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Using a specialist international payment provider can often be faster, cheaper, and more flexible than sending money with a bank. With Western Union you can receive money from overseas in Malaysia in cash or as a payment to your bank account.
Wondering how to receive money from Western Union? This guide has you covered. We’ll walk through how to get your money, and the fees involved. We’ll also introduce Wise as a cheaper alternative if you’re sending or receiving an international transfer direct to a bank account.
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If you’re waiting to receive an overseas payment you might be interested in how to receive money from Western Union in Malaysia. Usually you’ll have 2 options available to get your money¹:
- Cash pick-up at a local agent
- Bank transfer to your regular bank account
Let’s look at each option in more detail.
If you need to get cash in a hurry, one of the quickest options might be to have it sent to you for cash collection at an agent location. There are over 2,400 Western Union agents around Malaysia, so you shouldn’t struggle to find one which is convenient to you. Once your money is ready, you can simply visit your preferred agent, show your ID and give some details, and get your money in MYR cash.
Here’s what to do:
- Choose a convenient agent location using the Western Union agent locator found on their website.
- Visit the agent location
- You’ll be asked to give the sender’s full name, the amount sent, the sender’s country, and the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN)
- Prove your identity by showing a government-issued photo ID.
- Receive the money in cash
Before you go to collect your cash, make sure the sender has given you the MTCN, and double check the amount being sent, and the full name they used when sending the payment. You’ll also need appropriate ID - a list of what’s accepted is coming up in just a moment.
You can also choose to have your money deposited right into your bank account. This can be more convenient as you don’t need to go out to an agent to collect your money. It’s also often cheaper for the sender, but it may not be as fast as getting cash.
Receiving a payment to a bank account is straightforward. Simply give the sender:
- Your bank’s name and SWIFT code
- Your bank account number
- Your full name as shown on your bank account
Your sender can then arrange the payment through Western Union in their home country - either via an agent or online - and the money will be deposited in your account when the payment has been processed.
When you collect a cash Western Union payment, you’ll need to prove your identity. That keeps you and your money safe. Documents which are accepted as proof of ID in Malaysia include²:
- A valid passport
- A driver’s license
- Your residence or work permit with photo
- An emergency passport
- UNHCR Card
- Military, police or government ID
How long it takes to get your money will depend on the service your sender selects, how they pay, and where in the world they are.
Western Union offers a Money in Minutes service. If your sender uses this, you could collect your payment in cash almost instantly.
If your sender doesn’t choose this service, or if your payment is being sent to a bank account directly, the delivery time depends on where the money is coming from. Payments direct to bank accounts sent domestically within Malaysia may be available on the same day or next day after payment³. From other countries, it may take a few days for your money to arrive.
Your sender will see a delivery estimate time when they set up the payment. You can also track Western Union transfers online using your MTCN and personal details, to get live information about when to expect your payment.
All Western Union fees are paid by the sender. As the recipient you will not have to pay any transfer fees. However, it’s worth noting that Western Union can be a pretty costly option overall. That may mean the sender pays more - or you get less in the end than you would have done with an alternative provider. More on that, below.
You can get in touch with Western Union's Malaysian customer support by visiting one of the agent locations or giving them a call.
Western Union contact details:
- Toll free number: 1800 813 399
- If calling from outside Malaysia, the number is +852 340 80460 (not a toll free number)
Western Union’s agent network makes it a good option if you need to receive a payment in cash. However, if you’re receiving a payment directly to your bank account the sender might get a better exchange rate and a lower overall fee with a specialist service like Wise.
Here’s a rundown of an example payment, sending 1,000 USD from the US, to a bank account in Malaysia to be received in MYR.
|0.99 USD (added to send amount)
|7.23 USD (ACH pay-in, deducted from send amount)
|Markup on the mid-market rate
|Real mid-market rate
|Delivery time (approximate)
|0 - 6 days
As you can see, although Western Union has a lower headline fee, you’d get less in the end if your payment was processed with Western Union instead of Wise. That’s because Western Union uses a markup on the exchange rate which is tricky to see but pushes up costs significantly.
Wise could also get your money to Malaysia much faster - meaning you could save time as well as money. Below is a real-time comparison of the sending and conversion fees between Wise and Western Union.
Western Union is a giant in international payments for a reason. Their huge global reach and network of 525,000+ agents around the world makes them a convenient choice when sending money to someone without a bank account, or who can’t access an ATM.
However, Western Union isn't always the cheapest choice - and when it comes to transfers direct to bank accounts, they may not be the fastest either.
You could save if you choose Wise for your next international payment. And if you need to get cash to someone on the other side of the world, why not send your money to their bank account using Wise so they can make a local withdrawal at an ATM. You’ll always see an estimate of the delivery time with Wise before you commit, so you’ll know how quickly the money will be available for them.
See how much you can save with Wise today!
Sources checked on 28/02/2022
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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