What is the local currency?
The Indian monetary unit is the Rupee (Rs. or INR), which can be divided into 100 Paise.
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What denominations does it come in?
2000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 Rupees. Coins come in denominations of Rupees 10, 5, 2, 1.
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What is the best way to exchange currency?
The best way is to go through a licensed moneychanger. Most banks and larger hotels offer this facility. Avoid using the airport or hotel to exchange larger amounts as the exchange rates provided are generally lower compared to a dedicated foreign exchange agency.
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What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Smaller shops will only accept cash, but larger supermarkets and gas stations accept credit cards and debit cards.
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Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
Most large establishments, good restaurants and gas stations will accept cards. While traveling on weekends and holidays, sightseeing, and while using local transport, such as buses, taxis or auto rickshaws, please carry enough liquid Indian currency for immediate use.
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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.
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What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
Crown Bangalore 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:
Completed Form QA 22. Each bank has its own respective form 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.

  • 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 minimum balance of INR 10,000. Also, some banks (e.g Citibank) now have special account options for expatriates wishing to have an Indian bank account.
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Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
You will be able to find banking materials in English. If required, the bank may be able to provide a translated document.
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Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
Nothing specific.
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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.)

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Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
ATMs are available around the clock. Internet banking options are also available for most banks in India.
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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.
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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.