MUMBAI: Winvesta on Thursday announced the launch of a multi-currency account for Indian residents. Investors can keep money in several currencies such as the dollar, pound sterling, and the euro. The account will be located in the UK where the company has the equivalent of a payments bank license, (or an e-money agent), said Swastik Nigam, co-founder, Winvesta.
The money is ring fenced by Winvesta’s own accounts and is safeguarded in the UK with Barclays Bank, which is entrusted with keeping the proceeds secure. These are similar accounts to what Revolut and Transferwise offer their clients in the UK, Nigam said.
“These accounts do not bear interest, and this avoids the investors from needing to file local taxes. The interest rate in the UK is anyway very meagre at 0.1%. However, the British pound is up approximately 10% against the rupee over the last year. Winvesta doesn’t expect customers to seek interest, but investors are likely to use the account to mitigate the rupee depreciation by keeping in any of the currencies they’d like to hold in,” he said.
The account has a one-time set up fee of $5 and a flat fee of $1 on online payments made from it, incoming payments are free. One can subscribe to a basic tier for $2.99/month, or a premium tier of $9.99/month. The company is working on the launch of a debit card linked to the account.
“For Indians who have upcoming expenses abroad such as course fees for students or travel related expenses, the idea is to offer an account you can open from India with a simple KYC. You will have to make the initial remittance to the account from your Indian bank through the RBI’s Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS). However thereafter you can keep the money in a currency of your choice and convert between them at minimal cost. The accounts don’t come under the standard Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) deposit protections in the UK, but the partner bank safeguarding the funds must keep them segregated from other deposits. These are very standard in the UK and similar to what almost all neobanks in the UK provide,” Nigam added.
Each currency account will have a separate account number and swift code. Indians are allowed to transfer up to $250,000 per year abroad under the Reserve Bank of India’s Liberalised Remittance Scheme. All foreign accounts must be disclosed in Schedule FA of the income tax return.
Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint.
our App Now!!