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Foreign Exchange in Malaysia

Currency exchange

Currency Exchange Information for Students Studying Abroad

Currencies exchange rates vary at times owing to different factors, so before replacement, check the rates in the finance section of a newspaper or on specific websites. It allows the person signing it to pay the amount to some other person safely.


They are available in various denominations and currencies, the most popular being US Dollars. They are a very safe way to pay university fess or make other large payments. An added advantage is that, when stolen or misplaced, these cheque can easily be remade by presenting the original receipt to the issuer.

As there is always a fluctuation in the exchange value of currencies, it is better to not exchange your money at a go – the currency might just have a good price in the future and you can get the best value for your money.

Many places provide currency exchange services. Western Union and other famous banks offer these types of services. Airport exchange bureaus also provide the facility of currency exchange.

Money changing services are available at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport around the clock, and also at most banks, hotels, and shopping centers. Licensed money changers usually give better rates than most hotels and banks. Students are advised to check foreign exchange rates and use their discretion when changing foreign currency.

You can also go to currency exchange shops. You can also opt for local banks’ ATM cards. Few banks may ask for a letter of recommendation from your home bank. However, for transferring money, banks charge a big amount, as also you have to wait for 5 to 6 weeks till your account is activated.

(Also Read: Education Loan for Study Abroad)

If using ATM cards, always remember that it is best to use your native country’s ATM and debit cards when abroad. Check whether your card is connected to a worldwide system or not. Also check your daily withdrawal limit. Inform your bank to let them know about the conditions regarding use of your debit/credit card abroad.

The currency of Malaysia is ringgit (1 Malaysian ringgit = 0.323708 U.S. dollars approximately) It is necessary to get some basic knowledge related to the currency of the country, where you are going to study. You must be familiar with the new currency and its exchange value which may vary a little, or entirely, from place to place.

Try to find the reliable sources to exchange the currency and avoid making exchanges with the street-setups as those are usually considered illegal or black markets in most countries. The best way to get money when abroad would undoubtedly be the ATM machines and debit cards. At times, students also take travelers’ cheque which are also very safe.

They are also helpful in emergencies like when the ATM machines are not working or there is no other way to get money out of your account. However, you must keep your exchange bills safe so as to stay away from any uncomfortable situations. You can also change your currency in foreign exchange offices at the international airport, as this is the easiest method, and also a bit cheaper than others.

Bank Account

It is advisable that a bank account be opened soon after arriving in Malaysia. Banks in Malaysia provide saving accounts, checking accounts and a range of other financial services. Saving accounts come with an automated teller machine (ATM) card facility. ATM services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Other than at the banks, ATMs are located on campus, in most supermarkets and shopping centers.

To open a Bank Account, you would need the following

  • A Valid Passport
  • Your Current Student Pass
  • An Initial Deposit of RM250 – RM500

Transferring Fund

There are a few ways of transferring money from your home country to Malaysia

  • Bank Draft
  • Telegraphic Transfer
  • Credit Card

Bank drafts from overseas take time to arrive and can take up to 7 working days to clear. Telegraphic transfers are much faster, taking only a day or two, but may cost more.

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