In a nuclear society such as found in many parts of Asia, the family bonds are very close and the three generations work together. The elderly are looked after by their children who often work abroad, and they are also instrumental in raising their grandchildren, teaching them the value of family and the traditions of the country and region. The wage earners who leave India in search of work are known as NRIs, non-resident Indian. The NRI sends remittances back home to support the parents, educate their children, and attend to emergencies and to build a home that they can return to. One of the ways they remit money home is when they send money orders to India.
Money orders are a paper document purchased from post offices worldwide or from companies that specialize in the handling of money transfers. The individual who wishes to send money orders to India purchases the money order in the country he is living in, paying cash plus a small fee. The money order is denominated in the currency of the sending and when presented for encashment, is converted into rupees at the spot exchange rate.
Although money orders are an inexpensive way to send money to India, the time for the money to get to the recipient can be quite long, especially if the recipient lives in rural India where services are lacking. To overcome this, international money transfer services are now routinely offered.
An individual who wishes to transfer money to India can now visit the branch office of certain companies abroad who have a collaborative arrangement with the Indian Post Office. The service is safe, secure and quick. Money can be sent from abroad to nearly 7300 post offices in India. The recipient can go to any of these offices and collect the remittance in cash, in minutes from the sending. There is a limit on the amount that can be sent and there also is a limit to the number of times a single beneficiary can use the service each year.
Online transfers are referred to as EFT, electronic funds transfer. EFT can be used to pay your bills or to transfer money. Online transferring of money is the modern-day equivalent to a wire transfer.