Need to send money to a family member or friend in India urgently?
There could be various reasons you need to do that: an unexpected expense, investment opportunity, immediate payment to avoid late fees or a sudden requirement for your family or a close friend.
Many online services exist to send money to India quickly and the money reaches your family member’s or friend’s bank account in minutes, a few hours or days based on the service you choose.
What if the person to who you want to send money, does not have a bank account in India?
Well, if your recipient in India does not hold any bank account, bank-to-bank transfer might not be an option! BUT you can still send them money using alternatives.
This post is EXACTLY to help you with that: how to send money to someone without a bank account in India.
How to send money to India without a bank account?
Sending money to India online is the quickest and cheapest way to do it.
It is a simple process.
- You raise a transfer request with a money transfer company in the UK that provides remittance services to India.
- Pay them in your local currency (GBP in the UK).
- The money transfer service converts the amount and pays into your recipient’s bank account in Indian Rupees (INR).
On average, the money arrives in 1-2 working days (and even a few seconds with services like Wise (review) in your Indian account. Most companies operate this way, and this simple process keeps things restricted online.
You don’t need to make any phone calls or visit any transfer service outlet. Instead, you can do all this online in a few minutes and even fewer clicks.
But, all this requires the recipient in India to hold a bank account. Sending money using a bank transfer is effective as companies offer better rates for money sent to bank accounts (compared to cash pickups). If the person you are sending money to doesn’t have an Indian bank account, don’t worry!
Let’s dive right in and look at the options available to you in case your recipient does not hold any bank account in India.
#1. Open a new bank account and send money online!
Okay, this is a simple one!
If you want to quickly send money to your family or friend in India who doesn’t have a bank account, the best option is to explain and convince them to open one!
It wouldn’t take too long, and the benefits are huge!
The exchange rate, fees and deals offered are much better for online bank-to-bank transfers so opening a new bank account in India makes complete sense!
(Bank-to-bank transfer is where you pay the money transfer service online using your UK bank account, or a credit/debit card, and the service pays your Indian recipient direct to their bank account.)
Once the recipient has a bank account, you can follow my no-hassle guide to transfer money to India online – fast and easy – from the comfort of your computer or smartphone.
But can you transfer money without a bank account?
Yes, and that brings me to the cash pick up option.
#2. Cash Pickup
If for some reason opening a new bank account is not an option, the next best alternative is to send money using transfer services that deliver funds to India for a cash pickup.
Companies like Azimo, MoneyGram, WesternUnion and Lycaremit provide an option for your recipient in India to pick up money in person from their given location.
All you need to do from your side for a “bank to cash pickup” transaction is pay the remittance company in your local currency (GBP Pounds Sterling) online or in-person and you will be given a unique MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number) code.
You need to provide this unique code to your recipient in India. The receiver can then show this along with a government-issued ID proof by visiting any collection centre in India and be paid in cash.
(I haven’t yet tried a money transfer to India using a cash pickup service. My research is based on information available on websites and forums online that I have collated here in one place so you can benefit from the research I have done.)
Below are the companies that provide a cash pickup option in India (which means your recipient can pick up the money in cash from the given agent location).
#3. Money Order
Money Order is another option of sending money to India to a person who does not have a bank account.
However, let me clarify that Money Order is NOT the cheapest option and also it takes around 15 working days for your recipient to receive the money.
You can send a money order to India using India Post.
If you prefer a cleaner interface, you can use your ICICI bank account to send a money order online to India – ICICI have coined their service as “Smart Money Order.”
ICICI Bank provides a Smart Money Order facility in partnership with India Post. To request money orders to India with ICICI, you need to have an ICICI Bank account. You can just log in to your ICICI account online and enter the details of the sender and receiver along with the amount to be sent.
You should also keep in mind that ICICI Bank charges Rs. 25 (plus Service Tax) on top of the 5% India Post charge.
Money Transfer Companies with Cash Pick-up facility
Here is the list of money transfer services that offer cash pickup service in India (in no particular order).
I have included the number of agent locations, transfer fees, transfer limits and other important information that you need to know before sending money to a cash pick-up location in India.
Azimo – Azimo is a great service to remit money to India with nationwide coverage to 15,000+ cash pickup locations. You can send money using both the desktop app (website) and Azimo mobile apps that are available on both iOS and Android platforms.
The cash is delivered and ready to pick up from one of the agent locations in under 1 hour.
With Azimo, you get your first transfer fee-free; £1.99 after that.
MoneyGram – MoneyGram is another easy option to transfer money online from the UK to a cash pick-up location in India. You can use a credit debit card to pay, and the money typically is ready to collect in under 10 minutes from over 53,000 pickup locations across India.
Your recipient then simply needs to show the unique Reference number along with one valid photo ID proof to collect the money from any MoneyGram location.
You can pay using a UK credit or debit card and for sending £1000 to India, you will pay £7 in fees.
Western Union – With the biggest network of agent locations in India (123,900), your family and friends can pick up cash with Western Union from almost anywhere, as suited. You can initiate a transfer using any online medium – website, Andriod or iOS app.
Western Union cash pickup service is limited to £4000 and the money is ready to collect in minutes. If you choose to pay using credit or debit card issues in the UK, be mindful that you get a lesser rate as compared to paying with a bank transfer. The fee for sending up to £1000 is £4.90 and from £1001 to £4000 is £5.90.
If you need to send more than £4000, you can go for Western Union Online FX Service (which is a bank-to-bank money transfer service – no cash pickup) or other alternatives for sending money to India online.
Lycaremit is another option that lets you send money to India for cash collection in-person if your receiver does not have a bank account. The rates are also quite competitive comparing to the other services on this list – check the screenshot below.
I could not find the number of cash pickup locations available with Lycaremit and I have an email to the support team to confirm – will update this post once I have this information.
If you use LycaMobile, you get a free £5 credit on LycaMobile for one transfer over £300 per user per calendar month, on all money transfers with LycaRemit.
For more details, head over to Lyca Remit.
There it is – your available options on how to send money to someone without a bank account in India.
The best move is for the recipient in India to open a new bank account and then you can send them money online using one of the methods I talked about in my other post.
If that’s not an option, you can use the alternative I have mentioned above which is to send it through a company that provides pick-up options.
If you have no other way at all, then as the last resort take the “money order option.”
I also recommend you read my ultimate guide for transferring money to India that busts all the jargons and myths about the right and wrong ways of doing it.
If you found this post useful in gaining new knowledge about alternative ways of sending money to someone in India who does not have a bank account, do share it with your friends and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp.