Bank accounts

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#1 May 21st, 2007, 18:14
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  • Olive is offline
#1
Hi all,

This is my first post so hopefully I am writing it in the correct(ish) place...

I am off to India next month for one year to work as a lecturer, I would like some advice on whether to set up an Indian bank account. I will be in Bangalore so figure there would be no problem with this - convenient etc.

However will this be beneficial for me? Can I have a cell phone contract using this or do most people have pay and go phones? I will probably wish to have internet for my laptop and maybe there is a cell phone contract that would include this and therefor eit is easier to have an Indian account so as to debit payments??

Would I be able to pay rent like this?

Or would people reccommend offshore banking with an international bank (HSBC etc) and pay by a UK debit card?

Sorry for so many questions - I am trying to sort things like this out now as no doubt there will be a million things to do upon arrival,

Any advice would be MUCH appreciated!

Olivia
#2 May 21st, 2007, 18:52
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  • invidious is offline
#2
It would make things a whole lot easier if you indeed did have an Indian bank account. Whatever they tell you, don't ever sign up with ICICI - on paper their services are the best, their actual implementation is hopeless. They lost my U.S. Tax return check and initially refused to give me the money saying how do they know that it wouldn't bounce. The check was issued by the U.S. Government! Anyways, HDFC is a good bet. For a mobile SIM card - either pre-paid or billed monthly, you would require a passport size photograph, a photocopy of your passport and proof of residence in india - a letter from your landlord or hotel. Cellphone rates in India are the cheapest in the world - go for Hutch or Airtel; both have excellent coverage.
#3 May 21st, 2007, 19:22
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  • girlone is offline
#3
Hi Olive,

Welcome to IM.

I've had mixed experiences with Indian bank accounts. The easiest way to do it would be to see if your employer has an association with a bank. The hospital I work for has a bank branch on the premises and my employer practically set it all up for me. Trying to do it independently had me tearing my hair out.

You don't need a bank account to get a sim. You need your foreigner's registration papers, passport photos etc. I use a prepaid system and it works well. Like the pp said, the rates are very low.

Good luck
G1
#4 May 21st, 2007, 19:33
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  • Nick-H is offline
#4
Hello, Olive...

I'm moving your thread to a better place...

Yes... I'd advise you to open a bank account. Ours is with UTI and they have been very good and very helpful. But a lot is down to individuals, and our manager has just got promotion, so we don't know how it will be next.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#5 May 21st, 2007, 19:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post
Ours is with UTI.
I still can't get 'Urinary Tract Infection' out of my head whenever I see the UTI sign!

Yep, I need to get out more. I have spent too much time working in hospital laboratories.

G1
#6 May 21st, 2007, 19:49
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#6
Yes - as all the others postees have said - you'll need an Indian account. If you use a UK bank account - you'll get charged for every transaction and will also have exchange rate issues.

Access to the cash point ATM's is the critical issue - cash is still the main way to pay for most things - and you want a local ATM card to avoid the overseas transaction costs.

Getting a bank account or mobile phone SIM card will require the usual copies of passport, visa, utility bill, address details, letter signed by your grandmother, photograph of your 6th form teacher, inside leg measurement and blood group ..... etc, etc
#7 May 21st, 2007, 19:50
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#7
Thanks - this all very useful. Sadly not much gets organised for me as unlike the big software/IT firms who hire expats, I shall be left to it for most of the arrangements.
#8 May 21st, 2007, 19:55
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  • globalroamer is offline
#8
Get HSBC, simplest for all foreign transactions.

And Invidious... no bank will give you cash upfront when you present a check.. A US bank will not give cash even if the check of Reserve Bank of India.
#9 May 21st, 2007, 20:05
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#9
It's less about convenience as it is a necessity to open an account in India. Your employer might transfer the money directly (approach the bank for a specific salary account so that you do not need to maintain a minimum balance) but in case they offer only payment by cheque you will not be able to encash the same unless you have an account. Getting an account requires you to have a job in India. it's a vicious circle, i've been there.

Do not by any means approach a nationalized bank since their service is pathetic and they are very likely to get caught up in the issue that you are foreigner. I had been with State Bank of India about a dozen times and they just dug out one dubious form after the other, which i all filled and signed and returned. never heard anything of them.

It took only 5 min to open an account with ICICI whose service has been fantastic ever since (except for their credit card devision which is very slow in responding to emails). They have lots of ATMs at all places yet you may find there are enormous queues in front of most and at all times. That's the only issue I have with them.

Rent is paid by cheque only. I recommend a post-paid cell phone connection. Hutch and Airtel are market leaders though Hutch does not offer landline or internet. Airtel has both, but i find their post-paid connections more expensive. Their internet is great. If you get a connection at your home do go for Airtel. They are cheap and i never had any problem. I am currently using the connection of MTNL (govt. service) because they are the only ones permitted at our apartments and they suck. the net is down more often then not. I've heard the same for most other internet providers including sify.

Familyonthemove is right, there is a lot of paper work to get a phone connection (it does not matter whether it is post- or pre-paid). But that's how it is. You can just get used to getting copies of any document that may or may not look important so that you have it handy. Somebody will ask for it
#10 May 21st, 2007, 20:14
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  • federica is offline
#10
One big advantage of an Indian bankaccount is the bank card, so you can use the ATMs of this bank without paying extra (for getting cash with your credit card you have to pay and it is not cheap).
#11 May 21st, 2007, 20:16
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#11
Thanks nosianai that's great. I shall get some small DNA samples done and carry with me at all times photocopies of my family tree/shoe size/favourite emals etc.

Now to find a home...

(does it ever end)?
#12 May 21st, 2007, 20:17
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#12
i do believe that should read meals and not emals.
#13 May 21st, 2007, 20:34
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#13
Quote:
I shall get some small DNA samples done and carry with me at all times photocopies of my family tree/shoe size/favourite emals etc.
You understand the essence of indian mentality even before reaching here. you shall be very successful with further adjustment which is needed considering:

Quote:
Now to find a home...
Best of luck.
#14 May 21st, 2007, 21:33
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#14
It's not so hard to get a mobile: passport plus proof of address.

Even a landline eg BSNL doesn't require much more: mine was set up and working in a couple of days, my 'broadband' (aka fraudband; 256k, Broadband? Huh!) within two weeks. A BSNL phone can be a help with other stuff, as their phone bills seem to be accepted by everyone else as proof of address.

Getting a "gas connection" (that means an account with a bottled gas supplier)on the other hand...

Well, you almost certainly won't get one with a Govt agency (which means about 30% subsidy) but you will have a choice of private ones.

Yo will need passport-size photos for everything (did some mention dozens?). Get them done here; much cheaper. Get the pic on a CD then you can always go back for more.

Entirely offtopic... if you drive a car in UK, I suggest you get an International Driving Permit (see The AA's site), which will be valid for a year. You may think, at the start, that you'd never drive in India (frankly it took me more than a year to pluck up the courage) but if you have the permit at least you have the option.

nosianai, getting a bank account is not dependent on having a job here. The magic piece of paper is the resident's permit. But, seeing as how we are talking about it within the context of working here, then I'm just picking hairs on that one.
#15 May 21st, 2007, 21:52
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  • fsg is offline
#15
Quote:
nosianai, getting a bank account is not dependent on having a job here. The magic piece of paper is the resident's permit. But, seeing as how we are talking about it within the context of working here, then I'm just picking hairs on that one.
No so Nick. I have a bank account with the ING VYSYA, and only come on a 6 month visa.

The bank is as good as its manager, thank god the last awful one moved on to Nammakal.

The Nationwide Visa card does not charge for foreign exchange and I was getting 50 pi less than the quoted rate in the papers on all my transactions, far better than I got in the bank through my account. Id reccomend it highly as a back up. UK ONLY ps note, and vVsa atms were everywhere
Last edited by Nick-H; May 21st, 2007 at 22:45.. Reason: Quote box
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