How to use Alipay in Malaysia - Everything you should know

Hannes Ausmees

As China’s most popular ewallet, the chances are you’ve already heard of Alipay. This guide shows you how to use Alipay in Malaysia, including getting started with your account, and Alipay top up. We'll also introduce Wise, a possibly cheaper way to send money abroad or spend in CNY compared to your bank and other ewallets.


Table of contents

Can I use Alipay without a Chinese bank account?

You can use Alipay without a Chinese bank account in Malaysia. You can just use your bank card to add money to your Alipay account.

How to use Alipay in Malaysia (register & top up)

Getting set up with Alipay is actually fairly straightforward. Here are the basic steps you’ll need to take.

Register Alipay in Malaysia

Registering with Alipay is fairly easy if you work through the online prompts. It’s worth knowing in advance that to get full access to your account, you need to verify your name and personal details using your passport. So have your passport handy before you get started!

To sign up to Alipay in Malaysia you’ll need to take the following steps:

  1. Download the Alipay app on Google Play or App store
  2. Click Sign up, and enter your Malaysian phone number
  3. You’ll receive an SMS verification code and you’ll be prompted to enter it
  4. Choose the region you’re in - International
  5. Click on the settings gear icon
  6. Select Accounts and security, then Real name verification
  7. When prompted, click the Verify now option
  8. Enter your passport information, and submit
  9. You can then verify your Malaysian passport, following the online prompts
  10. You’ll need to scan the chip in your passport first, and then allow Alipay access to your camera to scan your face
  11. Once this is done, navigate back to Verification centre
  12. If you see a note saying the personal information is incomplete, add the required details
  13. Select verification photo and follow the steps to upload a photo of your passport

How to top up Alipay in Malaysia

Once your Alipay account is up and running you need to add funds. You can do this by linking a bank card to your Alipay account.

Here’s how to link a card and top up Alipay in Malaysia:

  1. Open the Alipay app
  2. Go to the settings page by clicking on the gear icon
  3. Look for the Bank cards button
  4. Within bank cards you’ll have the option to review cards you have already added, and add more
  5. Select the add more option to link a new card to your account, and follow the onscreen prompts
  6. You can then top up your account from your linked card

Can I send money abroad with Alipay?

At the time of writing it’s not possible to make an international transfer with Alipay from Malaysia. That’s because you need a Chinese ID document to send international payments with Alipay.¹ However, Alipay is constantly tweaking the services and functionality available, so you may want to keep an eye on the latest developments in the app to learn more.

Send money abroad with the mid-market exchange rate: Wise

If you're an expat or traveller, you might need to send money abroad regularly. Alipay probably isn’t going to be suited to this - so where should you turn?

A crucial thing to remember when sending money abroad with banks is to always check exchange rates. The true cost of an international transaction isn’t just the upfront transfer fees. Here’s how it really works:

Cost example: sending 1,000 MYR to a CNY account in China

The true cost of sending MYR to CNY

As you can see, in this case, your recipient will usually get more in the end if you make the payment through Wise who only uses the same exchange rate you'd find on Google - the mid-market exchange rate.

It’s good to know that with Wise, you can also send money directly to Alipay accounts in China - a great way to get CNY to your friends and family there!

To send money with Wise:

  1. Create a free account
  2. Choose an amount to send
  3. Add recipient’s bank details
  4. Verify your identity
  5. Pay for your transfer by bank transfer or debit/credit card

And that is it! You can track your transfer in your account and your recipient will also be notified when a transfer reaches them. Moreover, with Wise, you can do more than send money abroad:

  • Receive money for free in 10 currencies (ex. MYR, USD, SGD, GBP, EUR and more!)²
  • Hold and convert 40+ currencies in 1 single account
  • Spend in 150+ countries with the Wise card

No monthly charges or minimum balances required 😉

Join 11 million people who use Wise and save 1 billion GBP (=5.6 billion MYR) a year compared to using a bank.


Sign up for free 🚀

Pricing/fees: Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information

Alipay is a convenient way to spend money online with Chinese retailers, as well as a useful tool for mobile payments here and abroad. Follow the steps outlined above to open and top up your Alipay account. And don’t forget you can also choose Wise to send money cheaply to Alipay accounts in China, and your friends and family around the world.


  1. China University Application Center - How can I use the Alipay app to transfer money into a non-Chinese bank account?
  2. Receiving USD wire transfers incurs a 4.14 USD fee as an exception at the time of writing

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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