What is the local currency?
The Indian monetary unit is the rupee (Rs. or INR), which can be divided into 100 paise.
What denominations does it come in?
Coins come in denominations of 50, 10, 20, 5, 2 and 1 paise. The 5, 2 and 1 are almost collector's items.
Notes come in 10, 50, 100 and 500 and 1000 notes; older notes of 1, 2, 5 and 20 are also in circulation. However, 1, 2 and 5 rupee coins have replaced paper notes of those denominations.
What is the best way to exchange currency?
The best way is to exchange currency is through a licensed money changer. Most banks and larger hotels offer this service as well.
What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Major credit cards, debit cards and cash are the most commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases. However, smaller establishments only accept cash so it is recommended that you carry a small sum of cash on you at all times.
Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
Many businesses, such as supermarkets, restaurants and gas stations accept major credit cards, debit cards and cash. However, smaller shops, markets and some other business types only accep cash so try to carry some cash at all times.
By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
There are several ways to pay rent and utilities. Typically, these types of bills are paid by check.
However, many utilities, such as telephone or electric bills, can now be paid online. You can also set up electronic debit, which allows the billing company to directly debit your bank account for the amount due. Many of these new methods are more convenient and save time.
What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
Crown Kolkata recommends the QA22 account for expatriates, as this is the most flexible option.
Currently, the QA22 account allows the account holder to bank with funds in local currency (INR) as well as in foreign currency. However, withdrawals are only possible in local currency. Repatriation of funds out of India (in foreign currency) at the time of closure may be limited (varies by bank), but withdrawal of all account funds in local currency (INR) can be done at any time.
The following is a list of documents required for a QA22 bank account application:
- A completed QA22 application. Each bank will have its own respective forms for the QA22 account. The employee is required to complete all information and meet personally with the bank official for an interview before the application will be accepted.
- Declaration of (overseas) sources of credit into account
- Two recent passport-size photos
- Letter of employment from the local office of your company
- One US dollar to open the account
- Copy of valid passport and employment visa (E-type)
Most banks insist on an average quarterly balance of INR 10,000.
Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
All banking materials are available in English or Hindi. Although banking services are mainly in English or Hindi, several of the major banks also have staff who can speak a variety of foreign languages.
Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
The only exception would be regarding an overseas money transfer. Transfers up to 80% of your annual salary abroad are allowed. However, only with an employment visa can you open a bank account that would make international transfers possible.
What are typical banking hours?
Typically, banks are open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday is the weekly holiday, and banks are closed. However, many banks have one or more of their branches open on Sundays for the convenience of people who work. But you will also find many ATMs throughout Kolkata as well West Bengal for all major Indian and multinational banks.
Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
Yes, ATM machines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can be found throughout the city.
Is there any other money information that might help me?
The Indian numeric system is similar to the Western decimal system, although Indians use the terms lakhs and crores to describe certain large numbers. A lakh is equal to 100 thousand and a crore is equal to 10 million. (100,000 is 1 Lakh and 1,000,000 is one Crore.)
If you are handed a grubby note, insist on having it exchanged for a newer one, since others might refuse to accept it from you, and counterfeit bills are common. Have a supply of small bills as most stores don't carry sufficient change.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.