MoneyGram in Malaysia: Fees and exchange rates revealed

Yumiko Kijima

MoneyGram is a money transfer service offering international transfers to over 200 countries and territories¹ worldwide. It’s particularly useful if you’re sending to a recipient who doesn’t have a bank account, as money can be sent to a local agent and a cash collection arranged.

Here, we’ll run through the basics of using MoneyGram in Malaysia, including the fees and exchange rates to look out for.

We’ll also look at cheap, smart alternatives for international transfers such as Wise, which offers transparent fees and always gives you the fairest, mid-market rate.

Get the real exchange rate, create a free Wise account🚀

What you need to know about MoneyGram fees and exchange rates

Like other similar services, MoneyGram charges a transfer fee which varies from currency to currency. The cost also depends on how much money you send.

But MoneyGram transfer fees aren’t the only thing to look out for. You also need to take a close look at the exchange rate on offer, as this can make your transfer more expensive overall.

As an example, imagine you want to send 1,000 MYR from Malaysia to a friend living in France.

Using the MoneyGram estimator tool, you’ll see that this will cost you 70 MYR² in transfer fees. In total, you pay 1,070 MYR and your recipient gets 199.02 EUR in cash (at the time of research).

Example1: Sending 1,070 MYR (including a transfer fee) to a friend in France (cash-pickup)

Provider Transfer fee Exchange rate Recipient gets
moneygram-logo-my MoneyGram 70 MYR Exchange rate with a markup (1 MYR = 0.1990 EUR) 199.02 EUR

(April 21, 2020)

But the “current exchange rate” shown in MoneyGram estimator tool is not the same as the actual mid-market rate, the one you can find on Google search or from an online currency converter.

For example, at the time of research, those two rates look like below;

If MoneyGram used the mid-market rate, the recipient should get around 210.3 EUR (1,000 * 0.210263), instead of 199.02 EUR. This is how you (as well as your recipient) can lose money with the marked-up rate.

If you and your recipient both have bank accounts, you may instead want to consider using a provider like Wise. With Wise, you get transparent fees and always the mid-market exchange rate.

Take a similar example, where you send 1,070 MYR (including the fees) to a friend in France, using Wise. But in this case you both need to have bank accounts.

Example2: Sending 1,070 MYR (including a transfer fee) to a friend in France, who receive money with a € bank account

Provider Transfer fee Exchange rate Recipient gets
transferwise-logo-my Wise 7.48 MYR Real exchange rate (1 MYR = 0.210243 EUR) 223.39 EUR

(April 21, 2020)

Of course, these two examples are not exactly the same as MoneyGram offers a cash-pickup while Wise needs both a sender and a recipient to have bank accounts.

A cheap and transparent alternative: Wise

No one likes to waste money unnecessarily, especially if you regularly send and receive money internationally. Use Wise and you can send money overseas with a small, transparent fee and the mid-market rate.

What’s more, you can also receive money to a Wise multi-currency account from the UK, U.S., Australia, New Zealand or any Eurozone country, just as if you had a local bank account in those countries. Hold your money in 50+ currencies, and switch it using the mid-market rate.

How Wise works

Wise works differently than banks’ traditional telegraphic transfer system. Wise has bank accounts all over the world and uses them to send money abroad more efficiently.

For example, if you want to send MYR to the United Kingdom, you log in Wise and pay in MYR to Wise Malaysia account. Then Wise UK account sends GBP to the recipient.

To send money with Wise,

  1. Register for free
  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.

Join over 7 million customers and experience a cheaper, faster way to send money abroad.

How to send money with MoneyGram in Malaysia (Maybank, CIMB)

If you plan to use MoneyGram in Malaysia, here’s how to do it.

Via Maybank branches⁵

Maybank branches in Malaysia offer a MoneyGram service, where you can send money all over the world and it’ll be ready for collection in the recipient’s local branch within minutes.

To get your transfer started, you’ll need to visit a Maybank branch and fill in the MoneyGram Send Form. Make sure to take some ID with you, such as a passport or Identification Card. Unless you’re sending to the Philippines – where you can send straight to a recipient’s bank account – your transfer will be available for cash pick-up only.

Once you’ve funded the transfer (including MoneyGram’s transfer fees), you’ll be given an 8-digit reference number. Give this number to the recipient and they’ll be able to collect the cash as long as they have a valid photo ID with them.

Via CIMB branches and online banking⁶

You’ll follow a similar process as Maybank when sending or receiving money in person via MoneyGram in a CIMB branch. You’ll need to head to a branch, fill in the MoneyGram Send Form and fund the transfer, before passing on the reference number to the recipient for collection. You should also be able to use the MoneyGram tracking service to see where your transfer is up to.

But unlike with Maybank, you can also make MoneyGram online transfers through CIMB.

If you’re a CIMB customer, log in to CIMB Clicks and head to the Pay & Transfer > MoneyGram section. You’ll need to enter details for both sender and recipient, fund the payment plus transfer fees and confirm the transfer. You’ll receive a MoneyGram reference number as usual, which you should pass on to the recipient if you’ve selected a cash pick-up at a CIMB or MoneyGram branch.

Using MoneyGram for international transfers with Maybank or CIMB is certainly a useful option when cash pick-up is preferred. But if you and your recipient both have bank accounts, you can also consider using online services such as Wise as well.

How to receive money with MoneyGram in Malaysia⁷

Receiving money from a friend or family member is super easy with MoneyGram. If the money is sent to your bank account or mobile wallet, it’ll be automatically deposited so you won’t need to lift a finger to claim it.

If it’s a cash pickup, you will need to find the right MoneyGram branch.

When the transfer has been confirmed, your friend should send you the 8-digit MoneyGram reference number. With this and a valid form of photo ID (i.e. passport or Identification Card), present yourself at the relevant branch. Fill in a simple Receive form and an agent will hand over the money.

MoneyGram is undoubtedly a useful transfer service for sending and receiving cash internationally, especially when one or both parties doesn’t have a bank account. But you need to know their exchange rates include a markup, so transfer fees aren’t the only cost you’re paying.

If you’re sending to a bank account, you can consider sending with providers such as Wise. Fees are easy and clear to understand, and there are no extra costs buried in the exchange rate. You can even manage transfers on the move using the Wise app for iPhone and Android.

Your money matters. So, before you make an international transfer, make sure you check out and compare all the available options first.

  1. MoneyGram | How to Send Money Online Reliably

  2. MoneyGram | Estimate Fees (Checked at 11:46 (GMT+2) on April 21, 2020)

  3. Wise | MYR to EUR - Convert Malaysian Ringgit to Euro (Checked at 11:46 (GMT+2) on April 21, 2020)

  4. Send Money Abroad with Wise (Checked at 11:46 (GMT+2) on April 21, 2020)

  5. Maybank Malaysia | MoneyGram Money Transfer - Funds Transfer

  6. CIMB Bank | Frequently Asked Questions

  7. MoneyGram | How to Receive Money

*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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