With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the globe, some students pursuing an education abroad did not have the option to return home, due to travel restrictions and country-wide lockdowns. With universities and part-time jobs taking a back seat, students abroad are dependent on their parents for finances.
In order to ensure that they have sufficient funds to sustain themselves during the lockdown or manage an unforeseen medical emergency, it is important to understand the remittance options available and select a platform that allows transfer of funds with ease.
From navigating remittance platforms to assessing exchange rates, sending money abroad without leaving your house could be a tricky affair. Here are a few tips that could come in handy:
Choosing the right remittance partner: Take time to compare platforms and understand aspects such as the exchange rates, transaction limits, processing fees, customer service, and experience, etc. Some players levy additional charges to the beneficiary and may have other hidden costs associated. Ensure that you opt for a platform that guarantees transparency and delivers the full credit amount to your recipient.
Understanding the transaction limit: For students receiving money from India, there are guidelines set by the RBI under the Liberalized Remittance (LRS) Scheme. Living expenses of students studying abroad are covered under the LRS and the limit is USD 250,000 per annum. The maximum transaction limit for sending remittance using an online channel is USD 25,000 per transaction, which is also the maximum daily transaction limit.
Exchange rates: It is important to gather information on the latest exchange rates and assess charges of the services available. Platforms such as digibank Remit offer 24 × 7 locked-in FX rates, which allows one to book the transaction at the displayed rate (i.e. guaranteed rate) and the funds get debited at the same rate, once the transaction is successfully processed.
Ease of transfer: Transferring money abroad is no longer an extended and complex process. digibank has integrated technology to deliver a fully digitized, quick and hassle-free experience, avoiding the need to walk into your bank or any cumbersome documentation whatsoever. This flexibility is especially important in the current scenario
Emergency fund transfer: Being stuck in a foreign country with limited access to funds during an emergency is a highly stressful scenario. Few remittance platforms have a cooling period before you are allowed to add a new payee. In such cases, payment receipts could take anywhere between 1 and 2 working days. While selecting a remittance platform, opt for one that facilitates same-day transfers.
Overall, selecting the right remittance platform is essential to not only support your child’s short-term needs abroad, but to also prepare for an emergency situation. It is always advisable to evaluate your options carefully to choose a platform that is secure, reliable and fulfilling your requirements.
(By Asheesh Jain, Head, Investment & FX Business, Consumer Banking Group, DBS Bank India)