Whether you're sending money to family in Kuala Lumpur or friends in Kota Kinabalu, you'll want to find the best deal possible. In this guide, we'll help you compare providers and break down the money transfer process.
Fees. How much will you have to pay to send the transfer? Can you avoid a transfer fee if you send a larger amount?
Transfer methods. Some companies will only offer online or in-branch transfers while others will also offer the option of placing transfers over the phone or using a mobile app.
Turnaround time. Processing times can vary from a few minutes to several days, so check how long each provider will take to complete your transaction.
Minimum amount. Is there a minimum transfer limit in place, and if so, is it likely to be higher than the amounts you will want to transfer?
Pick-up methods. Can your recipient pick up the cash from their nearest transfer agent, or will the funds be deposited into their bank account?
Customer service. Does the company offer 24/7 customer support if you ever have a question or concern?
Foreign exchange rates explained
An exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. For example, AUD/MYR refers to how many Malaysian ringgits you can buy with one Australian dollar. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency.
The Malaysian ringgit is traded regularly on global currency markets, which means you have plenty of options to choose from when looking to send money to Malaysia. These include the following:
Bank transfers. A transfer from your Australian bank account to a Malaysian account is a secure and simple transfer option.
Online money transfer providers. You can send fast and affordable transfers to Malaysia from your computer, tablet or smartphone. This comes with options for cash pick-up or direct deposit.
International money orders. Although not a quick option, you can choose to post an international guaranteed cheque from your bank.
Money transfer companies with cash pick-up options.Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to transfer cash that can be picked up in person from branches throughout Malaysia.
PayPal. PayPal offers secure and simple money transfers to Malaysia.
Banks versus money transfer specialists
While many major Australian banks offer the option to send funds to Malaysia, they usually charge high transfer fees and offer exchange rates that are significantly lower than the mid-market rate (or the rate banks and transfer providers use when trading among themselves).
A money transfer specialist can often offer better exchange rates and also charge lower fees, saving you money and putting more ringgits into your recipient’s pocket. As an example, let's compare the two side by side for a transfer of $1,000 to Malaysia.
Money transfer specialist
Major Australian bank
AUD$1 = MYR2.981
AUD$1 = MYR2.8318
Two business days
Two to four business days
Tips for making an international money transfer
What documents and information will I need?
If you want to send money to a Malaysian bank account, you’ll need the following details:
Recipient's full name
Bank Identification Code (BIC)
Account name, number and BSB
Before you make your first transaction with a money transfer specialist, you'll need to open an account. Due to anti-money laundering laws, you'll need to verify your identity and provide information on your:
Date of birth
Proof of your identity and address, which can include your passport or driver's licence
If you decide to use your bank to make the transfer, they'll already have all these details and you won't have to go through another registration process.
Making an emergency transfer to someone in Malaysia
If you or a loved one is in Malaysia and stuck without cash, there are options to get access to emergency funds. Unfortunately, your fastest possible transfer will often be the most expensive one. Carefully review the exchange rate and transfer fee against your needs so you understand exactly how much it will cost you.
Tips for picking up cash in Malaysia
Be wary of thieves. Keep your wallet hidden and keep a firm hold of your bag at all times.
There’s always safety in numbers, so ask a friend to come along with you when you pick up your funds.
Avoid areas where crime is known to be a problem and take your funds to your bank as soon as possible.
As a general rule, it’s always good to avoid carrying large sums of cash.
AKBAR MONEY CHANGER SDN BHD Address: 25 Medan Pasar Hours: 8:45am–6:30pm Phone: +60 20721348
CBL MONEY TRANSFER SDN BHD Address: 39 (Ground Floor) Jalan Lebuh Pudu Hours: 9am–6pm Phone: +60 3 20221625
ORIENTAL HOUSE SDN BHD Address: Lot 113, Ground Floor, Ampang Park Mall Hours: 8am–6pm Phone: +60 3 21619490
MAYBANK – #25147 – KL SENTRAL BUREAU DE Address: Lot 5, Departure Hall, Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal, KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur 50470 Hours: 6am–10:30pm Phone: +60 3 22729702
CIMB BANK – KL SENTRAL Address: Lot 23, Departure Hall, Level 1, Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal, KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur 50470 Hours: 9am–7pm Phone: +60 3 22731950
CIMB BANK – WISMA KOPONAS Address: 70–72 74 Wisma Koponas Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Kuala Lumpur 50470 Hours: 9:15am–4:30pm Phone: +60 3 22746489
103 PLAZA OSK Address: Ground and Mezzanine Floor, Podium Block, Plaza Osk, Jalan Ampang Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur 50450 Hours: 9:30am–4pm Phone: +60 3 21644326
ALIF MONEY CHANGER AMPANG Address: Lot 19, Ground Floor, Tesco Hypermarket Ampang Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur 55100 Hours: 10am–10pm Phone: +60 3 92849682
M H DIN SDN BHD SUNWAY PUTRA MALL Address: Lotclg 33, Lower Ground Floor, Sunway Putra Mall Jalan Putra, Kuala Lumpur 50350 Hours: 9am–11pm Phone: +60 3 21102240
UAE EXCHANGE MALAYSIA SDN BHD Address: Unit B-38, Lower Ground Floor, Suria Sabah Hours: 8:30am–6pm Phone: +60 8273998
EZ MONEY EXPRESS Address: 7-1 Ground Floor, Block E, Buhavan Square, Jalan Penampang Dong, Kota Kinabalu 89500 Hours: 8:15am–5:15pm Phone: +60 88 712280
AGELESS WEALTH SDN BHD – Sinsuran Address: Ground Floor, Lot 8, Block N, Sinsuran Shopping Complex, Kota Kinabalu Hours: 8:30am–6pm Phone: +60 88 225898
AGELESS WEALTH SDN BHD – Kg Air Address: 5 Jalan Merdeka Kampong Air, Kota Kinabalu 88000 Hours: 8:30am– 6pm Phone: +60 88 246895
AGROBANK PENAMPANG Address: Blok D, Lot 3, Dongongong New Township Kota Kinabalu, Sabah 89507 Hours: 8:30am–5:30pm Phone: +60 88 729380
POS LIKAS 13020 Address: Lot 2 and 3, Tingkat Bawah Likas Square, Jalan Istiadat Likas, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah 88400 Hours: 8am–4:30pm Phone: +60 88 256904
POS BESAR KOTA KINABALU 13002 Address: Jalan Chong Thein Vun off Jalan Tun Razak, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah 88670 Hours: 8am–4:30pm Phone: +60 89 210855
AKBAR MONEY CHANGER SDN BHD Address: 440 Penang Road Hours: 10am–6:30pm Phone: +60 228 8786
MAPCO MUTIARA SDN BHD Address: 178 Penang Road , 10000 Penang Hours: 9am–6pm Phone: +60 4264 4911
UAE EXCHANGE MALAYSIA SDN BHD Address: Unit G-11, 1st Avenue Mall, Penang Hours: 10am–10pm Phone: +60 2626873
MAYBANK – BALIK PULAU Address: 2 Jalan Quah Sin Kheng, Balik Pulau 11000 Hours: 9am–6pm Phone: +6 04 8665910
MAYBANK – RELAU SERVICE CENTRE Address: 9 & 9A Jalan Relau, Balik Pulau 11000 Hours: 9am–6pm Phone: +6 04 6445321
CIMB BANK – BALIK PULAU Address: 72 Jalan Besar, Balik Pulau 11000 Hours: 9:15am–4:30pm Phone: +6 04 8667986
AMBANK BALIK PULAU Address: 23 and 25 Jalan Tun Sardon Mk 6, Balik Pulau, Penang 11000 Hours: 9am–7:30pm Phone: +6 04 8660863
AMBANK AYER ITAM Address: 135J and 135K Jalan Paya Terubong Ayer Itam, Penang 11500 Hours: 9am–7:30pm Phone: +6 04 8288566
AGROBANK BALIK PULAU Address: 858 E Jalan Besar Taman Seri Indah, Balik Pulau, Pulau Pinang 11000 Hours: 8:30am–5:30pm Phone: +60 4 8660912
If you've compared your options and found the right money transfer service for you, head over to the provider's website and register for an account. The verification part of the process may take some time but once you're set up, you'll be able to transfer money straightaway.
Some words and phrases you need to know
Remittance – penghantaran wang
Remittance fees – yuran penghantaran wang
Overseas remittance – penghantaran wang ke luar negara
Send money overseas – menghantar wang ke luar negara
Send money to Australia – menghantar wang kepada Australia
Frequently asked questions
There's no hard and fast rule to predict the best time to transfer your money into MYR. You'll get the best exchange rate when the Australian dollar is doing well or when the Malaysian ringgit is weak. Some factors that can give you hints about when this will happen include:
Political climate, particularly if there are any elections coming up
How much debt the country you're sending to has
The interest rates set by the country's central bank, especially if there's a rate change announcement coming up
This depends on what provider you choose to send your money with, as some allow it and some don't.
You can use PayPal, but both you and your recipient will need accounts. You'll be able to use your card or bank account to send the money, but the fee varies. You can discover more about PayPal on our review page.
The amount you can transfer in one go depends on the provider you choose. Certain providers have no transfer limit, which means you can send as much as you need.
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