Sending money to Malaysia doesn’t have to hurt your hip pocket. Here’s how you can find a cheaper and more convenient way to transfer money overseas.
Figures from the 2010 Census reveal that there are more than 26,000 Malaysian Americans in the United States. While this is a small community when compared to many other expat populations across the USA, there are still plenty of reasons why you might want to send money to Malaysia from the United States. Here’s how you can find a secure and affordable way to transfer your money overseas.
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- Buying property abroad
- Regular overseas payments
- Risk management
Banks versus money transfer services
Banks offer secure and convenient international transfers to their customers, but there’s one area where banks offer you a rough deal: affordability. Banks usually offer low exchange rates and charge sizable fees for international money transfers, meaning you’ll need to be willing to take an extra financial hit if you send money to Malaysia via your bank.
A much more cost-effective option is to use a specialist money transfer company that focuses all its efforts on moving funds internationally. These companies allow you to send funds to Malaysian bank accounts or to transfer agents across Malaysia for cash pickup, and they charge better exchange rates and lower fees than the banks.
Max wants to send $1,000 to his Malaysian girlfriend as a gift to celebrate one year of a successful long-distance romance. But when he sees the paltry exchange rates on offer from the two major banks with which he already has accounts, Max decides to weigh up the pros and cons of two money transfer companies.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 4.12 MYR||1 USD = 4.30 MYR|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Cash pickup|
|Processing time||1 business day||10 minutes|
|Amount received (in MYR)||4,120 MYR||4,300 MYR|
As you can see, not only does the second company get Max’s money to Malaysia quicker and for only a slightly higher fee, but it also allows him to send an extra 180 MYR.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Malaysia
- Exchange rates. Look for a company that always offers competitive rates, but keep in mind that high transfer fees can negate any financial benefit you can gain from an attractive exchange rate.
- Fees. These range from zero right up towards the $100 mark, and can vary depending on the transfer method you choose.
- 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.
- Transfer options. Can you place a forward contract to take advantage of a great exchange rate? Can you schedule a recurring transfer to save time in the future?
- 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?
- Pickup methods. Cash pickup and bank account deposit are the two options that are most commonly available.
- Customer service. Does the company offer 24/7 customer support if you ever have a question or concern?
How to send money to Malaysia from America
- Bank transfers. A transfer from your US bank account to a Malaysian bank account is a secure and simple transfer option.
- Online money transfer providers. You can send fast and affordable transfers to Malaysia from your PC, tablet or smartphone.
- Checks. You can also obtain an international guaranteed check from your bank and post it overseas.
- Money transfer companies with cash pickup 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 online.
Emergency cash transfers in Malaysia
Some companies will offer the option of sending instant transfers, which usually mean the funds will be available to your recipient within around 10 minutes. However, be aware of the fact that you’ll usually pay an extra fee for urgent transfers and you may also need to settle for a lower exchange rate than is otherwise available. With this in mind, take care to closely check the fee and exchange rate that apply to your transaction so you can avoid any nasty surprises.Back to topFind a money transfer location near youBack to top
Tips for picking up cash in Malaysia
It always pays to exercise caution when picking up a sum of cash, so keep the following safety tips in mind in Malaysia:
- Be wary of pickpockets and 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 for the journey when you go to pick up funds.
- Avoid areas where thieves are known to cause problems 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.
How to send money to Malaysia
The process for sending your funds to Malaysia will vary depending on the company you select to handle the transaction, but you’ll most likely have to sign up for an account before you can transfer any money. This means you’ll need to provide your name, address, contact information and proof of ID. You will also need to provide your recipient’s name and contact info and details of the transfer you want to place.
Once you have lodged a transfer request you’ll be given a tracking number to allow you to check up on the status of your funds.