Open a bank account online in Malaysia: Fees and requirements

Yumiko Kijima
22.09.21
4 minute read

Hoping to open a bank account online in Malaysia? This guide covers all you need to know.

We'll also introduce Wise, a cheap and fast way to send money all over the world with the mid-market exchange rate.

🔖Table of contents

Can I open a bank account online in Malaysia?

Opening a bank account online in Malaysia may be a bit trickier than you think. Whether or not you can open your Malaysian bank account online will depend a lot on your situation, the type of account you need, and your preferred bank.

Because each banking brand can choose their own process for account opening, there’s a pretty broad range of approaches. Some of the major Malaysian banks have started to allow some form of online application, or even digital wallets which are entirely operated online. Others still require you to attend the branch, and may even need a referral from an existing customer to get started.

Here’s an overview of how some of the most popular banks in Malaysia allow customers to open an account at the time of writing:¹⁻⁷

  • Maybank - open account online: You can start an application for many accounts online, but may still be required to visit a branch to show your documents and complete the process. Check out the MAE e-wallet if you need a simple account you can set up entirely online.

  • CIMB - open account online: Some account types let you start your application online - but you’ll still often need to visit a branch to verify your identity and/or collect your debit card.

  • Public Bank - open account online: You’ll need to visit a branch to open your account - in some cases you also need an introducer, who is a present customer of the bank, and who can attend the branch with you.

  • Hong Leong - open account online: You can open several account types online - however, there’s a catch. You need to already be in Malaysia and hold a bank account there, making this tricky for non-residents and new arrivals.

  • RHB - open account online: Some accounts can be opened online, and RHB may even be able to deliver your debit card to your home. Not available in all areas, or for all account types.

  • Bank Islam - open account online: Start your application online, then attend your preferred branch within 30 days of applying to complete the process and get an account number.

Required documents to open a bank account in Malaysia

The documents you need will vary a little depending on the bank and the type of account you’re opening. You can expect to need the following in most cases:

  • Proof of ID, such as a passport
  • Proof of legal residence in Malaysia - residence permit or visa
  • Proof of employment, such as a letter from your employer
  • Minimum opening deposit - varies by bank

Depending on the bank itself, you may also have to give biometric data like your fingerprint, for security purposes, or take along a friend to introduce you to the bank and vouch for your integrity.

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Opening a bank account FAQ

How to write a letter to open a bank account for your employee in Malaysia

If you’re a business owner and a new employee needs help opening a bank account, you may be asked to write a bank opening request letter for company employees. Here’s a sample letter to open a bank account for an employee in Malaysia to get you started.

Sample letter
    Date
      Bank and branch details
        For the attention of Bank Name Customer Service Department
          We hereby confirm that employee name, passport or identification card number, is employed by company name.
            We are aware that employee name would like to open an account with Bank Name, to receive his salary and manage his daily expenses, and would be very grateful if you can arrange this together. Thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.
              Yours faithfully,
                Signature and Company Stamp

              How to open a company bank account in Malaysia

              Opening a company bank account usually requires more verification - and more paperwork - than opening an individual account. If you do not already have an account with your preferred bank, you’ll almost certainly need to visit a branch to set up your account.

              Can foreigners open a bank account in Malaysia? How about tourists?

              You do not need to be a resident in Malaysia to open a bank account - however, you’ll need a valid work permit or appropriate visa, which means short term tourists are not likely to be able to get a Malaysian bank account set up. Long term foreign residents in Malaysia with appropriate documentation should not have any problem opening an account.

              Summary

              Opening a bank account online in Malaysia may not be easy but it is possible. Banks are starting to move more towards greater flexibility in their services, and so you may well find that the options for online account opening increase in future.

              And don’t forget, if you’re a local or expat who needs to send money abroad, you can choose providers like Wise, which uses the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees.


              Sources

              1. Accounts | Maybank Malaysia
              2. Maybank2U
              3. Current Accounts | Open a Bank Account Online
              4. How to open a Current Account
              5. Current / Savings Account Recommender - Hong Leong Bank Malaysia
              6. RHB Online Account Opening
              7. Online Account Opening


              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 TransferWise 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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