Fintech Company’s Wise Service Enables Users in India to Send Money Abroad
In this photo illustration, the TransferWise logo is displayed on an Android mobile phone.
Omar Marques | SOPA Pictures | LightRocket | Getty Images
Financial technology firm Wise said on Tuesday that users in India could now send money overseas to 44 countries around the world.
This includes places like Singapore, United Kingdom, United States, United Arab Emirates as well as countries in the Eurozone.
Remittances from India abroad in fiscal year 2019-2020 amounted to around $ 18.75 billion, with over 60% categorized under travel and education payment to the foreign, according to data from the Reserve Bank of India. As part of a liberalized money transfer program, the central bank allows residents to send up to $ 250,000 abroad for free to finance personal expenses or education by fiscal year – which begins in April and ends in March of the following year.
Typically, the remittance market is comparatively larger, as many Indians working overseas send money to their families in the country. World Bank data for 2019 shows personal remittances received in India exceeded $ 83 billion.
Kristo Kaarmann, CEO and co-founder of Wise, which was previously called TransferWise, told CNBC that being able to send money outside of India was one of the most requested services by the company for consumers. users.
“India in particular is very exciting,” Kaarmann said. “Over the past, like almost a decade now, the establishment of local payment infrastructures and UPIs has been very interesting to watch.”
The Unified Payment Interface, or UPI, is one of the most dominant digital payment methods in India. What sets the framework apart from mobile wallets is its interoperability – meaning people can use different UPI-based platforms to send money and perform financial transactions.
Wise, headquartered in London, specializes in cross-currency money transfers, which can be done entirely online. He claims his service is faster and cheaper compared to other fintech players as well as traditional banks, which tend to take a big cut and offer unfavorable exchange rates.
Banks are the dominant platform for international money transfers in India.
Wise partnered with Google Pay last month to allow users in the United States to send money to India.
Wise also announced on Tuesday the opening of a local office in Mumbai. Kaarmann declined to provide details of potential partnerships underway in India.