Most digital businesses believe they need an excellent online marketing campaign and a solid payment partner to work for clients worldwide. The latter is no doubt the most critical piece of the puzzle.
If you are an e-commerce retailer or small business, it is now possible for you to have clients all over the world. However, receiving international payments for your goods and services can be tricky and costly.
If you have a set online payment method, sticking to that one alone can put your monthly cash flow at risk should anything unexpected happen to your incoming funds. Moreover, you get uncompetitive exchange rates and pay high transaction fees for these overseas payments.
Therefore, finding an alternative payment method is essential.
So, if you are looking for a low-fee payment gateway or money transfer provider to help you receive overseas payments, this is the right article for you.
We will review the different service providers and consider factors like fees to help you pick the best option for your business. But before we dive in, this is the foremost question to address.
Are overseas payments taxable under the India law?
If you receive payment from your clients into your personal account, any amount above INR 50,000 is taxable. The amount received will be added to your net income for that year, and you will be taxed according to your income slab.
If you are a digital business receiving the funds, you are likely not taxed on the amount received but rather on your business's profits.
Things to keep in mind while accepting international payments in India
Most money transfer providers and banks offer various services at different costs, making the process of choosing the right payment partner for you overwhelming.
The most critical aspects to look at while receiving payments in India are:
- The limit on the maximum amount receivable.
- Fees involved in using the service.
- How long the money transfer takes.
- Ease of using the service.
Also, you should ensure that you aren't paying any hidden fees when receiving your overseas payments.
A hidden fee is charged when your service provider gives you a weaker exchange rate rather than the mid-market rate. A simple way to check that is to compare the exchange rate you receive with Reuters or Google. If it is different from what you find online, you are likely charged a hidden fee.
Most international clients pay in US Dollars or their local currency. So in the process of getting your money to India, you are required to pay a currency exchange spread which often comes at a fixed fee. This could be anywhere between 1% - 4% of the total receivable amount.
Wire transfer fee
If your client sends the payment directly to your Indian bank account through wire transfer, they have to pay an international wire fee that can go up to $50. Moreover, your bank can charge you a fixed fee to receive the funds. In some instances, you may also have to pay intermediary bank charges of around $20 - $30.
Credit card payments
If your client pays you through payment processors such as Paypal or a credit card, you will lose another 3% - 4% in fees.
If you are a small business or digital agency with clients in various countries, you have to enroll for multiple services or have multiple accounts to receive payments.
If you work through freelancing platforms like Upwork or Freelancer, you have to be prepared to lose another 20% of your earnings from the service as platform fee.
Please note that if you are not a freelancer or a private business, the only legal way for you to receive international payments is via wire transfer into your bank account.
How to receive international payments in India?
These are the different methods to accept international payments in India:
PayPal is one of the most popular money transfer services; however, it is neither the cheapest nor the easiest to use.
You have to go through a lengthy process to open a PayPal account. And, you are charged a considerable sum every time you transfer funds from your PayPal account to your local bank account.
So while it is a household name, other options are cheaper and better than PayPal for receiving international payments.
Wise uses smart technology, which helps keep costs low for you. It offers a fair mid-market exchange rate, and you will never be charged any hidden fees. Its sign-up process is also quick and straightforward.
Wise can receive payments from over fifty-nine different countries, making it an excellent choice if you have clients all over the world. It accepts both debit and credit cards and offers a secure service.
WinVista Multi-Currency Account (MCA) allows you to create a foreign currency account to accept payments in your client's local currency.
You can open an account by submitting your PAN card copy and address proof. The sign-up process is relatively easy and quick.
WinVista MCA accepts over 30 currencies, including USD, EUR, and GBP. Once you receive payment from your client, the amount gets converted to INR at a transparent conversion rate. You can then easily withdraw the money to your local Indian bank account or choose to keep it in your MCA account.
Payoneer is another popular choice that lets you accept payment in various currencies such as EUR, USD, GBP, AUD, JPY, CAD, and MXN.
However, when you move the funds to your local Indian account, a 2% fee is levied above the mid-market exchange rate. Payoneer charges fees to your client as well.
Founded in 2001, CC Avenue is a payment solution for many Indian digital businesses, helping close to 1 lakh merchants accept overseas payments.
It allows multiple payment options, including major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Diners, RuPay Cards, Discover, JCB), net banking, debit cards, and even thirteen bank EMI options. It also supports Amex EzeClick and UPI payments.
CC Avenue doesn't charge any initial setup fee. However, its annual maintenance fee is INR 1200. It charges a flat 2% fee on all payments via domestic debit and credit cards, UPI, and e-wallets (Paytm, OlaMoney, PayZapp, Jiomoney, Freecharge, etc.). International credit cards attract a flat 3% fee.
2Checkout lets your choose between 87 currencies, 15 languages, and eight payment types. It even has PayPal as one of its payment methods.
The global service provider offers an advanced fraud protection feature to safeguard customers. However, its average fee on currency conversions is 2% - 5% above most bank exchange rates.
Payubiz is a user-friendly and hassle-free online payment gateway providing a one-tap payment option. It offers services across sixteen countries and lets you choose over 125 currencies.
Payubiz has partnerships with many global banks to reduce forex risk and protect users. It offers the best conversion rates and insightful analytics, which help grow online businesses.
Instamojo is an Indian-made platform that allows freelancers and businesses to set up a payment gateway for their international clients. It supports various forms of payment, including wallets, debit and credit cards, and other Indian payment solutions such as UPI and Net Banking.
PingPong is one of the newest payment gateways that charges low fees and offers excellent customer support.
If you are an e-commerce business operator, or a small enterprise in India, PingPong charges you a 1% fee on receiving money from your overseas clients.
Skrill is another popular payment gateway that offers competitive exchange rates and low transaction costs. Though it's less popular than PayPal, it offers fantastic benefits such as zero deposit fees, zero withdrawals fees, and free money transfer service, making it an excellent choice for small businesses and private users.
Founded in 2011, Stripe recently entered the online payments market in India. It is easy to use and is considered the 2nd most popular online payments gateway after PayPal. Stripe's transaction fees are lower than PayPal's for accepting international payments.
You may have noticed that clients seem less inclined to send payments directly to your Indian bank account. That is because it can take longer for the funds to reach your account, and at times, banks can hold clients for additional checks. However, here is a list of banks that you can use to receive your international payments.
ICICI has an option of inward remittance via wire transfer to your personal or business account in India. To receive a payment, you are required to provide the client with your account number, payable amount, and wire transfer instructions.
An overseas payment can take approximately 24 - 48 hours to reach ICICI. You then need to provide supporting documentation to receive the amount into your account.
SBI offers three options for you to receive funds from overseas. They are demand draft, wire transfer, and Express Remit. Please note that Express Remit is only applicable for individual accounts, not business accounts.
Keep in mind that SBI charges transfer fees to the sender, so your client may cut the amount from your payment.
HDFC currently offers international money transfers into India in twenty-two currencies such as AED, USD, JPY, EUR, AUD, GBP, CAD, etc. A foreign currency cheque collection and foreign currency demand draft are also available. There is no charge for receiving money -- the client has to bear the fees.
Axis Bank lets you receive payments or inward remittances directly into your business account using their online inward remittance option, wire transfer, or SWIFT. It accepts fourteen currencies, and you must provide all the necessary documents to verify the transaction.
We hope you found this article insightful. If you are looking to work for a reputable company and not have any uncertainties involved in receiving overseas payments, look no further. Our company Starkflow works as an EOR, and by working for us, you can have your payments streamlined.
As a legal employer and EOR, we ensure that our employees happy with the work agreement and have a rapid, transparent onboarding. We offer great benefits and a reliable employment contract compliant with local regulations. We pay the agreed monthly salary on time and are always connected. Contact us now!