The Internet has always been about bringing people closer, Internationally. Unfortunately, currency, unlike the Internet is not global and has always been a barrier to getting people connected.

Paypal and a whole lot of companies innovated to get this problem tackled but then, this is India. A country where online Debit/Credit card fraud is still a major issue.

That’s why the RBI brought the infamous ‘OTP’ system to India. A bit cumbersome? sure it was. But at least fewer people were getting scammed.

The problem is very few countries except for India have a similar system.

So when Indian issued debit/credit cards are used on International websites like Aliexpress it is more likely to get rejected as the websites don’t have the integration for ‘OTP’.

How to Get around it? Get an International Card

Although it is much easier said than done.

In some cases when you already have a Domestic MasterCard/Visa, you could just call your bank and ask them to activate International Transactions for you.

We wouldn’t recommend this practice though as this makes your primary bank account more vulnerable to predators.TechNithin strongly suggests getting a new bank account to exclusively handle International Transactions.

Almost all the banks in India including both private sector and public sector banks have an option for International Card. Visa And Mastercard are the goto cards and Rupay is to be avoided.

While transacting internationally in foreign currencies the currency conversion rate totally depends upon your bank policy.

  1. YES Bank Preferred – 1.75% (Annual Fee Rs 2500)
  2. HDFC Bank Premium Cards (Regalia / Regalia First/ JetWorld) – 2% (Annual Fee Rs 2500)
  3. All other Major banks (SBI/ICICI/Axis/Citi/Stan C/HSBC) – 3.5% (Annual fee as low as 0)

Though there is a whole array of banks supporting international transactions there is always a catch. The banks might have high minimum balance requirements or annual fees which you feel is not justifiable for your needs.

If your only getting started to transact Internationally, I would personally recommend the Indian Bank Master Card World Debit

Why?

1)No / Very Low Annual Fees

2)Minimum Balance Requirements As Low As 500

3)Support For International transactions

I got my first International Debit Card 4 years back after doing a lot of research.

My only purpose of getting an International Card was to transact on Amazon.com And Aliexpress once in a while. So I was specifically looking for a banking provider with low minimum balance requirements.

Indian bank ticked almost all the boxes for me.

There is no minimum balance specified explicitly and I’ve maintained the account < ₹ 1000 more than a few times. Also, apart from the initial fees of 200 I paid while submitting the request, there were no annual charges that were billed separately.

I’ve regularly used my card to source stuff on AliExpress for my ecommerce business, to pay for my international web hosting and send gifts for my NRI friend, all using the Indian Bank Master Card World Debit

Before Wrapping Up, Here are 3 things you should remember before getting an International Credit/Debit Card to transact online:-

  1. Single Step Authentication: International Cards process payments immediately after the CVV is entered, outside of India. So be extra careful in checking the details before clicking the purchase button.

2.Minimum Balance: If you only transact occasionally, get an I International Debit Card and only maintain the required minimum balance. Only bring in more money when you have to transact. This way you can distance yourself from online frauds.

3.Recurring Payments: Recursive Payments using Credit/Debit Cards is a common practice internationally, so if you’ve paid for a service ( streaming, hosting) do remember to cancel a few days prior the due date.

I genuinely hope this blog post was useful for you in getting to know about safely transacting internationally from India.

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