SBI International Transfer

If you bank with SBI (State Bank of India) and need to send money overseas, you’ll want to know about how the SBI international money transfer process works. This guide covers all you need to know about SBI international bank transfers from standard resident accounts, including how much it costs, the exchange rate and the process to transfer money abroad with SBI.

It’s the largest bank in India, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that SBI international transfers are your best choice if you need to send money overseas. Specialist services like Wise and Western Union may be able to offer a faster and more convenient option.

Learn more about Wise

SBI international money transfer comparison

There are several different charges involved in making an SBI international money transfer:

  • Transfer fee - this is a low fee paid to the bank, to cover the costs of processing the transfer

  • Exchange rate markup - percentage charge incorporated in the bank’s TT (telegraphic transfer) selling card rate 

  • Agent and beneficiary bank fees - these may be paid by the beneficiary, meaning they may receive less than you expect in the end

To give an idea of how SBI 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 SBI and a few specialist services.

ProviderTotal costTransfer time
SBI10 GBP (around 970 INR) + exchange rate markup + any relevant third party costsPayments processed through the SWIFT network typically take 3-5 working 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

As you can see, in our comparison it’s likely to be faster to send your payment with a specialist compared with SBI. Because of the exchange rate markup applied by the bank, it may also work out cheaper in the end. The good news is that specialist services like Wise and Western Union are also easy to use with an intuitive online and in-app service.

Send money with Wise

SBI international transfer fees

SBI international remittances have a fixed transfer fee set in the currency you’re sending, which is charged according to the bank’s TT selling rate at the time of the transaction. Here’s what you need to know:

Transfer typeSBI international transfer fee 
Standard telegraphic transfer 

Online telegraphic transfer: fees vary based on the currency + exchange rate markup + any relevant third party charges


Example TT fees include 20 SGD to send to Singapore, or 11.25 USD when sending to the US


Different fees may apply based on your account type, and if you arrange your transfer in a branch

Receiving an international payment

No SBI charge for inward remittances which have been received and cleared in full by the bank


If the payment is made in a foreign currency there may be a fee of 1,000 INR

SBI exchange rate

The international transfer exchange rate is also called the bank’s TT selling rate. Bank exchange rates usually include a markup - an extra fee which is added into the exchange rate offered for retail customers. This markup can commonly be about 3% or more - which doesn’t sound too bad, but which does mount up quickly. Here’s how the exchange rate markup would shape 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 set up your payment online and send 100,000 INR to a GBP denominated account:

  • SBI:  10 GBP equivalent + exchange rate markup + any relevant third party charges

  • Wise: 1,816.60 INR transfer fee and no markup on the mid-market exchange rate

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

Read our detailed article about Wise fees.

SBI additional fees

It’s worth bearing in mind that any payment processed through the SWIFT network might incur extra fees. These are usually deducted as the transfer is passed through the system, or just before it’s deposited into the recipient’s account. That can mean your recipient gets less than you’re expecting in the end.

How long does an SBI international money transfer take

SBI processes international transfers through the SWIFT network, working with banking partners around the world to deposit funds in overseas accounts. SWIFT payments are reliable, but can take up to 5 days to process, depending on the specific banks involved. Here’s how that compares with the other providers we looked at earlier:

  • SBI: SWIFT payments usually take 3 - 5 working days 
  • Wise: 80% of payments arrive in 24 hours

  • Western Union: 0 - 1 business days

Go to Wise

Pros and cons of transferring money abroad with SBI

Pros:

  • Easy online and in branch service

  • Reliable and familiar

  • Send to 200 countries up to RBI limits

Cons:

  • Exchange rates are likely to include a markup

  • SWIFT fees may apply which pushes up overall costs

  • Delivery time is not necessarily the best available

Compare the overall costs and convenience of sending money with SBI versus using a specialist online service like Wise or Western Union. You might find you can get an easier, more intuitive and faster service with a specialist provider.

How to make an international transfer with SBI

Sending a payment overseas with SBI can be done online or in a branch. If you’re sending a payment online you’ll need to add the beneficiary first - this can be done by looking for the international beneficiary tab in your online banking profile. Once you have the beneficiary set up here’s what to do:

  • Log into online banking with SBI

  • Go to Payments & Transfer

  • Select International Beneficiary

  • Complete the Remittance Application Form following the online prompts

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

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:

  • The full name of the person you’re paying

  • Their account number

  • Their bank’s 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

Transfer limits and available countries

Under RBI regulations, resident Indians are allowed to send outward remittances to a maximum value of 250,000 USD per calendar year, although restrictions may apply on the purposes for which funds can be transferred out of India. SBI allows customers to send up to the equivalent of 25,000 USD per transaction, to the RBI maximum of 250,000 USD/year.

It’s also helpful to know that you can only send up to a maximum of 500,000 INR to any beneficiary within the first 4 days of adding that beneficiary to your SBI account.

Payments can be made to over 200 countries although RBI restrictions apply to payments to Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Mauritius. Payments can be made in USD, EUR, GBP, SGD, AUD, CAD and NZD.

Receiving money from abroad with SBI

If someone sends you a payment from overseas you’ll need to make sure they have your full name, bank account number, the SBI SWIFT code and any other details their bank requires to process the transfer. There may be a fee to pay depending on your account type and the specific detail of the transfer.

SBI SWIFT code

SWIFT codes are unique identifiers assigned to banks all over the world, and used to make sure payments are processed quickly and safely. You’ll need the SBI SWIFT code if you’re expecting a payment - otherwise your transfer may be delayed or rejected.

The general SBI SWIFT/BIC code is SBININBBXXX

You can also look up your specific branch SWIFT code, on your internet banking, or the SBI desktop site.

Conclusion

Sending your international transfer with your normal bank may seem like the obvious choice. But there are other options, which may be able to provide a cheaper, more efficient and easier service. Check out specialist providers like Wise and Western Union to see if you can save versus sending your online international money transfer with SBI.

Go to Wise

FAQ

How much does a SBI international transfer cost?

SBI international transfer fees vary based on the currency being sent, and can include an exchange rate markup and third party fees.

How long does a SBI international money transfer take?

SBI international transfers are processed using the SWIFT network and can take 3 to 5 days.

How to transfer money internationally with SBI?

Send an SBI international transfer online by logging into online banking or by visiting a branch.

By Seyma Mektepli
Updated 5 August 2022