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 10, 5, 2 and 1 rupees. Notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 2000.
What is the best way to exchange currency?
Money can be exchanged at banks and most hotels. The best way is to go through a licensed money changer. There are a number of money exchange centers offering competitive rates.
What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Cash is the most commonly used form of payment for everyday purchases. You will find that smaller establishments only accept cash so it is recommended that you carry a small sum of cash at all times.
American Express, Diners, Visa, Access, MasterCard, RuPay and other major cards are accepted at leading hotels and shops.
Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
Many businesses do accept major credit cards, debit cards and cash. However, some businesses will add the bank charge to the bill if paid by credit card. Smaller shops, markets and some other business types only accept cash so again, it is recommended that you always carry a small sum.
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 the most 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 will have 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.
- Declaration of (overseas) sources of credit into account
- Two recent passport-size photos
- Letter of employment from the local office of your company
- 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 material in English.
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 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 Saturdays of the 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?
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. Even when writing numbers, this uniquely Indian system is used. 100,000 is 1 lakh and 10,000,000 is one crore.
Be aware: 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; counterfeit bills are common. Have a big 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.