HDFC International Transfer

Looking to send a payment overseas? Before you set up your HDFC international money transfer, read this guide. We’ll walk through all you need to know about the HDFC international bank transfer process, how much it costs, the exchange rate and limits.

HDFC is India’s largest private sector bank - but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right option for your overseas transfer. International remittance services are offered only by visiting an HDFC branch - which can be a hassle. Instead check out specialist services like Wise and Western Union which operate online and in-app, and may be able to offer a cheaper, faster and more convenient option.

Learn more about Wise

HDFC international money transfer comparison

When you transfer money abroad with HDFC there are a few different costs to consider:

  • Transfer fee - this varies depending on the value of the payment you’re sending

  • Exchange rate markup - a percentage rolled up in the exchange rate 

  • Correspondent bank fees - paid to other banks involved in processing the payment

To give an idea of how HDFC compares with other payment services, let’s look at an example. Here’s what you’d pay if you were sending a standard transfer of 100,000 INR to a GBP denominated account, with HDFC and a few specialist services.

ProviderTotal costTransfer time
HDFC1,000 INR + exchange rate markup + correspondent bank feesUsually within 3 days
Wise1,816.60 INR transfer fee 80% of payments arrive in 24 hours
Western UnionNo transfer fee, but a markup is added to the mid-market exchange rate 

0 - 1 business days

The fees you’ll pay when you make an HDFC international money transfer include SWIFT charges and an exchange rate markup. That’s not transparent and can mean it’s hard to see exactly what you’re paying overall - or what your recipient will get in the end. Specialist services like Wise and Western Union may have more transparent charges, and are also easy to sign up with and use, online and in-app.

HDFC international transfer fees

Here’s what you need to know about HDFC international remittance fees:

Transfer typeHDFC international transfer fee 

Standard telegraphic transfer - under equivalent of 500 USD

500 INR + exchange rate markup + correspondent bank fees

Standard telegraphic transfer - over equivalent of 500 USD

1,000 INR + exchange rate markup + correspondent bank fees
Receiving an international paymentNo fee

HDFC exchange rate

To get the HDFC international transfer exchange rate, and process your transfer, you’ll need to visit your local HDFC branch. It’s likely that the HDFC exchange rate you’re offered will include a markup on the mid-market exchange rate, which can be in the region of 3% or more. It’s a tricky fee because you can only figure out what it is by comparing the HDFC rate against the mid-market exchange rate yourself.

To give some context, here’s  how a 3% fee rolled into the exchange rate would add up up for different transfer amounts:

  • Sending 50,000 INR - a 3% exchange rate markup adds 1,500 INR to the total

  • Sending 100,000 INR - a 3% exchange rate markup adds 3,000 INR to the total

  • Sending 500,000 INR - a 3%  exchange rate markup adds 15,000 INR to the total

Here’s a reminder of the total costs - including exchange rate markups - from the providers we looked at earlier. This is what you’ll pay with each if you send 100,000 INR to a GBP denominated account:

  • HDFC:  1,000 INR + exchange rate markup + correspondent bank fees

  • Wise: 1,816.60 INR transfer fee and no markup on the mid-market exchange rate. Learn more about Wise fees.

  • Western Union: No transfer fee, but a markup is added to the mid-market exchange rate 

Send money with Wise

HDFC additional fees

HDFC notes in its fee schedule that additional fees may also be charged by correspondent or originating banks. That’s because HDFC international transfers are processed using the SWIFT network which involves routing your payment between 1 - 3 intermediary banks before it reaches its destination. Each bank involved in this process can deduct a service fee, reducing the amount received in the end.

How long does an HDFC international money transfer take

It’ll take up to 3 days for your HDFC transfer to arrive. Here’s how that compares with the other providers we looked at earlier:

  • HDFC: up to 3 days 
  • Wise: 80% of payments arrive in 24 hours

  • Western Union: 0 - 1 business days

Pros and cons of transferring money abroad with HDFC

Pros:

  • Send in up to 22 currencies

  • Remittances can be made up to RBI limits

  • Familiar and reliable service

Cons:

  • You’ll need to visit a branch to arrange your transfer

  • Overall costs can be high and include SWIFT fees

  • Exchange rates are likely to include a markup

Before you choose HDFC to send your international transfer, take a look at specialist online services like Wise or Western Union. Providers like these can usually offer an easier and faster online or in-app service - with no need to visit your bank branch in person.

How to make an international transfer with HDFC

To make an HDFC international transfer you’ll need to visit your local branch. You’ll be able to download and print the forms needed ahead of time if you’d like, so you can complete them at home and then take them along to the bank for submission.

What information do you need to make an international transfer with HDFC?

The exact information you need to arrange your payment will depend a little on the currency and country you’re sending to. You can expect to need:

  • Beneficiary full name

  • Beneficiary bank account number or IBAN

  • Beneficiary bank name and address

  • Additional information based on the country - like a sort code for the UK or routing number for the US

  • Reason for payment - additional documents may be needed depending on the purpose of the payment

Transfer limits and available countries

HDFC allows customers to send international transfers up to the limits set by the Reserve Bank of India for outward remittances. At the time of writing that’s set at the equivalent of  250,000 USD/year. 

You can send an HDFC international money transfer in 22 major global currencies. 

Receiving money from abroad with HDFC

To receive an international payment into your HDFC account, give the sender:

  • Your full name

  • Your bank account number

  • The HDFC SWIFT code 

There’s no HDFC fee to receive an inward remittance.

HDFC SWIFT code

To make sure your payment arrives without delays, give the sender the HDFC SWIFT code for your specific branch and for the transfer type. You’ll be able to check the full detail required by calling into your local HDFC branch.

The general HDFC SWIFT/BIC code is: HDFCINBBXXX

Conclusion

HDFC international money transfers can only be set up by visiting a branch in person. That’s not necessarily convenient - and you may also find the costs are higher than using a specialist service.

Instead of making your payment with HDFC, check out specialist providers like Wise or Western Union, which offer online and in-app payments, with transparent fees and an easy sign up process.

Go to Wise

FAQ

How much does an HDFC international transfer cost?

HDFC international transfer fees are 500 INR + exchange rate markup + correspondent bank fees if you’re sending less than the equivalent of 500 USD, and 1,000 INR + exchange rate markup + correspondent bank fees for higher value payments.

How long does an HDFC international money transfer take?

HDFC international transfers take up to 3 days to arrive.

How to transfer money internationally with HDFC?

Send an HDFC international transfer by visiting a local branch. You can get the forms required online to complete in advance if you would like to.

By Seyma Mektepli
Updated 5 August 2022