Sending money from New Zealand to Malaysia doesn’t have to be an expensive or time-consuming process. You can convert New Zealand dollars to Malaysian ringgit in no time at all, and for many transfer companies, you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your home. Our guide will tell you how to make your transfer and give you plenty of places to start.
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An international money transfer allows you to send money to a recipient overseas. Generally, a transfer involves you providing funds to a bank or an independent transfer provider, which then sends the money to your recipient in another country — in this case, Malaysia. This can be done in person, over the phone, through a mobile app or online. You can use cash, a credit or debit card, or transfer funds from your bank account, which will then either be deposited into your recipient’s bank account or mobile wallet, or made available as cash for them to pick up at a location in their country.
Banks versus money transfer services
We use our banks to take care of all our other financial needs, so surely we should use them when we need to send an international money transfer, right? Not necessarily. While major New Zealand banks offer money transfer services, they usually present less competitive exchange rates coupled with high transfer fees.
You can often save money by using the services of a dedicated money transfer company. These providers specialise in handling overseas money transfers, offering attractive exchange rates and affordable transfer fees. This translates to big savings for you.
How to compare transfer companies when sending money to Malaysia
Exchange rates. How do each company’s exchange rates compare to the competition?
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 beneficiary 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
When making a money transfer, you might start wondering what exactly is an exchange rate? To put it simply, exchange rate is the way international businesses and banks convert one currency into another. When a country’s currency is strong, it will yield more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. In October 2018, the New Zealand dollar was worth approximately 2.72 Malaysian ringgit. Every country’s exchange rate is flexible and impacted by the global market, so checking the rates daily will help you get a better idea of what to expect when making a transfer to someone in Malaysia.
Options for sending money to Malaysia from New Zealand
Bank transfers. A transfer from your New Zealand 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 PC, tablet or smart phone. This comes with options for cash pick-up or direct deposit.
Cheques. You can obtain an international guaranteed cheque from your bank and mail it overseas, but this is a time-intensive process and runs the risk of the cheque being lost while being shipped.
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.
How to send money to Malaysia
Ready to make a transfer? Here are the basic steps you’ll need to follow.
Compare your money transfer options.
Select a provider that suits your needs.
Create an account.
Start a transaction.
Enter your recipient’s information.
Select a transfer amount.
Pay for your transfer.
Save your tracking number.
Don’t forget to follow up on your transaction! If there is any trouble, your tracking number will be helpful when you contact customer service, and if you recipient is picking up cash, they may need it to complete their end of the transfer.
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 about 10 minutes. However, be aware of the fact that you’ll usually pay an extra fee for quick transfers, and you may also need to settle for a lower exchange rate. 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.
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 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.
Shirley Liu is Finder's global program manager. She was previously the publisher for banking and investments and has also written comparisons for energy, money transfers, Uber Eats and many other topics. Shirley has a Master of Commerce and a Bachelor of Media, Journalism and Communications from the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about helping people find the best deal for their needs.
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