Does PayPal Transfer From the USA to India? No! Find Alternatives

Byron Mühlberg, writer at
Jul 5, 2022
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India is one of the most popular destinations for international money transfers originating from the US. PayPal, with its 300 million customers, is one of the most widely-used transfer platforms globally. Therefore, it might seem logical that PayPal would be one of the best options to transfer money from the US to India. —

In reality, however, this is not possible. PayPal recently halted all international and domestic PayPal payments to and from individual mobile wallets in India, meaning all international payments (including those from the US) are no longer supported.

To send money from the US to India, you'll need to explore your alternatives instead. In this guide, we delve into three of them: Xoom (the popular but pricey PayPal-linked international money transfer service), the top digital transfer platforms (e.g. Remitly, Wise, and others), and using an old-fashioned bank wire.

PayPal isn't available in India. Compare alternatives instead:

Does PayPal Work From the USA to India?

In short, PayPal doesn't support money transfers from the US to India because it no longer operates domestic PayPal payments in India.

In a recent decision, PayPal suspended all domestic and incoming international transaction operations for individual accounts in India. While domestic and cross-border PayPal payments remain available for businesses, everyday Indian users face heavy restrictions on how they can use PayPal. Besides no longer being able to make and receive transfers, for example, users aren't able to top up their PayPal balance, making PayPal wallets almost unusable in India, except for online shopping.

PayPal indicated in a Help Center post that they're working to restore personal payments in India, but didn't provide any information about when, or why they were suspended in the first place.

Alternative 1: Xoom

A logical alternative to making a direct PayPal payment from the US to India is to use Xoom, PayPal's very own money transfer service.

An all-around solid option for sending money from the US to India, Xoom is an especially good deal for cash pickups. Although it's usually not the cheapest for bank deposits, the service boasts fast and secure transfers through a wide variety of pay-out options from your mobile phone, tablet, or PC, including bank transfers and credit card and debit card transfers via PayPal.

According to data from over two hundred thousand searches on Monito's comparison engine over the past twelve months, Xoom was the cheapest service for cash pickups from the US to India 29% of the time. (It was closely followed by Ria which was the cheapest 28% of the time over the same period.) When it came to bank deposits, on the other hand, Xoom was only cheapest on less than half a percent of these searches, making them an excellent choice for cash pickup but a rather pricey one for bank deposits.

Take a look at our in-depth guide to learn more about sending money to India with Xoom generally.

Alternative 2: Digital Providers

If you'd like to make a bank transfer from the US to India online, you'll have a number of competitive choices to compare.

For example, if you're looking to send a smaller sum of money to India (between $100 and $500), then your best bet would be to use Skrill, a Seattle-based money transfer specialist that ranked as the cheapest service 38% on Monito's comparison engine for these transfers over the past twelve months.

For medium-sized bank transfers of between $1,000 and $2,000, Remitly (cheapest on 81% of searches) becomes the most affordable choice, while for large transfers (between $10,000 and $50,000) Instarem takes the lead, having the cheapest pricing on 57% of searches. Regardless of the amount sent, Wise is also a worthy mention, coming in as the cheapest service from the US to India on 19% of total searches over the last twelve months.

Take a look at our in-depth guide on the topic to learn more. To find out which service is the cheapest in real-time for your desired transfer, run a search on Monito's comparison engine below:

Find the cheapest PayPal alternative:

Alternative 3: Bank Wire

The final option for sending money from the US to India in place of PayPal would be to send a wire transfer from your bank account in the US to your recipient's bank account in India.

This option is usually the longest and most expensive, but it might be right for people who prefer sticking with the bank over third-party transfer services. However, it's worth noting just how much more expensive this option can be. Because funds are wired through SWIFT, they can take up to five working days to arrive, and incur unpredictable correspondent bank fees over and above usually high exchange rate margins imposed by US banks (often as high as 10% of the transaction value.)

There are also several money transfer services offered by Indian banks that are available to customers in the US. These include ICICI Bank's Money2India and can be an excellent alternative if you're already a client. However, while much cheaper than direct bank wires, these services are usually not as cheap as the market leaders for US-to-India transfers that we discussed above.

FAQ About PayPal in India

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