This photo illustration shows the TransferWise logo displayed on an Android mobile phone.
Omar Marques SOPA Pictures LightRocket | Getty Images
Financial technology firm Wise said on Tuesday that users in India will now be able to send money abroad to 44 countries around the world.
This includes places like Singapore, the UK, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, as well as eurozone countries.
Indian remittances in fiscal 2019-2020 They amounted to about $ 18.75 billion a year, with more than 60% categorized as travel and study abroad, according to the Reserve Bank of India. Under a liberalized remittance scheme, the central bank allows residents to freely send up to $ 250,000 overseas to finance personal expenses or education per fiscal year – starting in April and ending in March next year.
It is common for the remittance market to be relatively larger because many Indians working abroad return the money to their families in the country. World Bank data for 2019 show remittances received in India exceeded $ 83 billion.
Kristo Kaarmann, CEO and co-founder of Wise, formerly called TransferWise, told CNBC that the ability to send money from India is one of the most sought-after services the company has received from customers.
“Specifically for India, it’s very exciting,” Kaarmann said. “Over the last, as well as almost a decade now, the construction of local payment infrastructure and UPI has been very interesting to observe.”
Unified Payment Interface (UPI) is one of the most dominant digital payment methods in India. What makes the framework stand out in relation to mobile wallets is its interoperability – which means that people can use different platforms built on UPI to send money and perform financial transactions.
Wise, based in London, specializes in foreign exchange transfers that can be made entirely online. He claims his service is faster and cheaper compared to other fintech players as well as traditional banks, which usually make big cuts and offer unfavorable odds.
Banks are the dominant platform for international money transfers in India.
Wise teamed up with Google Pay last month to allow U.S. users to send money to India.
Wise also announced the opening of a local office in Mumbai on Tuesday. Kaarmann declined to provide details of potential partnerships in the works in India.