How to pay remote employees in India

Outsourcing work to professionals from abroad can be a great way to help a growing business succeed.

In fact, a survey from Small Biz Trends in 2018 showed that 55% of the respondents said they worked remotely 100% of the time. And businesses are happy about it, with the costs of onboarding and retaining staff outweighed by the allure of remote employees. According to Medium, a survey conducted by TINYpulse showed that 8 out of 10 employees of remote teams are happy with their jobs and feel more valued in their position.

So it’s no wonder that more and more businesses are turning to remote workers in different locations, including India, who are skilled in everything from design to engineering.

Before you take the leap, though, it’s important to be aware of the key considerations that come with paying workers from abroad. This can include:

How to pay an international invoice

1. Negotiate currency exchange rates

Talk to your remote employees to find out if they would be willing to accept payment in your domestic currency. For example, if you’re a business in the United States and you need to pay a company in China, you may find that many businesses are happy to be paid in dollars.

2. Find a money transfer provider that works for you

Paying for an international invoice doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With the right provider, you can transfer your money easily online, and at a better rate. We’ll compare two popular options later in this article.

3. Mitigate your currency risk

Currency risk is the risk that a business or individual’s financial performance or position will be impacted by fluctuations in the exchange rate. Depending on the provider you choose, you can access tools to help mitigate risk like forward contracts to protect against any unfavourable currency movements. This will help with offering consistent pricing if you need to pay remote employees regularly.

Indian rupee

How to transfer money to remote employees in India,

Hiring remote employees in India gives you access to a large talent pool that can perform a variety of tasks and help you save money. But if you don’t choose the right method for transferring money internationally when you need to pay those remote workers, you could end up wasting quite a bit of your hard-earned funds.

Transferring through your bank

Before you make an international money transfer with your bank, there are a few things to think about.

First off, banks typically charge high margins and fees for every transfer.Between the fixed fees, margins, and currency exchange rates that are marked up (a bank might charge a margin of up to 5% above the daily interbank exchange rate), a bank transfer could cost you a lot more than it’s really worth.

Transferring using an international money transfer provider

International Money Transfer (IMT) providers are typically specialist online money transfer companies, like OFX, Worldfirst or Western Union. These kinds of providers are experts in the trade and allow you to use your bank account to transfer money to another bank account overseas. OFX is an international money transfer provider that takes all of the guesswork out of sending money to India in a secure, affordable, and efficient way.

Our fees are lower than what banks charge, and because our margins on the interbank exchange rates are substantially lower than banks, you can make a significant saving on your global money transfers.

Once your transfer is sent, you can even track it with our handy mobile app or via your account dashboard. OFX also offer local human support 24/7 over the phone, giving you peace of mind when you transfer money, which can be anxiety-inducing.

Let's compare:

Fixed fees Exchange rates margins Support
OFX Low to no fixed fees, depending on where you’re sending from. A small margin that’s typically lower than the banks’ margins. Available 24/7 over the phone to provide helpful human support for all currency-related enquiries.
Standard bank Hefty fixed fees, sometimes around $30, just to make a transfer. Many banks can charge up to a 5% margin on the interbank rate, depending on how much you’re transferring. Banks operate within certain hours of the day, so you can’t always get the support you may need.

What your business should look for in a global money transfer provider

There are a lot of things to think about as you search for the right global money transfer provider. After all, they’ll be handling your money, ensuring that your remote workers in India get paid correctly and on time.

Here’s what you want to hone in on as you evaluate your options:


You want your international money transfers to be secure, but you also want them to be swift. And your remote employees want to be sure that they’ll be paid quickly and on time, too. If you can’t pay them in a timely fashion, they might decide that they’d prefer working for someone else who does.

Good rates

Paying international employees can certainly add up when you’re using a provider that has high margins and fees. When you find a provider that helps you save on those, you can also look for providers that offer other currency management tools that you can use to save money when you’re ready to transfer money to India.

OFX’s Forward Exchange Contracts, for example, let you lock in a favourable exchange rate, even if you aren’t ready to pay your remote employees just yet. This means you can protect yourself against rate fluctuations that would work against you and pay your employees at the rate you’ve originally locked in.

OFX’s Limit Orders are also great if you don’t have to make your transfer right away and you want to get the best exchange rate possible. We’ll contact you as soon as your target rate is triggered so you can take advantage and complete your transfer at the most opportune time.

Human service

Many providers work within specific operating hours, so if you need them in the middle of the night after you’ve accidentally paid the wrong supplier (which can happen!), good luck getting in touch with someone who can help you!

The currency specialists at OFX are available 24/7, which means you can human support whenever you want it. OFX’s account managers for business customers are also available to discuss a currency strategy that could include paying overseas staff.

Man smiling at a phone

As an employer outside of India, you might not be required to withhold taxes for someone who’s working for you in India, unless they’re an expat living in India but they’re a resident of the country in which your business is located.

For employees who are citizens of India, you might be required to ensure they receive payment in their currency, but they’ll be responsible for paying the appropriate taxes based on the Indian tax laws they must follow.

The best places to find remote employees in India

There’s a range of online platforms that you can use to connect with talented people from India. Those include:

  • Upwork
  • FlexJobs
  • We Work Remotely
  • Virtual Vocations

Hire employees who can help you take your business to the next level!

With the right plan in place, you can hire remote employees in India who can help you build your global presence. And, once you start using the right international money transfer service to pay them, you’ll be able to save even more money that you can then reinvest into your company. It’s definitely exciting to think of the possibilities, so consider getting out there and connecting with the talent that India has to offer!

IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. UKForex Limited (trading as “OFX”) and its affiliates make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.

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