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?
Notes: 2000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 Rupees
Coins: 10, 5, 2, 1 Rupees
The Indian numeric system is similar to the Western decimal system, although Indians use the terms lakhs and crores to describe certain large denominations.
1 lakh = 100,000 INR
1 crore = 10,000,000 INR
When writing numbers, this unique Indian system is used:
1 lakh = 1,00,000 INR
1 crore = 1,00,00,000 INR
What is the best way to exchange currency?
Through a licensed money changer. Most banks and larger hotels offer this facility. ATMs and cash points that accept many overseas debit and credit cards are very commonly available in Chennai. Please note that the limit for a cash withdrawal can at times be very low, e.g., Rs. 5,000.
What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Smaller shops will only accept cash, but larger supermarkets may accept credit and debit cards. However, it is always advisable to carry cash.
Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
Most large establishments and gas stations accept credit cards. However, it is always advisable to carry small amounts of cash.
By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
Bills can be paid by cheques, but many utilities (like telephone or electricity bills) can also be paid online. Credit cards can now be used to pay utility bills online on some dedicated websites. Additionally, one can set up an electronic collection system, which allows the billing company to directly debit your bank account for that amount.
What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
Crown recommends the QA22 account for expatriates, as it offers flexibility. Currently, the QA22 account allows the account holder to bank in funds in local currency (INR) as well as in foreign currency, but 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:
1. Completed Form QA 22. Each bank has its own respective forms for the QA22 account. The employee needs to complete all information and meet personally with the bank official for an interview before the application will be accepted.
2. Declaration of (overseas) sources of credit into account
3. Two recent passport-size photos
4. Letter of employment from the local office of your company
5. 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?
You will be able to find banking materials in English.
Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
What are typical banking hours?
Typically, banks are open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday is the weekly holiday and banks are closed. Banks remain closed on second and fourth Saturday of a month. National holidays and state holidays are observed by most of the banks in India. (Please check with the specific banks for their declared holidays).
Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
ATMs are available around the clock.
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. When writing numbers, this uniquely Indian system is used: 1,00,000 is 1 lakh and 1,00,00,000 is one crore.
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.