International Student Guide To Opening A Bank Account in Malaysia

June 05, 2024


open bank account international students

Malaysia is well-known for its high-quality education, diverse culture, and beautiful scenery. 

If you are planning to pursue higher education in Malaysia, you must know about essential tips, for instance, opening a local bank account. 

Having a local bank account is one of the necessary tasks to tackle immediately. 

It ensures that transactions, such as cash withdrawals or transfers, can be done smoothly, securely, and conveniently. 

Hence, this article will walk you through the process of opening a bank account in Malaysia and important documents for such purposes. 

Application Process Of Opening A Bank Account

open a bank account

1. Get information from university 

The first step before you open a bank account is to seek information from your institution. 

Each Malaysian university uses a different bank account. For instance, the University of Nottingham requires international students to open a CIMB or Maybank account. 

Hence, it is important to gain information about bank account opening beforehand. 

2. Get the bank reference letter 

As an international student, you can begin opening a bank account after receiving your Student Visa.

The International Office at your university will help you to issue a bank reference letter. 

This bank reference letter is important to confirm your current status as a university student. 

Therefore, you must bring it when you visit the nearest bank branch to open your account. 

3. Prepare necessary documents 

You must prepare the necessary documents before visiting the nearest bank branch. 

The documents are the original passport with a student pass, a university offer letter, an EMGS approval letter, and a bank reference letter from the university. 

Once you arrive at the bank branch, go to the counter information to notify the receptionist that you want to open an account. 

4. Fill up your information on a bank account form 

A bank officer will provide you a bank account form. You must fill up the form with accurate details of your personal information. 

Additionally, they will request the necessary documents for identity verification purposes. 

Once your documents are verified, the officer will start the account opening procedure. 

The bank officer will request you to pay a deposit amount of RM250-Rm300. The amount varies, depending on the bank. 

If you wish to activate the banking application service on your smartphone, you can request them to guide you. It saves you another visit to the bank. 

You can perform online transactions seamlessly after verifying and activating your banking application. 

5. Receive your bank account details

After your bank account application is approved, you will receive your account number and a debit card. 

After that, the bank officer will request you to set a PIN number as your password. 

This password is important when you perform a transaction using a local ATM. 

If you encounter difficulties during this process, do not hesitate to inform the bank officer. 

They will guide you step-by-step to avoid any inconvenience issues. 

Important note: 

The account activation period differs according to the bank. Some account activation may take 1-2 months. 

3 Tips For A Smoother Bank Transaction

open a bank account

Opening a bank account as soon as possible is an important step to ensure a smooth transition when you arrive in Malaysia. 

This will help you avoid any delay in accessing your funds and allow you to easily carry out transactions. 

Maintaining records of all your bank transactions, including deposits, withdrawals, and account statements, is also essential. 

This will help you keep track of your finances and identify any discrepancies that may arise. 

Furthermore, it's important to understand the fees associated with your bank account

For instance, some banks may charge high ATM withdrawal fees, which can increase over time. 

Being aware of these fees allows you to select the most cost-effective transaction options and minimize expenses. 

Why You Need To Open A Bank Account In Malaysia? 

  • Convenience

With a domestic bank account, you can easily deposit your scholarship or living expenses, receive funds from your home country, and make transactions without hassle.

One of the main advantages of having a Malaysian bank account is that it will save you a lot of money in terms of fees and exchange rates.

Another benefit of having a local bank account is that you can easily access your funds anytime and anywhere. 

Many banks in Malaysia offer online banking services. You can manage your account and make transactions from any electronic device.

Additionally, you can withdraw cash from ATMs, which is a convenient option when traveling.

However, cash transaction has a limit. 

This cash transaction limit is a measure the Malaysian government sets to counter any suspicious transaction reports and illicit activities. 

  • Student discounts 

You will be happy to know that many local banks offer special accounts tailored just for you. 

These accounts come with various benefits, such as discounted transaction fees, reduced ATM withdrawal fees, and exclusive shopping and dining offers. 

  • Currency exchange 

By opening a Malaysian bank account, you can convert your home currency to Malaysian Ringgit at favorable exchange rates.

It can save you significant money compared to using costly currency exchange services. 

Additionally, a Malaysian bank account offers a secure and convenient way to manage your finances while in Malaysia. 

It allows you to easily access your funds and transact without carrying cash.

As an international student, opening a bank account in Malaysia is crucial to ensure your financial security and convenience during your stay. 

This guide outlines the requirements and tips to help you navigate the process smoothly. 

We hope you find this article helpful for a bank account opening process in Malaysia.

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