How To Be Wise At Making Payments And Sending Money
Overseas travel is all fun and exciting until you run out of cash and have to pay for purchases using your credit or debit card with ludicrous fees and rates. Cash is king, but it’s also subject to rollercoaster exchange rates and markups and those long queues.
Wouldn’t it be great if there is another option that allows you to shop abroad on holiday or just make cross-border payments and money transfers from Malaysia to another country without going through the hoops and loops of money orders, bank-to-bank transfers, or even cashier’s cheques, without losing money in hidden transaction fees and marked up exchange rates?
Today, with the rapid emergence of fintech and non-bank institutions, taking your funds with you overseas and making international transfers have become easier, faster, and more secure. However, you need to know the best way to do this to prevent paying high fees and transaction costs.
What features should you look out for?
Here are the key features you should look for when you need to make payments in a foreign currency or send money to another country.
Where to check for hidden fees
This aspect is self-explanatory, however, note that it isn’t uncommon for money transfer service providers to disguise their fees through their exchange rates. While they may offer low transfer fees or even free transfers, examine the exchange rates carefully and you may see that you’re paying with the difference in their exchange rates versus the market’s actual rate.
If you’re sending a large amount of money overseas, a difference of a few ringgit can amount to hundreds or even thousands of ringgit. Keep an eye out for those exchange rates because the real fees may not be shown upfront.
How fast your transfer should be
Instant money transfers aren’t necessarily good unless the recipient gets a hold of the money right away. Just because a service says “instant transfer” doesn’t necessarily mean the recipient gets the money right away.
Here are the common cross-border payment providers transfer times:
- Traditional bank transfers: 3 to 7 working days
- Online payment platforms like Paypal: another 3 days to move payments from the Paypal account to the recipient’s bank account
- Remittance services like Western Union: 1 to 3 working days
How many ‘gatekeepers’ the money has to pass through will also affect the transfer speed. When multiple parties are involved, it slows down the speed of the transfer.
Whether it’s for cross-border payments or overseas transactions, you should look for an international provider that you can access anywhere in the world. Finding the right provider can mean a world of difference in your time and your money.
So, be Wise about your money decisions
Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is an online money transfer service provider launched in 2011 to make international money transfers transparent, affordable, and convenient.
Here’s how Wise ticks all the boxes of features mentioned earlier.
Source: Wise price calculator
Apart from its low upfront fees and guaranteed rates, Wise provides users with an easy and seamless online transaction journey — 40% of all international transfers done with Wise are instant.
Wise customers can now enjoy even more cross-border payments perks with the new multi-currency account and prepaid card.
Multi-currency account creation
Besides making cross-border payments, you can convert and hold more than 50 currencies on their platform for free, and also create currency-specific accounts with local account details (they support 10 currencies including MYR).
It comes with an account and routing number which you can use to make local bank transactions overseas, like for your child’s tuition or for rent. You can now skip the arduous and expensive task of sending money from Malaysia to another country.
Multi-currency prepaid card
You don’t need to be a frequent cross-border payment customer to benefit from this money-saving feature. Opening an account with Wise will grant you access to their prepaid card, which you can use to pay for in-person and online transactions or money withdrawal overseas without overseas transaction fees.
And just like the multi-currency account creation, the prepaid card allows you to make use of the card for currency specific transactions and payments which is useful when you’re overseas or shopping online. All you have to do is to convert your funds to the currency that you want via the Wise app.
Forgot to convert currencies? Its built-in auto-conversion technology chooses the cheapest possible currency to convert money from when using the card. Now you’re all set to make in-store purchases with your prepaid card!
Find out how Wise you are
Making cross-border payments or spending money overseas doesn’t have to be difficult if you’re prepared with the right information on hand. How well do you know your fees and exchange rates when it comes to sending or spending money overseas? Let’s find out.
Don’t Kena Con! Find out your money personality by taking this quiz!
At the end of the day, it’s not just your money that’s at stake in those little decisions that you make, but also your financial future.