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 3x cheaper way to send money abroad or shop in foreign currencies compared to your bank.
Table of contents
- Can I use Alipay without a Chinese bank account?
- How to register Alipay in Malaysia
- How to top up Alipay in Malaysia
- Can I send money abroad with Alipay?
Because it’s not usually possible to send international payments using Alipay from Malaysia, we’ll also look at a smart way to send money abroad with the real exchange rate: Wise. Let’s get started.
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.
Getting set up with Alipay is actually fairly straightforward. Here are the basic steps you’ll need to take.
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 register with Alipay in Malaysia you’ll need to take the following steps:
- Download the Alipay app
- Click Sign up, and enter your Malaysian phone number
- You’ll receive an SMS verification code and you’ll be prompted to enter it
- Choose the region you’re in - *International *
- Click on the settings gear icon
- Select Accounts and security, then Real name verification
- When prompted, click the Verify now option
- Enter your passport information, and submit
- You can then verify your Malaysian passport, following the online prompts
- You’ll need to scan the chip in your passport first, and then allow Alipay access to your camera to scan your face
- Once this is done, navigate back to Verification centre
- If you see a note saying the personal information is incomplete, add the required details
- Select verification photo and follow the steps to upload a photo of your passport
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:
- Open the Alipay app
- Go to the settings page by clicking on the gear icon
- Look for the Bank cards button
- Within bank cards you’ll have the option to review cards you have already added, and add more
- Select the add more option to link a new card to your account, and follow the onscreen prompts
- You can then top up your account from your linked card
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.
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 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:
As you can see, in this case, your recipient will get more in the end if you make the payment through Wise.
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:
- Create a free account
- Choose an amount to send
- Add recipient’s bank details
- Verify your identity
- 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. USD, SGD, GBP, EUR and more!)
- Hold and convert 50+ currencies in 1 single account
- Spend in 200+ countries with 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.
Get your Wise card for free till 1 Jan 2022, limited to first 5,000.
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.
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