Opening a bank account is out of the question for foreigners if they don't have the correct permits. This includes a valid work permit, student visa, or professional pass. New customers will need to show their passport, evidence of address, employment status or letter of employment or from the university. However, once an account is established, using banking services with any Malaysian bank is easy for expats.
Though there are many international and local options, note that most expats set up an account with Bank of America or HSBC.
Banking hours are usually Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm, and Saturdays from 9.30am to 11.30am.
Affin Bank Berhad
Tingkat 12, Menara Affin,
No. 80, Jalan Raja Chulan, 5
0200 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: 60 3 2055 9000
Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad
Menara Multi Purpose, Capital Square,
No. 8, Jalan Munshi Abdullah, 50100 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: 60 3 2604 3333
AmBank (M) Berhad
Level 48, Menara AmBank,
No. 8, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: 60 3 2167 3000
Bangkok Bank Berhad
105, Jalan Tun H.S. Lee,
Peti Surat 10734, 50923 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: 60 3 2072 4552 / 4555 / 4557
Bank of America Malaysia Berhad
Wisma Goldhill, 67 Jalan Raja Chulan,
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone +60 3 2034 3900
Bank of China (Malaysia) Berhad
Ground, Mezzanine and First Floor,
Plaza OSK, 25, Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: 60 3 2162 6633
Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad
32nd Floor, Menara Bank Islam, No.22, Jalan Perak 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Telephone: 60 3 2088 8000
CIMB Bank Berhad
Level 19, Menara Bumiputra -Commerce,
11 Jalan Raja Laut 50350 Kuala Lumpur.
Telephone: +603 2619 1188
Aras 45 Menara Citibank,
165 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: 60 3 2383 8585
HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad
No. 2, Leboh Ampang, Peti Surat
10244, 50912 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone:60 3 8321 5202
Hong Leong Bank Berhad
Level 2 Wisma Hong Leong,
18 Jalan Perak, 50450
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Telephone: +60 3 2164 2828
J.P. Morgan Chase Bank Berhad
Level 18, Integra Tower
348, Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: 60 3 2718 0500
Malayan Banking Berhad
Menara Maybank, 100,
Jalan Tun Perak, 50050 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: 60 3 2070 8833
Maybank Islamic Berhad
Level 30, Menara Maybank,
100, Jalan Tun Perak, 50050 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: 60 3 2070 8833
OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad
Menara OCBC, 18 Jalan Tun Perak,
50050 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: 60 3 2034 5034
Public Bank Berhad
Menara Public Bank, 146 Jalan Ampang,
Peti Surat 12542, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: 60 3 2176 6000 / 6666
RHB Bank Berhad
Tower Two & Three, RHB Centre,
Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: 60 3 9287 8888
Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad
Level 16, Menara Standard Chartered,
No. 30, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Telephone: 60 3 2117 7777
United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd.
Menara UOB, Jalan Raja Laut,
Peti Surat 11212, 50738 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: 60 3 2692 4511
The currency in Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit with MYR being the abbreviation. Bank notes are available from 1RM through 100RM with the coins arranging from 1 sen to 50 sen.
ATMs are widely available, most of which accept foreign credit and debit cards. Cash is dispensed in Malaysian ringgit. Most ATMs close at midnight.
While credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Malaysia, cash payment is preferred in some places, so it is wise to keep small bill donations on hands. Malaysia has some of the highest rates in the world for credit card fraud. Check your receipt slips.
It is very easy to exchange money in Malaysia's larger cities. Banks, licensed money changers, and hotels offer currency exchange. It isn't as easy in smaller towns and villages, plan ahead if traveling.
Please note that prices are sometimes noted with a dollar sign. Don't let this confuse you with the US Dollar, it is Malaysian Riggit.
When transferring money, evaluate whether it is worth it considering the fee. The most important question is: how much will I get for my Ringgit?
Expats have the option of using their home bank for electronic transfer. Banks have their own method of sending funds overseas. There is usually a fee, plus other service charges that are dependent on the amount sent and destination country. Fees are reasonable if transferring to neighboring countries, but larger the further away you send.
However, there are other services to send electronic transfers. One option is MoneyGram, a USA based company that deals with money transfers. There are also two Malaysian banks that have it, Maybank Berhad and CIMB Bank. There is also Western Union, which is a well-known international service with several outlets throughout Kuala Lumpur and the rest of Malaysia. Another option is PayPal, which allows money transfers to be made through the Internet. The only downside is that you and the recipient both need PayPal accounts to transfer and it takes three to nine days to withdraw to a bank account. You can still use the funds through your PayPal account to make online payments and shop online.