Hoping to open a bank account online in Malaysia? This guide covers all you need to know.
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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.
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.
If you need to send international payments you may want to check out Wise. Wise uses the real mid-market exchange rate rate for all currency conversion, so you only ever pay a low, transparent fee. That can work out considerably cheaper compared to using your regular bank - leaving you with more money to save and invest for the future.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Accounts | Maybank Malaysia
- Current Accounts | Open a Bank Account Online
- How to open a Current Account
- Current / Savings Account Recommender - Hong Leong Bank Malaysia
- RHB Online Account Opening
- 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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