How to pay a business in India from the US

Evan Dunn
4 minutes
How to pay a business in India from the US
In this article

Need to pay a business in India? Whether you’re utilizing vendors and contractors in India or purchasing products or services from an Indian business, paying them doesn’t have to be a stressful process.

We’ll walk you through what to consider when choosing a US-India transaction method, eight options for paying a business in India from the US, and our top pick.

What to consider when choosing a payment method

The good news is that there’s no shortage of options to pay a business in India from the US. Unfortunately, this plethora of payment options can make it challenging to choose the best one.

Thoroughly vet each payment option and consider its pros and cons before sending any money. The wrong choice could end up costing you avoidable fees or even delay your payment altogether.

Here’s what to consider when paying a business in India from the US:

  • Exchange rate: There is no single global foreign exchange (FX rate). Make sure your payment method is giving you the best exchange rate possible.

  • Fees: No one wants to pay more than they have to. Nevertheless, many international payment methods include hidden foreign transaction fees.

  • Transaction speed: Some international payment methods can take up to five days to process, or charge more for quicker processing. The best methods will offer same-day transfers to anywhere in the world.

  • Convenience: The best rate, fees, and speed don’t mean much if the transaction is a huge hassle. Consider whether physically going to the bank, extensive paperwork, or lengthy approvals are required before making any decisions.

7 Options for paying a business in India from the US

ACH Transfer

An Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer is a great way for US businesses to send money to India. In fact, some payment services (such as PayPal and Venmo) work by setting up an ACH transfer for you.

There are two forms of ACH transfers: credit and debit. While credit transfers typically cost about $3 per transfer, most debit transfers are free of charge.

Pros:

  • Free or low-cost

  • Convenient to send

Cons:

  • Can take 3+ business days to arrive

  • Daily and monthly limit on how much money you can send

  • Not all banks offer international ACH transfers

Money Order

You’ve probably heard of or even used a money order before, as they aren’t exactly new. Money orders are available at most banks at a highly affordable rate. All you need to do is stop by your local bank, provide the teller with your funds and the fee, and share the necessary information.

Pros: 

  • Low fees (some banks even wave fees for customers)

  • Safe, since ID is required for cashing checks

Cons:

  • You have to physically visit a bank or credit union

  • Limits on how much you can send

  • Can take 1-3 business days

WorldRemit

WorldRemit allows you to send money to businesses with accounts at 14 major Indian banks. All you need is the recipient’s Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) and account number to send money from the WorldRemit website or app.

Pros:

  • Mobile-friendly

  • Most transfers can be completed within minutes

Cons:

  • Additional margin added to the exchange rate

  • Fixed transfer fee of 1.99 USD

  • Maximum transfer amount of 1,500,000 INR

XE Money Transfer

XE Money Transfer is a well-known name in foreign transfers. Its major benefits include support for 139 currencies, including major as well as exotic currencies, and affordable rates for large transfers.

Pros:

  • Ideal for large transfers

  • Dedicated business accounts

Cons:

  • High fees for smaller transfers

  • Additional margin on FX rate

  • Third-party fees that XE can’t control

  • Doesn’t work for sending cash

PayPal

One of the most popular payment solutions available today, PayPal Business accounts make it easy and simple to carry out US-India business transactions. All that you need is your recipient’s email address to process a transaction.

However, PayPal is also known for having high international transaction fees, including:

  • 1.9% -3.5% plus a fixed fee for domestic commercial transactions

  • An additional 1.5% for international commercial transactions (except for American Express payments, which have no additional fee)

  • An additional fixed fee based on the currency received

  • 3%-4% currency conversion fee

Pros:

  • Easy to process transactions

  • Encryption for added security

Cons:

  • High international transaction and currency conversion fees

  • Additional 1% fee for instant transfers (up to $10)

Xoom

Xoom, powered by PayPal, has become a trusted money transfer service over the last 20 years. 

One of their primary advantages is their online-to-offline transfer capabilities. This means that recipients can withdraw their funds in cash as soon as the transaction is complete without an internet connection or bank account. However, Xoom is less competitive when it comes to fees and exchange rates.

Pros:

  • Transfers typically take minutes to hours

  • Works for cash transfers

  • Great security and ease of use

Cons:

  • Fees range from 2.99-6.49 USD

  • Poor exchange rates

  • Additional margin on FX rate

  • Transfer minimums and maximums

Airwallex

Airwallex is a newer solution for international transactions that stands out for its simple, transparent, and competitive pricing. 

Commercial transactions from the US to India incur just a 0.6% FX fee above the interbank rate. Additionally, there are no fees for international money transfers or withdrawing funds.

And since Airwallex allows you to exchange your money before sending it, your transaction will arrive in the local currency. You can even convert your USD to INR ahead of time to lock in the best rate, and then hold it in your Airwallex wallet until the time comes to send it.

How to pay a business in India from the US with Airwallex

With Airwallex, all you need to do to pay a business in India from the US is:

  1. Set up and verify your Global Account.

  2. Deposit USD into your wallet using your online banking.

  3. Set up a contact for the Indian business that you need to pay.

  4. Convert your money into INR. Airwallex uses the real, mid-market exchange rate to get you the best deal possible.

  5. Send your payment. It will be available in one business day or less.

You’ll need to have the following information on hand when setting up the contact for the business that you’re paying:

  • SWIFT code: This is an eight- or 11-digit code used to identify the specific bank that you’re sending money to.

  • Indian Financial System Code (IFSC): The Indian Financial System is India’s main clearing system. The IFSC includes 11 digits and, like the SWIFT code, identifies the bank you’re sending money to.

  • Bank name

  • Bank account number: This is the nine- to 18-digit number associated with the receiver’s account.

  • Account name for the receiver

  • Reason for transfer: You must include the reason for your transfer, such as goods purchased or business expenses.

And that’s it! 

Ready to see for yourself why Airwallex is the best way to pay a business in India from the US? Watch a quick demo to learn more or set up your Foreign Currency Account to start making US-India business transactions today.

Related article: What is the SWIFT payment network?

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Evan Dunn
Growth Marketing Lead, US

Evan Dunn manages the growth of Airwallex's SMB business in the US through marketing avenues. Evan is a generalist with expertise in SEO, paid media, content marketing, performance marketing and social selling. He also enjoys slam poetry and waffle making.

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