If you’re an international student planning to study in Malaysia for more than one year, opening a bank account early will be useful for you.
Below is a quick guide on opening a bank account in Malaysia, including information about banking there in general.
Types of Bank Accounts in Malaysia
When opening a bank account in Malaysia, it is important to know that most of its banks offer two types, savings, and a current account.
Savings accounts are usually the popular bank account type for students. In fact, all international students can open one. A savings account in Malaysia serves as an account for your day-to-day spending, such as depositing and withdrawing funds,
Current accounts, unlike savings accounts, are not for everyone. In fact, current accounts are more useful to those who are already working in Malaysia, or have a business there. One of the main reasons why you would open a current account (or checking account) is because you need it to write cheques, and pay using that.
Which Bank Should You Choose?
It really depends on you, the type of account you need during your stay abroad, and the amount you can deposit. Moreover, you can ask your institution if they have an arrangement with some banks to make applying easier. For example, some higher education institutions (HEI), like Curtin University, can assist students in opening their bank accounts in Maybank and RHB Bank.
In case your institution does not have this kind of arrangement with Malaysian banks, here are some of the famous banks you can check when opening a Malaysian bank account.
- RHB Bank
- Public Bank Berhad
Opening a Bank Account
After choosing the bank and the type of bank account, then you can start preparing to open a bank account.
The first thing you should do is to check the requirements of your chosen bank. Most banks would usually require the following document to be passed:
- Offer letter from your HEI
- Bank account letter (you have to ask your institution’s International Student Office and fill-up a request form)
- Valid passport and a photocopy
- Visa confirmation letter
- Proof of accommodation
- Cash for your initial deposit (usually between RM250 to RM500)
After submitting the needed documents, you just have to wait for the bank to notify you that you already have a Malaysian bank account.
Some Information You Must Know About Banking in Malaysia
Here is some useful information about banking in Malaysia that international students can use.
- Almost all of the banks in Malaysia can be accessed 24/7 through the internet or through phone banking
- Most banks in Malaysia are near establishments such as large shopping malls, and inside city centres
- Maybank is the largest bank in Malaysia and is also one of the largest banks in Southeast Asia. Due to this, Maybank is accessible in most parts of the country
- Regardless of your bank and account type, if your ATM card has a MEPS logo, you can withdraw from any ATM machine with the same logo. However, if you’re withdrawing from a bank that does not have this logo, you may have to pay an additional charge of RM1.00.
Opening a bank account in Malaysia, for many foreign students, is one of the best ways to make your life there easier. Another way to make your life there easier is by knowing how to save money. To learn how to check out MSM Unify’s article on Malaysia: Money-Saving Tips for International Students.