Online payment solution provider Avenues India* has launched an online remittance service called Remit Guru, allowing non-resident Indians (NRIs)  to send money to their friends and family. The company has tied up with IndusInd Bank for this initiative. 

Apart from remittance, Remit Guru also appears to be a commerce play: the site plans to allow NRIs to purchase products and services from various India-based online shopping portals, directly from their local bank account. These include online travel portals, online recharge services, religious Institutions, apparel and garment retailers, automobile companies, energy and telecom company websites and popular online gifting portals. Note that this isn’t new: its competitor TimesOfMoney already allows NRIs to buy property and send gifts to their friends and family in India through one of its services called Window2India.

While there is currently no exact information on Remit Guru’s partners for this initiative, the company stated that it will offer services from merchants using Avenues India’s payment gateway solution CCAvenue and its website suggests partners like e-commerce portals including Flipkart, Infibeam, Futurebazaar and websites like Bose, Mango, Satya Paul, Seasons, and bebe among others. That being said, there is currently no information as to when Remit Guru plans to launch this facility.

Only United Kingdom? When we checked, we noticed that the service currently allows NRIs based in the United Kingdom, to send money from any local UK bank account to India. The company however notes that it plans to extend the service to other countries like Canada, United States, Australia, Germany, Singapore and others shortly.

Mobile? Remit Guru also noted that it is currently building mobile apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry platforms but there is no specific information on its launch date.

Competition

TimesOfMoney currently offers online remittance services like Remit2India and Remit2Home. In November 2012, UAE-based Network International had acquired a majority stake in the Times Internet Limited’s online remittance services company and digital payments service provider TimesOfMoney. Network International had stated that this acquisition will allow them to launch an online remittance service between Gulf Cooperation Council and India as well as introduce new value-added remittances and retail based services in the Indian subcontinent.

Mobile payment solutions company PayMate India had partnered with the gold financing company Muthoot Finance Ltd, to launch a domestic remittance service, allowing customers to send money all over India, even if the sender didn’t have any bank account.

Besides this, several banks like State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, ICICI BankStandard Chartered Bank, and Bank Of Baroda also offer online NRI remittance services. Western Union is among the largest remittance services in the world.

Disclosure: Avenues India is an advertiser with MediaNama