Here’s why it’s safe to use Wise (formerly TransferWise) in Malaysia

Hannes Ausmees

Let’s start with the basics: what is TransferWise (now known as Wise)? Wise is an e-money institution and a money services business offering low cost, secure currency conversion and multi-currency accounts, which has been in business for over a decade, and now has a broad global presence, and 12+ million customers.

If you’ve never used Wise before, your next question is likely to be: is Wise safe? This guide has you covered. We’ll look at the steps in place to keep customers and their accounts safe in Malaysia, including how Wise safeguards money. Let’s dive in.

Is Wise safe to use in Malaysia?

Wise is regulated under the Malaysian law as a remittance, money-changing and e-money issuance business².

Wise has a reputation for offering low cost international transfers with exchange rates which can beat the banks. It’s not a bank, but for the services it offers, it’s regulated in much the same way as any traditional bank would be.

Here are some of the key ways that Wise keeps customers and their money safe:

  • Wise is regulated in Malaysia and other global regulatory bodies around the world
  • Customer funds are safeguarded at leading institutions, and held separately to Wise’s own operating capital
  • Wise uses 2 factor authentication and a thorough customer verification process to keep accounts safe
  • Frequent audits and stress tests are carried out to ensure Wise operates safely and securely
  • Wise uses manual and automatic tools to detect and prevent fraud, 24 hours a day

Learn more about how Wise is regulated around the world.

Is Wise (TransferWise) a bank?

Wise isn’t a bank but an an e-money institution and a money services business. However, like most financial service providers, Wise is regulated by the same bodies that regulate banks globally - which means Wise is safe and secure to use in Malaysia.

How does Wise keep my money safe?

Wise safeguards customer funds with leading banks and institutions around the world³. That means that whenever you deposit funds into your Wise account, they are held by a reputable bank - and kept separate to Wise’s own operating capital.

In Malaysia, your money is deposited in MYR into the dedicated and segregated account with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (OCBC Bank) held by Pacific Trustee, which is Wise’s safeguarding institution.⁴

Customer funds can not be used or accessed by Wise or any third parties in the normal operation of business - so you’ll know you can always get your hands on your money whenever you need it.

It’s also helpful to know that, in order to comply with financial regulations around the world, Wise is required to hold regulatory capital - like a float - so they always have money on hand if they need it at short notice. To make sure the amount held is sufficient, Wise carries out regular stress testing to think through any potential issues which could arise - however unlikely - and work through the ways they’d be able to protect customers and their money even in these unusual situations.

What would happen if Wise became insolvent?

In the unlikely event that Wise ran into financial difficulties and became insolvent, safeguarding rules would still apply. That means that customer funds remain inaccessible to Wise and other third parties, even in this extreme situation. Learn more about how Wise protects customers, here.


Wise takes a broad range of steps to protect customers, comply with global regulations and follow and create ever better security practices. Besides being locally regulated in Malaysia, Wise also complies with financial regulations around the world and is overseen by a number of global bodies. That means you’ll know that wherever in the world you are - and whatever currencies you hold - your money will be safe with Wise.

Wise isn’t a bank - but it’s just as safe for the services on offer. In fact, the main difference between Wise and banks is often the cost and convenience of the services provided.

Check out Wise for low cost money transfers with the real mid-market exchange rate, and handy multi-currency account to hold, exchange, send and spend 50+ currencies. You’ll get your own local bank details to get paid fee free from 30+ countries, a linked debit card to spend in 200+ countries in 150+ currencies. There are no ongoing charges, and no hidden costs - just low, transparent fees for the services you need.

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  1. Wise help - is Wise safe?
  2. Wise help - how is Wise regulated?
  3. Wise help - is it safe to keep money in my Wise account?
  4. Wise Malaysia - Customer agreement (4.3)

*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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