TransferWise launches in Malaysia

  • Can send money from 45 countries, including four in Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, HK, Japan
  • Service is open to all locals and foreigners except those with a Foreign Worker status

 

Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Ong Kian Ming (left) with TransferWise chairman and co-founder Taavet Hinrikus

GLOBAL financial technology company TransferWise launched its operations in Malaysia on Nov 21.

At a Kuala Lumpur event officiated by Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister in the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the UK-based company announced the opening of its international money transfer service from Malaysia to 83 countries.

TransferWise’s service is:

  • Cheaper - by up to 4x compared to the banks. The comparison data was obtained from publicly available prices of five major banks in Malaysia. The comparison was done on Nov 18, 2019, and looked at how much it cost to send two different amounts (RM1,000 and RM5,000) from Malaysia to five major markets (the US, UK, Europe, Australia and Singapore.
  • Faster - 80% of transfers globally are completed within 24 hours
  • More transparent - the only service that uses the real exchange rate, the one you see on Google
  • More convenient - a 100% online experience from verification (only photo ID needed) to the setting up and completion of transfers, with no need for customers to leave their homes

Ong said: “I congratulate TransferWise on its Malaysia launch. Opening up the financial services sector to more local and international fintech players is an important policy that will enhance the sector’s competitiveness and improve financial inclusion. With more players like TransferWise setting up operations here, Malaysia’s digital economy is gaining momentum and will create many good jobs for Malaysians in the years to come.”

Using TransferWise, Malaysians can now send money to 83 countries at prices up to 4x cheaper than the banks. For example, sending RM1,000 to the UK costs just RM7.20 with TransferWise, but costs on average RM34.60 with a bank. This is based on the prices of five major banks on 18 November 2019.

TransferWise co-founder and chairman Taavet Hinrikus, said: “We are excited to be able to offer in Malaysia from today a cheaper, faster and more convenient way to send money internationally. TransferWise is the only company in the market to use the real exchange rate - the one you see on Google.

“Banks and other providers around the world hide their fees in exchange rate markups, making it very hard for customers to calculate how much exactly they are paying for the transfer. It is an opaque and outmoded practice that TransferWise opposes in every country we serve.”

He added: “We were getting a very high number of requests from potential Malaysian customers, so we worked hard to enable our service as fast as we could. Along the way, Bank Negara Malaysia and other government departments were very professional in the way they handled our application. By allowing and encouraging more non-banks to provide financial services in Malaysia, BNM is ensuring consumers benefit from better and more affordable services.”

TransferWise’s service in Malaysia is open to individuals - including all locals and foreigners except those with a Foreign Worker status. The service is available now to foreigners with an Expatriate status. For this latter group, due to additional checks required by regulations, the service will begin in 2020. Business transfers are also expected to begin by 2020.

 
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