Using your PayPal balance in Malaysia: what is it and how to add money

Hannes Ausmees

If you use PayPal¹ to shop online, send or receive payments, you may be wondering how to check your PayPal balance - and, importantly, how to use your PayPal balance to pay, next time you send a transfer or spend online.

Read on for all you need to know about how to top up and use the balance of your PayPal account in Malaysia.

What is a PayPal balance?

A PayPal balance is any funds you hold in your PayPal account. You may have money in your PayPal account because someone sent you a PayPal transfer, for example. Or you might be able to top up your PayPal balance directly from your RHB bank account, so you can shop online without needing a credit card.


PayPal balances can be held in a broad range of currencies - so someone could send you a payment in USD, GBP or EUR and you can hold it in that currency alongside your regular MYR balance. However, when it comes to time to spend or withdraw your foreign currency balance, PayPal may apply pretty steep currency conversion fees. We’ll look at this - and a smart way to limit your currency conversion fees, in just a moment.

PayPal Malaysia - what happens to my balance if my account is inactive?

One handy note for PayPal Malaysia users - to comply with Malaysian law, PayPal is obliged to hand any balance in an inactive PayPal account over to Jabatan Akauntan Negara Malaysia (JANM) - the Accountant General. This applies if your account has been dormant or inactive for 7 years².

If you don’t use PayPal frequently, but have a PayPal balance in your account you’ll need to make sure you transact with PayPal from time to time to keep your account active. This could be by making a withdrawal or payment with PayPal, or by adding further funds to your PayPal balance.


How to check your PayPal balance

Let’s start at the beginning - how do you check the balance of a PayPal account in the first place?

You’ll be able to view your PayPal balance online or in the PayPal app depending on your personal preference. The process to follow is pretty simple in each case. Here’s how to check your PayPal balance online:

  1. Log into your PayPal account
  2. On the home page, tap Wallet - on the top menu bar
  3. You can view your balance on the Wallet page

You’ll be shown your balance, split by currency on the right hand side, if you hold a PayPal balance across more than one currency. You’ll also be given an estimated total balance amount converted back to your home currency using the PayPal exchange rate, so you can quickly calculate how much you might have in MYR if you were to switch it over with PayPal.

How to add money to your PayPal balance

If you have an RHB bank account which you have linked to your PayPal account, you can use this to add money to your PayPal balance³. This can be convenient if you don’t have a credit card and want to shop securely online. Just top up your PayPal balance, then use the funds next time you’re shopping in your favourite ecommerce store.

If you don’t have an RHB bank account you can’t top up your PayPal balance this way. Instead you’d have to have someone send you a payment on PayPal.

Here’s how to add money to PayPal balances using a linked RHB bank account⁴:

  1. Log into PayPal online or in the PayPal app
  2. Tap Wallet, and then Add money to your balance
  3. Select your linked RHB bank account
  4. Enter the amount you want to top up to PayPal
  5. Tap Add

Learn more about how to add a PayPal balance here.

Convert between PayPal balances

When you have a PayPal balance you’ll be able to set the primary currency of your account, which will then be used for sending and receiving payments. However, as we highlighted earlier, you can actually hold a PayPal balance in multiple currencies, and convert between them within your PayPal account whenever you want to.

PayPal can also convert your funds automatically for you, if you hold a balance in multiple currencies, and try to make a payment which exceeds the amount you have in the required currency. So let’s say you hold a balance of 100 USD, but want to send a payment of 150 USD to someone, PayPal can use the 100 USD you have in the account, before converting the equivalent of the additional 50 USD you need from an alternative currency balance within your account.

PayPal’s currency conversion options can be convenient - but there’s a downside: the cost. PayPal charges a currency conversion fee whenever you switch from one currency to another, which is a percentage charge based on the currencies involved and the transaction type.

Here’s the PayPal currency conversion costs if you have a PayPal Malaysia account - if your account was set up somewhere else, the fees may be slightly different, so do double check:

PayPal transaction typePayPal currency conversion fee⁶
Commercial transactions and refunds3.5% for USD and CAD 4% for all other available currencies
Converting a balance in your PayPal account2.5%
All other currency conversion3.5%

If you’d rather avoid the PayPal currency conversion fee entirely, you may prefer to use a specialist multi-currency account and card for your online shopping and sending payments. More on one great option, next.

An alternative to PayPal in Malaysia - Wise account. Hold 50+ currencies and send money abroad with mid-market exchange rate

PayPal is a super convenient option for sending and receiving payments, and for shopping online. But when it comes to currency conversion, and transacting in foreign currencies, PayPal isn’t necessarily your best option. Meet Wise.

  • Open a Wise account to hold 50+ currencies and send money to 80+ countries with low fees and the mid-market rate
  • Add MYR to your Wise account by bank transfer or FPX - no matter who you bank with
  • Get local bank details for 10 currencies, including MYR, SGD, AUD, USD, for ways to receive money like a local without fees (except USD wire transfers)
  • Instant access to a virtual debit card for easy spending in 170+ countries, plus a physical card for when you transact and withdraw cash in person
  • No foreign transaction fees when you spend currencies you hold in your account


Interested in learning more? Here’s how to sign up for a Wise account:

  1. Download the Wise app or visit the Wise desktop site
  2. Click Sign up, and create a Wise account using your email address, Facebook or Google ID
  3. Upload your ID documents for verification - this can be done with a passport or MyKad⁷
  4. Open a balance in the currency of your choice - MYR for example, and add funds using your bank account or FPX
  5. You’ll be able to send and receive Wise payments - and order your Wise card for convenient spending

Get a Wise account 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

PayPal Malaysia offers handy ways to add a PayPal balance to your account if you have an RHB bank account - or if you’ve had someone send you money directly through PayPal. You can then use this balance to send a transfer, withdraw to your own bank account, or for your online spending. However, where you’re spending or sending foreign currencies, PayPal’s currency conversion fees can be pretty steep. Compare PayPal’s fees and exchange rates against alternative providers like Wise, to see if you can save.


  1. PayPal Malaysia
  2. PayPal Malaysia - inactive accounts
  3. PayPal Malaysia - manage my personal account
  4. PayPal FAQ - add balance
  5. PayPal FAQ - how to set primary currency balance
  6. PayPal Malaysia fees
  7. Wise may request additional documents to verify a customer's identity.

Sources checked on 07/02/2023

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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