What is a telegraphic transfer: Compare fees of 9 Malaysian banks

Yumiko Kijima

If you need to send a payment overseas, you might be considering using a telegraphic transfer. This is a common and well established method of transferring money from one account to another - but not necessarily the cheapest or fastest option.

This guide will take a look at the telegraphic transfer fees and exchange rates on offer from some of the biggest Malaysian banks, as well as an alternative - Wise.

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up to 7x cheaper than banks🚀

What is a telegraphic transfer?

A telegraphic transfer - also known as a telex transfer, and shortened to TT - is an electronic way of sending funds from one bank account to another.

Telegraphic transfers are often used for international payments, and can be relatively expensive compared to other transactions. One reason for this is that TT payments often use the SWIFT network. SWIFT is a secure way of passing information from one bank to another, but it takes time, and can push up costs. Using the SWIFT network, several banks work together to process one payment, and may each charge for their services.

As well as transfer fees, you may also find that there’s a markup added to the exchange rate used if you need currency conversion. Telegraphic transfers usually arrive at their destination in 2 to 4 business days.

Example: Sending 10,000 MYR from Malaysia to a £ bank account in the United Kingdom

Provider Transfer fee¹ Exchange rate Recipient gets
Wise² MYR 54.65 Real exchange rate (1 MYR = 0.187239GBP) GBP 1,862.16 Send money
Maybank³⁺⁴ MYR 10 Exchange rate with a markup (1 MYR = 0.183486GBP) GBP 1,833.03 - beneficiary or agent charges
CIMB Bank⁵⁺⁶ MYR 10 Exchange rate with a markup (1 MYR = 0.183040GBP) GBP1,828.57 - likely fees from intermediary banks
Public Bank Berhad⁷⁺⁸ MYR32 Exchange rate with a markup (1 MYR = 0.183117GBP) GBP1,825.31 - any charges imposed outside of Malaysia
!RHB Bank MYR25 Exchange rate with a markup (1 MYR = 0.181686GBP) GBP1,812.32
Hong Leong Bank¹º MYR20 Exchange rate with a markup (1 MYR = 0.183150GBP) GBP1,827.84
AmBank¹¹⁺¹² MYR25 Exchange rate with a markup (1 MYR = 0.182468GBP) GBP1,820.12 - agent charges and any fee levied by beneficiary bank
!UOB Malaysia Bank¹³⁺¹⁴ MYR25 Exchange rate with a markup (1 MYR = 0.183385GBP) GBP1,829.27 - agent charges
Bank Rakyat¹⁵ MYR15 Information not available online Calculation unavailable
OCBC Bank Malaysia¹⁶⁺¹⁷ MYR0 + cost of wire + MYR80 correspondence agent fees if remitter chooses to pay Exchange rate with a markup (1 MYR = 0.183318GBP) GBP1,818.52 - cost of wire as assessed by OCBC

All exchange rate information correct at time of research - 7th May 2020, 12:44-12:50 (GMT+2)

This table shows why you need to check both the exchange rate offered and the transfer fee you’ll pay, when you’re choosing an international payment service. Although some banks’ transfer fees may look cheaper than Wise, with exchange rates considered, Wise is up to 7x cheaper than Malaysian banks.

Telegraphic transfer exchange rate (TT rate)

As you can see above, the exchange rates used by banks and international payment services are inconsistent. In fact, the rates available from most are worse than the mid-market rate - the one you’ll find on Google, or using a currency conversion tool.

That’s because, although banks typically buy currency themselves using the mid-market rate, they add a markup to the exchange rate they offer their customers. This is then an additional profit for the banks - and effectively, an extra fee for the customer.

🔍Let’s look at a quick example of Maybank’s exchange rate vs. mid-market rate

Sending 10,000 MYR (including transfer fees)

  • Maybank: 10,000 - 10 = 9,990 MYR will be converted

  • Wise: 10,000 - 54.65 = 9945.35 MYR will be converted

Exchange rates offered

  • Maybank: 1 MYR = 0.183486GBP

  • Wise (Mid-market rate): 1 MYR = 0.187239 GBP

Recipient gets…

  • Maybank: 9,990 * 0.183486 =1,833.03 GBP

  • Wise: 9945.35 * 0.187239=1,862.16 GBP

In the end, you can clearly see that your MYR10,000 can mean more for your recipient if you use Wise.

Compare exchange rates of Malaysian banks💡

A cheap and transparent alternative: Wise

Looking for a better way to send money overseas? International transfers with Wise are safe, fast - and up to 7x cheaper than Malaysian banks.

Use Wise to easily send money overseas from Malaysia online and via the app, with no hidden fees - just transparent, low costs, and the mid-market exchange rate.

You can also receive money from the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and any Eurozone country, using a Wise multi-currency account, just as if you had a local bank account in those countries. Hold dozens of currencies in your account and send payments all over the world. Or switch your money back to ringgit using the mid-market exchange rate, and withdraw it to your regular bank account. You’ll only ever pay a simple, upfront fee, saving time and money compared to using telegraphic transfers.

How Wise works

International payments made with Wise are not the same as bank telegraphic transfers using the traditional system.

Instead of slow, and sometimes costly payment processing methods, Wise has bank accounts all over the world and uses them to send money abroad more efficiently. This makes payments faster and cheaper - and customers benefit, with lower fees.

For example, if you want to send MYR to the United Kingdom, you log into your Wise account, and pay in MYR to Wise bank account based in Malaysia. Then a GBP transfer is sent to the recipient, from a Wise bank account based in the UK. It’s simple, but it’s smart.

To send money with Wise,

  1. Create a free account
  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 11 million customers and experience a cheaper, faster way to send money abroad. From Malaysia, you can send money abroad up to 7x cheaper with Wise compared to using traditional banks.


Other possible fees in Telegraphic Transfer

Aside from the costs set out above, there may also be additional fees to consider if you make a telegraphic transfer with a bank. Here’s what you need to know.

Intermediary bank fees

If your payment is processed using the SWIFT network - as most traditional bank telegraphic transfers are - you may find that intermediary bank fees are deducted as the payment makes its way to its destination. The SWIFT network involves partner banks working together to move money - up to 3 banks for a single payment - and each can take a fee for the service they provide.

Beneficiary bank fees

Once your payment reaches your recipient, you may find there’s one final fee - your recipient’s own bank could charge for receiving a telegraphic transfer payment. This will be deducted before the payment is deposited in their account or your recipient needs to pay it additionally.

With Wise, you only need to pay upfront transfer fees, no need to worry about other fees.

Finding a way to send your overseas payment won’t be hard. But getting the best deal out there may take a little research. As well as looking at the costs and exchange rates available from your regular bank, check out the international payment service available from alternatives like Wise. You might find you can save.


  1. Wise | Compare exchange rates
  2. Wise
  3. Maybank Malaysia | Foreign Exchange Counter Rates
  4. Maybank Malaysia | Foreign Telegraphic Transfer - FAQs
  5. CIMB Bank | Interest Rates & Charges
  6. CIMB Bank | Products/Items Charges Telegraphic Transfer i) Local Fund Transfer ii) Foreign Fund Transfer (via Telex / Fax / SWIFT) a) Branch
  7. Public Bank Berhad | Foreign Exchange Rates (FOREX)
  8. Public Bank Berhad | Foreign Remittance
  9. RHB Bank | Foreign Exchange Rates
  10. Hong Leong Bank | Foreign Exchange Rates (FOREX)
  11. AmBank Malaysia | Rates, Fees and Charges
  12. AmBank Malaysia | AmOnline : Transfer Overseas / eRemittance
  13. UOB Malaysia Bank | Rates and Prices - Foreign Exchange Rates
  14. UOB Malaysia Bank | Telegraphic Transfer (Foreign) Fees & Charges
  15. Bank Rakyat | Remittance
  16. OCBC Bank Malaysia | Foreign exchange rates
  17. OCBC Bank Malaysia | Fees and Charges

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 Wise Payments 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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