FinTech: U.K.’s Wise To Challenge Indian Banks’ Strangle On Foreign Remittances

June 2, 2021 | FinTech, News
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UK-based fintech Wise, which specializes in cross-border fund transfers, is also setting up an office in Mumbai.

Wise has rolled out its foreign remittance services for Indians, offering them transactions that are much faster and cost significantly less compared to legacy banks. Indian citizens can now send money to 44 countries globally, including the UK, US, Singapore, Malaysia, UAE, and other countries in the Eurozone. Wise previously did business as TransferWise. (THE FINTECH TIMES)

India’s Liberalized Remittance Scheme

Indians are allowed by the country’s foreign exchange laws to remit a maximum of US$250,000 under the Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS) for various purposes such as education, medical needs, travel, gifts, and investments. According to Reserve Bank of India data, remittances under the scheme totaled about $18.75 billion during the financial year ended March 2020.

Travel and foreign studies accounted for 60% of such remittances, while India’s banks processed the vast majority of these cross-border payments.

As a first step, Wise recently enabled Google Pay users in the US to send INR to Google Pay users in India.

Wise and LRS remittances

With Wise, Indians can now register an account in minutes – they can sign up online, or in the Wise app, with an email address, or a Google, Facebook, or Apple account. They can use their PAN card, and either a driving license or passport to verify their identity. Then it’s simply filling in the details of the recipient, the reason for payment, and paying for the remittance using a bank transfer.

Wise reveals that its transactions are 38% faster, on average, as all transfers globally are done almost instantly (within 20 seconds). Furthermore, the remittances cost significantly less compared to legacy bankers and other payment processors such as PayPal.

Wise and India

Wise is also opening up an office in Mumbai to mark its global expansion into India.

Kristo Käärmann, CEO and Co-Founder of Wise, stated: “The data shows that Indians are more international than ever, with an increasing need to send money abroad as quickly, easily and cost-effectively as possible. With this launch, we hope to make these transactions simpler and more pleasant for all Indians.”

Venkatesh Saha, Head of APAC and Middle East Expansion at Wise, remarked: “Sending money from India has been one of our most-requested routes globally and we’re delighted to be able to bring our fully digital and transparent money transfer service to the country today. With Wise, you know exactly what you’re paying for a transfer, how much money your recipient is going to receive, and how long it will take to complete a transfer, all from your phone or computer at home.”

Related Story:  TransferWise Appoints Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley For IPO

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