How-to: Transfer Money Internationally From Malaysia

How-to: Transfer Money Internationally From Malaysia

In the past, international money transfers from Malaysia meant sending the money through tedious process of bank-to-bank transfer, money order or cashier’s cheque. And it was often limited to selected cities. Now, with the emergence of various non-bank institutions providing overseas remittances services, it has become simpler, quicker and more secure.

You may find the need to transfer money abroad on a one-time basis or periodically. Whatever your needs may be, there are various ways available to transfer money with low fee, especially if you have not done so previously.

You can now remit money to almost anywhere worldwide via various remittances providers in Malaysia such as MoneyGram, Western Union, PayPal or through bank’s Telegraphic Transfer or Bitcoins. Today, you can easily send cash, bank-in into their personal account or even remit to their mobile phones.


1. MoneyGram

MoneyGram probably provides one of the fastest international money transfer – with remittances sent worldwide in just 10 minutes for one of the lowest fees. In case of any hiccups, the maximum transfer time is up to 3 business days.

This remittance providers covers approximately 350,000 agent locations in 200 countries. The process of remittances is further simplified with the fact that both the receiver and sender need not necessarily hold a bank account. You can transfer up to US$10,000 (RM40,149) via MoneyGram, at any one time.

Sending money via MoneyGram comprises these 5 simple steps:

Step 1Check the estimation of cost for the transfer
via MoneyGram’s online fee estimator.
Step 2Go to a MoneyGram agent. You can find one by using
MoneyGram’s agent locator.
Step 3Fill up the Money Transfer Form to be submitted to MoneyGram,
together with the supporting documents like copy of your passport,
driver’s license or MyKad. Submit the money you want to transfer
and the relevant fees required.
Step 4Collect the receipt and note the Reference Number.
Step 5Inform the receiver on your transfer and provide them with
the Reference Number.

Thereafter, your receiver needs to go to a MoneyGram agent, fill up the Receive Form and attach it with proof of passport, driver’s license or any other identification document issued by the respective local Government. Once all is verified, the receiver can collect their money in cash – and usually quoted in their local currency.

You can include a message of 10 words maximum and choose the currency you wish to transfer money in and the currency paid to the receiver.

You can make your transfer via CIMB and Maybank, as they both have MoneyGram attached to them. This means that you can remit cash overseas using MoneyGram via your CIMB or Maybank account online.

The transfer fee charged to the sender is based on the transfer amount. Here’s how much remittance fees you will be charged for RM1,000 transfer at MoneyGram to selected remittances location:

ThailandRM45.50United KingdomRM70
IndonesiaRM10United StatesRM70

*These figures were derived based on MoneyGram’s online fee estimator.

2. Western Union

Perhaps a more common overseas remittance service provider is Western Union – covering approximately 515,000 agent locations in 200 countries. They also cover 100,000 ATMs and kiosks worldwide. Western Union also transacts in over 150 type of currencies.

With Western Union, you can transfer your money in three methods:

Step 1Go to a Western Union agent or login into your Western Union
online account.
Step 2a) Transfer cash:
Complete and send in the Send Money form, along with the funds
and transaction fee.

b) Transfer to bank account:
Complete and send in the Send Money form especially the receiver’s
bank and account information, along with the funds and transaction fee.

c) Transfer to mobile phone:
Complete and send in the Send Money form especially the receiver’s
mobile number, along with the funds, transaction fee.
Step 3Collect receipt and take note of the MTCN tracking number.
Step 4Inform your receiver and provide them with the MTCN tracking

For cash transaction, the receiver needs to go to a Western Union agent, provide identification proof and collect their cash. For bank account and mobile phone transfer, the funds are wired straight into the respective mediums.

Before transferring money to receiver’s mobile phone, make sure to check available destinations and mobile providers. Also, be aware that you will need to incur additional third party charges for SMSes received from Western Union pertaining to the transfer. Currently, mobile transfer is only available for the following destinations and mobile providers:

DestinationMobile ProviderDestinationMobile Provider
AfghanistanRoshanPhilippinesGlobe GCash / SMART Money
Burkina FasoInovaEl SavadorTigo
KenyaSafaricom M-PESOGuatemalaTigo
MadagascarTelma M-VOLAVietnamMilitary Bank

Western Union is covered by most banks in Malaysia, such as Public Bank, RHB, Bank Rakyat, UOB, Agrobank, Hong Leong, Ambank, Bank Muamalat and Pos Malaysia. Therefore, you can still remit money overseas via Western Union using any one of these banks.

You can also keep track of your transactions by using their Track Money Transaction Progress on their website. While for cash and mobile transaction, the receive time is almost immediate – the transaction duration for bank transfer may take between 1 to 5 business days depending on different banks and locations.

3. PayPal

PayPal is more commonly used to pay for transactions when buying from a foreign vendor. This is most probably the simplest and safest way to remit money overseas for a payment. You can send a payment to anyone worldwide. All you need is their email address or mobile number and your recipient must have a PayPal account to receive the payment. If they don’t have one, they will need to sign up for it – which is absolutely free.

The transaction through PayPal comprises of 3 simple steps:

Step 1Login to your PayPal account and key-in the recipient’s
email address or mobile number.
Step 2Key in your transfer amount.
Step 3Your recipient will be notified via a PayPal notification,
almost immediately. Using your PayPal account, you can keep
track of your transaction progress.

Your recipient can choose to contain the money in their PayPal
account or withdraw it by transferring it into their bank account,
credit card or request for a cheque from Paypal.

PayPal allows you to consolidate all your overseas (and local) payments under one account to help you manage your payments better. You can also link your credit or debit card to your PayPal account for your convenience.

If you are making a purchase with a vendor, your payment made via PayPal will not be charged a transaction fee, but your recipient (the vendor) will be charged a small fee for each sale made. All you may incur is a small currency conversion fee if you are buying from a foreign vendor.

Sending money through PayPal is one of the safest options as every transaction is protected by advanced encryption and 24-hour fraud monitoring.

Also, if the item or service you bought failed to arrive or doesn’t match the seller’s description, PayPal will reimburse you the full amount of the item purchased plus shipping costs. They deal in 26 different currencies.

4. Bank’s Telegraphic Transfer (TT)

Telegraphic Transfer (TT) is referred to as an electronic means of transferring funds abroad. A transfer fee is often charged by the sending bank and in some cases by the receiving bank.

While other remittance service providers allows you to transact money 24/7, a bank’s telegraphic transfer transaction is not allowed during working hours of 10am to 6pm. You would be typically charged RM10.60 (service fee RM10 and GST RM0.60) for all transactions, regardless of amount.

The sender will also be required to get prior approval from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) for foreign currency transfers to overseas without PR status, unless it is for education purposes.

However, a TT through bank only covers 100 over countries in 24 currencies, And it may take to up 3 business days before your recipient has the money credited into their account, depending on recipient’s country, currency and bank. Cash transaction is limited to only 10 countries or less and the amount limit is RM1,000.

You need a savings or current account, preferably with an online account access to make a TT. When sending money overseas, you can calculate the value of your currency conversion instantly. The amount will be directly debited from your savings or current account into your recipient’s account of the same bank or any corresponding banks.

Transaction is safe and secure via SWIFT and TAC authentication. You will receive your TAC code on your mobile phone every time you make a transaction. You will need to key in the TAC code in order to complete your transaction.

The process is simple:

Step 1Login to your bank’s online account.
Step 2Fill up all the relevant details about the recipient and
click submit. The information required includes:
• Name
• Contact Number
• ID/Passport
• Address
• Email Address
• Bank Name
• Bank Account
• Bank Address
• Purpose of Transfer
Step 3Request for a TAC code, then key it in when you
receive it on your mobile phone.
Step 4Your recipient will have the funds wired into their bank
accounts. You can keep track of your transaction via your online bank account.

5. Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a decentralised peer-to-peer virtual currency, backed up with cryptography. Every Bitcoin is given an address with a matching secret number, or also known as a private key. The private key is a series of 51 alphanumeric characters.  You need to use these private keys to spend Bitcoins.

The bitcoins are publicly accounted and validated through a public ledger or block chain, where every transaction is recorded. This allows for everyone to see the transactions and balance of a Bitcoin address.

Bitcoin servers called ‘Bitcoin nodes’ are available all around the world. Anyone can install a Bitcoin Node. These nodes are used specifically to make transactions. If you go to BITNODES, you can see all the nodes around the world.

You can transfer Bitcoins to anywhere in the world, anytime you want – with typically either zero to little cost associated with Bitcoin transactions. As of May 19, 2016, one bitcoin equals to RM1,857. You can later divide the Bitcoin to microbitcoin or milibitcoin – and use it to transfer money or make payments.

Here’s a few suggestion where you can buy Bitcoins in Malaysia:


For money transfer, you simply need to login to your Bitcoin wallet, send them the corresponding amount of Bitcoins in par with the currency value you intend to send. They will receive the Bitcoins in just or two minutes and you will be notified.

By choosing an overseas remittance provider that best handles your type of money transfer – be it for personal or business – you can be confident that your money will be transferred safely and that you are getting a reasonable deal. Choose wisely and you will be surprised at how much money you can save while remitting money internationally from Malaysia – quick, easy and safe!

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