Everything you ever wanted to know about convenient and cost-effective payment options to pay tuition fees for international universities across the world from right here in India
Looking for the best way to pay tuition fees abroad for yourself or your child going to study abroad? If you’ve looked around for options, you would have realized it’s quite a complicated and expensive affair. With studying abroad, since international payments will not be a one-time activity, you’ll need a cost-effective, fast, and convenient method.
What are the different options to pay for expenses abroad?
From the moment you start planning to study in a college abroad, you’ll begin dealing with payments in foreign currency for exam fees, college application fees, big-ticket expenses like flight bookings and yearly tuition fees, food and accommodation, and everyday expenses that add up month over month.
There are several options to transfer money to overseas accounts other than carrying cash or the almost redundant traveller’s cheque. For instance:
- Forex cards: A forex card for Indian students is a prepaid card loaded with international currency (single or multiple) based on the local currency of the country you’ll be travelling to. It can be used just like a debit card. However, a forex card comes with limitations. There are added loading/unloading fees, inactivity fees, the amount gets locked in without earning interest, and the funds are not available immediately upon loading, etc.
- Bank transfer: This is one of the most traditional ways of sending money abroad. Most banks or money transfer agencies facilitate international fund transfers through the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) network. These transfers are not instant, they undergo anti-fraud and anti-money laundering checks, which takes 1-4 working days. SWIFT allows electronic payments through a unique SWIFT code. Banks charge a combination of a fixed transfer fee and a recipient fee, and 3-5% in exchange rates for every transfer.
Let Niyo Global take care of all your international payments
Niyo Global is an innovative digital banking solution for students who need to make international payments on a regular basis.
Niyo, in partnership with State Bank of Mauritius (India) Ltd. and VISA, brings you Niyo Global, an interest-earning, INR-based savings account with a ZERO forex markup international VISA Signature Debit Card to take care of all your banking needs while you study abroad. In addition to helping you SAVE BIG on international transactions, this account enables you to transact in foreign currencies whether you are abroad or in India.
You can load your account in INR (Indian Rupees) without having to worry about converting it. Your Niyo Global card auto-converts the INR amount into local currency whenever you make a purchase. Given the widespread global VISA network, the Niyo Global card is accepted in 150+ countries. And when you’re not using your card, your account balance continues to earn interest too.
You can open an account through the intuitive Niyo Global app for Android or iOS and have access to your account instantly. You can use your account immediately for making online transactions with a virtual VISA Signature debit card. Also, you can order your physical card to fully enjoy the full range of benefits your account has in store for you.
What to consider while sending money abroad?
While there are several options available to send money abroad, here are the main things you should consider before narrowing down on what works best for you:
- Cost of transfer: Look out for costs associated with sending funds abroad–in the form of a transfer fee, service fee, activation fee, account opening fee, issuing fee, loading/unloading fee, etc. These could add up to your overall cost.
Apart from this, check for the exchange rate being provided. You can compare the rate on google in real-time to figure out if any forex markup is being added to your transfer amount. Many banks and service providers add a 3-5% forex markup–although the number looks small, it could add up to your costs when you need to send money regularly.
Research well to make sure you are getting the cheapest way possible to send money abroad.
- Speed: If you want to pay tuition fees abroad from India, you must note that it’s time-sensitive and of the utmost importance. You should ensure that the money is transferred in the said time frame to avoid any lapses or attracting late fees from the university. Also in case, you need to send money in an emergency, the speed at which the money can be sent plays a vital role.
- Convenience: Choose a service provider who banks the way you do. If visiting a bank to make the transfer in-person makes you feel comfortable, choose to do so. If digital modes of sending money are more your style, look for service partners who provide this convenience via their apps or website.
Choose an option where you are not restricted by the currency you can spend in, unless it is way too economical to ignore.
- Trust: Pick a service provider with who you can trust your money, not to mention they can adhere to the money transfer timelines and are cost-effective too. Since paying tuition fees abroad will be a major chunk of your expenses, do your due diligence before you zero in on your global money transfer partner.
If you’re searching for how to pay tuition fees for international students from India, your quest ends with Niyo Global, the one-stop solution for paying tuition fees as well as all your international payments with no forex markup, no hidden charges, instant loading of funds, real-time tracking and currency convertor and many more benefits, your global payments couldn’t get any better than this.
Niyo Global is the best student travel card. It comes with a full-fledged DIY digital savings account, zero forex markup international debit card, and a mobile app with nifty features to make international payments easily on the go:
- ZERO forex markup: When you make an international transaction, most banks/forex cards charge a forex markup of up to 3.5% over the current forex rates on top of the transaction amount. However, with the Niyo Global card, no matter where you use it there will be no markup fee. Only real-time VISA exchange rates apply to all transactions.
- Accepted in 150+ countries: You can load your Niyo Global card in INR before you travel, or even while you are abroad. Niyo Global auto-converts the amount to your local currency when you pay at POS/online with VISA-accepting merchants, and for ATM transactions in 150+ countries, including India. So no matter whether you study in one country or you are enrolled in off-campus courses that require you to spend each semester in a different country, your Niyo Global card will come in handy, not to mention you/your folks back home can transfer money to your account in INR without having to worry about converting it to your local currency.
- 100% digital onboarding: The Niyo Global account can be opened in a matter of a few minutes without any paperwork or visits to the bank. You can just download the Niyo Global app and the simple intuitive steps will guide you through the self-onboarding process.
- Instant account opening: The light and fast Niyo Global app ensures quick account opening so you can dedicate more time to plan other aspects of your travel and study What’s more? You can immediately load your account and start using your virtual debit card to make online transactions.
- Zero balance savings account: You don’t need to maintain a specified monthly balance at any time. However, it’s better to have at least ₹10K in your account so it’s ready to use at any time.
- Up to 5% interest p.a.*: While you focus on your assignments and grades, your account balance continues to grow with the perks of Niyo Global. The interest is calculated on the daily end of the day balance and added to your account monthly.
- Savings account balance of up to ₹2 lakhs earns an interest of 3.5% p.a.
- Any incremental amount above ₹2 lakhs up to ₹5 lakhs yields an interest of 4% p.a.
- All incremental amount above ₹5 lakhs yields an interest of 5% p.a.
|Niyo Global Interest Rates|
|Savings Account Balance||Interest Rate Per Annum|
|Up to ₹2 lakhs||3.5%|
|₹2 – ₹5 lakhs||4%|
|Above ₹5 lakhs||5%|
Image caption: Niyo Global Digital Savings Account Interest Rates
- In-app Currency Convertor: This gives you a real-time currency rate at any point in time so there are no surprises later. Note: VISA exchange rates apply to all transactions.
- ATM locator: There’ll be situations where you might need a small change to pay for bus fare or other needs. The in-app nearby ATM locator helps find one wherever you might be in the world so you can be prepared with cash in the desired local currency.
- Real-time tracking: The Niyo Global app helps you keep track of all your transactions the moment you make them. Your transactions are always listed in the local currency and updated with each payment, to help you keep track of your funds.
- Enhanced card controls: The Niyo Global app brings you enhanced security provided by the Lock/Unlock/Block card features. The app lets you temporarily lock your entire card or just some payment channels to control your transactions, or even block your card permanently in case it’s lost or stolen.
- Zero transaction fees: Your fund transfers via IMPS/NEFT/IFT do not attract an additional fee. You can make these transactions 24×7 from anywhere.
- International VISA Signature Debit Card: Your Niyo Global account comes with two kinds of debit cards:
- Virtual: An instant virtual VISA Signature Debit Card which can be used for online transactions as soon as you open your digital savings account.
- Physical: Soon after opening your account, you can order a physical Tap & Pay international VISA Signature Debit Card. This card can be used for contactless payments at POS, ATM withdrawals, online transactions, and international airport lounge access in India (powered by VISA Signature).
- 24×7 In-app support: You never have to worry about your finances. Should you need assistance with your account, you can reach out to us 24×7 via in-app live chat.
- Exclusive in-app offers: We have curated offers for you on hotel and flight bookings and more. Check out exclusive offers with domestic and international merchants on the Niyo Global app.
- Concierge services: VISA Concierge–powered by VISA Signature–is a 24X7 digital personal assistant and lifestyle guide that gives you access to extraordinary experiences and exclusive privileges. You can download the Visa Concierge app to view your exclusive local and overseas privileges and benefits.
- Meet and assist service: You can get customized services such as assistance through immigration queues, help with your baggage, or arriving at your destination in style.
How to apply?
Are you a resident Indian 18+ years old? Do you plan on travelling abroad to study? Do you have your PAN, Aadhaar, Passport, and access to your Aadhaar-linked mobile number? Are you looking for the best student forex card in India? If you answered YES to all of these questions look no further, Niyo Global is the perfect match for you!
You can download the Niyo Global App for Android or iOS and sign up for a Niyo Global by SBM account right away without having to visit a bank branch. It’s all you need to take care of spending in foreign currency at the best possible rates while studying abroad.
Note: You can open a Niyo Global account even if you are an existing customer of the SBM Bank (India) Ltd.
Opening a Niyo Global account through the unassisted 100% digital onboarding process through the app is quick and easy. Just follow these simple steps:
- Download the Niyo Global App for Android or iOS
- Enter your Mobile number and validate it by entering the OTP you receive on your mobile number.
- Enter your Email address and validate it by a Single Sign-on or by entering the OTP you receive on your Email ID.
- Enter your PAN
- Enter your Aadhaar number and fill in the OTP received on your Aadhaar-registered mobile number to complete the Aadhaar-based KYC.
- To confirm your identity, we will make sure your PAN and Aadhaar details match.
- We check if you have a valid CKYC entry using your PAN and Aadhaar details. If entry is found, you can continue.
- Enter your passport File Number (usually found at the bottom of the address page or last page)
- Passport verification is done once we verify your passport number.
- It’s selfie time! Capture your live photo.
- Update your Personal Details
- Select your Communication Address (where you want your card to be delivered).
- Add a Nominee (make sure it’s someone you trust).
- Accept the Terms and Conditions and your account will get created instantly.
- Presto! You’re now ready to travel in style
Schedule of charges
Schedule of fees and charges for Niyo Global Card
International POS and Ecom transactions exceeding ₹7 lakhs in a given financial year
5% is charged as TCS on the incremental amount exceeding ₹7 lakhs
Reissue of lost, stolen or damaged card
₹250 + GST
For more details about the fees and charges associated with Niyo Global, check Schedule of Charges
Why choose Niyo Global?
Comparison of all the modes of international payments
100% Digital onboarding on the Niyo Global app
Digital as well as in-person with an agency
Digital as well as in-person at a bank
Cost of transfer
-ZERO forex markup
-Only real-time VISA exchange rates apply
–No charges for loading/unloading/transferring funds via NEFT/RTGS/IMPS
-3-5% forex markup
-Unloading fees for unused amount
-Fixed transfer fees
-Fixed recipient fees
-3-5% forex markup
Funds are available instantly
Takes up to 3 days for funds to become available on the card
Takes 1-4 working days for funds to be transferred
INR-based account takes away all the confusion
Need to convert INR in the desired currency at the time of loading
Need to watch for all the different associated fees
Interest on balance
Up to 5% interest* p.a.
Funds are locked on the card without earning interest
Varies with the bank
“Niyo Global card has been very convenient for my sister who studies abroad and she highly recommends I get one for myself too. The best part about this card is that my parents can transfer money at any point in time, most importantly without any markup. So, you end up saving on the university fees as well. With 24*7 in-app support, you know that help is always a simple message away. In simple words, this is the best card one can have while travelling abroad to study.” – Varanya
“I’m currently pursuing Masters in Management from SKEMA Business School, Paris. Getting a Niyo Global card was hassle-free. While I was in India, I used it to pay the fee for the GMAT Online Exam and the advance for my accommodation in Paris. Travelling in France is expensive. Renewing my monthly transport pass via Niyo Global Card is as convenient and easy as can be. Groceries and daily needs are an unavoidable expense and would have burned a hole in my pocket without this card. My journey here would have been much more expensive if I had not opted for the Niyo Global Card.” – Akash
How do I load money into the Niyo Global card?
Niyo Global is a digital savings account with a unique account number and IFSC. You can load this account via NEFT/IMPS/RTGS/UPI.
What is the validity of the Niyo Global card?
The Niyo Global card is valid for 5 years.
Can I load the Niyo Global card with any foreign currency?
You just need to load your Niyo Global card in INR (Indian Rupees) and the rest is taken care of by your card. Every time you make an international transaction, the INR amount gets converted to the corresponding foreign currency. That way, only the amount required to make a transaction is converted into foreign currency and the remaining amount in your account continues to earn interest.
Is Niyo Global better than a debit or credit card?
The Niyo Global card is certainly better than a debit or credit card provided by other banks. While the Niyo Global card itself is an international debit card, it comes with numerous compelling features and is the best way to pay foreign university fees.
Why is Niyo Global the best forex card for Indian students?
Managing finances to fund international tuition fees is already stressful. The high exchange rates and lack of transparency with the charges burden international students even more.
At Niyo, we aim to be the perfect travel companion to students and make their experience as hassle-free as possible, with zero forex markup, zero balance account, complimentary lounge access, in-app security, smooth user experience, seamless transactions, and 24X7 in-app customer support.
Your journey with Niyo Global can start right here in India and it can accompany you throughout your stay abroad. The convenience of the INR-based zero forex markup card is numerous, not to mention the HUGE savings it’ll bring along with each transaction.
Are there any limits on how much can be spent using a Niyo Global Card?
The Niyo Global card is accepted by all VISA-accepting merchants across the globe and can be used for domestic and international card swipe/contactless payments at POS, cash withdrawals or balance enquiries at ATMs, and for online transactions. Your account and card come with certain limits on transactions:
ATM cash withdrawal
Within cooling period (30 minutes)
Outside cooling period
How long does it take for the Niyo Global card to be delivered?
Once you place an order for your physical card, depending upon your location, it would take about 7-10 days for the debit card to be delivered. However, while you wait for your physical card to arrive, the in-app virtual debit card can be used to make online transactions the moment you onboard.UK