Friday, August 03, 2007

Sending Money to India via ICICI Bank ...

This is a quick recipe that is intended to help me more than anyone else :)

If you want to send money to India, there are few options.
  1. The best is to draw a demand draft from (e.g.) State Bank of India in the name of the beneficiary. Banks need cashier's checks to be deposited to them so that they can draw the demand draft in Indian Rupees. I have used this several times. The advantage is that you get the best exchange rate. The only caveat is you need someone trustworthy (e.g. yourself) to carry the demand draft to India and hand it over to the beneficiary.
  2. ACH transfers, money2India programs work great, but I think exchange rates are a bit dicey. So, I usually avoid them.
  3. The last one is wire transfer. The following procedure is only for transferring from local bank in the USA to ICICI Bank in India.
    1. Get all the details of the beneficiary (name, address, phone number in India, ICICI Bank account number). Keep them handy.
    2. Local bank will ask you to fill in a form. Always do the wire transfer from USA to USA. That is, there are intermediate banks that are affiliated to ICICI Bank. These banks are all over the world. You need to know the exact details of those banks. For example, for the US, here is the information:
      1. Intermediary Bank SWIFT Code: CHAUS33XXX
      2. Intermediary Bank Name: JP Morgan Chase, New York. A more complete list for other countries is here.
      3. Intermediary Bank Routing Number: FED ABA 021000021.
      4. Intermediary Bank Account Number: 400808595. (The idea is that your local bank transfers the money to Chase Manhattan in this account and then it's transferred to your beneficiary's ICICI account in India. It is absolutely important that you transfer the money to this Intermediary. That saves you money as it is a domestic wire transfer for your local bank in the USA.
    3. Provide the details of the ICICI Bank.
      1. Name of the bank: ICICI Bank, with address. All the locations of ICICI Bank are available here -- -- click on "Branches" and find it yourself.
      2. SWIFT Code: ICICINBBXXX (This is for their Mumbai Branch). I will fill in the details for other branches. Note: Please ask your beneficiaries to go to their ICICI Bank Branch and get the SWIFT code for that Branch or for the main branch in that city.
That's it, you are done.