.

How businesses can send money to India from Singapore 

For businesses looking to send money to India from Singapore, a range of options are available, each offering unique advantages. Whether it’s traditional wire transfers or fintech innovations, these methods cater to diverse business needs and can help you achieve the right balance of cost, speed, and convenience.

UPI-PayNow

In February 2023, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) set up a real-time link between their two payment systems - PayNow and UPI, respectively. 

Called UPI-PayNow, this service lets individuals send money to participating India banks as though they were making a PayNow transaction. However, it can be limiting for business transactions, as there is a daily cap of SGD 1,000 or its equivalent to INR. Remittance fees vary by bank, although it is estimated that UPI-PayNow lets you save at least 10% from money transfer fees.

SWIFT payments via banks

The SWIFT payment network is the international money transfer method that you’re likely most familiar with. 

Although this network makes up the infrastructure that facilitates your international bank transfers, it doesn’t actually transfer your money. Instead, the network transfers the information of your payment, in the form of an international money order.

This information is then transferred from your bank through the SWIFT payment route until it reaches your supplier’s bank. This bank-to-bank transfer is one of the reasons that your international payments can take so long.

As such, you can expect to send money to India within 1-3 business days.

While this transfer can come with a $10-50 SWIFT fee, there are no limits to the amount you can send.

Local transfers via fintech payment providers

Fintech payment specialists like Airwallex use local clearing systems to make payments to India from Singapore. These local clearing systems include:

  • National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), a national electronic clearing house maintained by the Reserve Bank of India

  • Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)

  • Electronic Clearing Services system (ECS), which can include ECS debit and ECS credit,

  • Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)

Transferring money through these systems is like making a bank-to-bank transfer within India. And like any local money transfer, there are no transfer fees and no payment delays.

To use these clearing systems, you need a bank account in India, which can be tough to open from Singapore. That’s why payment specialists like Airwallex innovated a solution for Singapore SMEs with operations in India.

With your Business Account, you can instantly open an INR account for your business, which comes with a dedicated account number and local bank codes. You can receive and send INR from Singapore as though you were making a local bank transfer. Not only do you avoid costly SWIFT fees; your payments arrive as soon as 2 business days.

On top of that, you maximise the value of every dollar (or rupee) through our market-leading exchange rates. You can even convert your SGD into INR ahead of time, lock in a rate you’re happy with, and keep it in your Airwallex wallet until it’s time to pay your offshore team or suppliers.

Transfer details for sending money to India from Singapore

Like any cross-border payment, you’ll need to provide the following information when sending money from Singapore to India:

Your recipient’s account details. This includes the full name of the receiving party, their bank account number, phone number and address. 

Send international payments with $0 TT fees and market-leading FX rates

3 easy steps to send money to India from Singapore with an Airwallex Business Account

Ready to transform your B2B payments with Airwallex? Simply follow these 3 easy steps: 

  • Create an Airwallex account and verify your business in a matter of minutes

  • Add SGD into your Airwallex account

  • Enter your recipient’s details as well as the amount and currency to be transferred

Experience the ease of managing cross-border payments like never before, and create an Airwallex account today. Or book a demo today and discover how our tailored solutions can streamline your financial operations.

FAQs

Q: Do I need an IBAN to transfer money to India?

IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number and is an international standard numbering system that can be used to identify banks all over the world. But, interestingly, it’s an international standard that the country needs to be a member of. In this case, India isn’t an IBAN member, so you don’t need an IBAN to transfer money to India. Read more about the IBAN here.

Q: How much does it cost to transfer money from India to Singapore? 

Fees for overseas payments to India depend on the financial institution and transfer method. Traditional banks charge a variety of fees that include commission charges, cable charges, and agent bank charges.

On the other hand, sending INR to India from your Airwallex account costs a fraction of an international bank transfer. We partner with local clearing systems like NEFT, which means INR transactions to India skip the SWIFT network and the high fees that come with it. On top of that, we charge market-leading FX rates when converting SGD to INR or any other currency. You’ll always see the fees you’ll pay before you send your payment.

Airwallex charges market-leading FX rates when converting your currency of choice to INR, and low transfer fees when sending the converted amount to India. You’ll always see the fees you’ll pay before sending your payment.

Q: How long will a money transfer from India to Singapore take? 

The speed of the transaction depends on the payment method. UPI-PayNow transfers funds almost instantly, although there is a maximum limit of SGD 1,000 per day. SWIFT transfers can take 2 business days or more, depending on your bank’s processes. With an Airwallex Business Account, your transfer happens as fast as 1 business day.

Send international payments with $0 TT fees and market-leading FX rates

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