Can Tourist Open Bank Account In Malaysia?

Banking can be confusing for those travelling abroad, especially if you’re not sure what the regulations are in the country you’re visiting. For tourists wanting to open a bank account in Malaysia but unsure how to go about it, this article provides all the information needed. We’ll cover everything from eligibility requirements and banking options to fees and paperwork – so read on!

Visiting any foreign country can add an extra layer of complexity when it comes to managing your finances. In Malaysia, there are certain restrictions that must be followed by international visitors who wish to set up a local bank account. Fortunately, opening an account as a tourist isn’t impossible – with some basic research ahead of time and understanding of the laws governing financial institutions in the country, anyone can become a Malaysian banking customer.

In order to access all the amazing benefits that come along with having a local bank account while travelling through Malaysia, there are several things that need to be taken into consideration beforehand. This article will explain exactly what steps should be taken before attempting to open an account as well as offer advice on which type of bank accounts may best suit each individual’s needs. With this guide in hand, setting up shop at one of Malaysia’s many banks will be easy!

Definition Of A Tourist

A tourist is someone who visits a place for leisure or recreation. They are not permanent residents, but rather temporary visitors to the location. Tourists come from all over the world and stay for varying lengths of time depending on their purpose of visit.

Typically tourists will spend money while in their destination country, which can contribute significantly to local economies. Therefore it’s important that they have access to financial services such as banking accounts so they can manage their finances easily.

For this reason many countries around the world allow tourists to open bank accounts with limited restrictions. However, it’s important that each individual case be assessed according to its own merits before seeking permission from relevant authorities.

Banking Regulations In Malaysia

Banking regulations in Malaysia are governed by the Central Bank of Malaysia. The central bank has put in place a series of measures and guidelines to ensure that banking transactions remain secure and reliable. In particular, banks must adhere to strict anti-money laundering (AML) rules, know your customer (KYC) requirements, and other procedures designed to prevent fraud or financial crimes.

Foreign visitors who plan on opening a bank account in Malaysia must provide valid identification documents such as their passport or Malaysian identity card. They will also need to demonstrate proof of address and submit additional documentation depending on the type of account they wish to open. Some accounts may require an initial deposit amount before it can be activated.

Overall, tourists hoping for a hassle-free experience when opening up a local bank account should contact their chosen bank prior to arrival in order to understand what is required from them. It’s important for visitors to note that certain types of accounts might have restricted access or limited features compared with those offered to locals.

Requirements For Opening A Bank Account

Moving on, tourists in Malaysia may be interested to know what requirements they need to open a bank account. Generally speaking, the process of opening an account is fairly straightforward and can be done quite quickly.

The first step is providing proof of identity and address. This can include a valid passport or national identification card along with any other documents which confirm your local address such as rental agreement or utility bill statement. It’s important to note that all documents must have been issued within the past six months for them to be accepted by the bank.

The next step is submitting additional financial information such as employment details, salary slips or references from another banking institution where you already have an account. Once these necessary steps are completed, it should only take a few days before the application is approved and you will receive your new bank account details.

In order to ensure everything goes smoothly during this process, it’s best for potential customers to contact their chosen bank directly and discuss specific requirements beforehand. Doing so will save time and allow applicants to understand exactly what needs to be provided in advance before making their way into the branch office.

Types Of Bank Accounts Available

Malaysia has a wide selection of bank accounts to choose from, catering to the needs of both locals and tourists alike. Savings accounts are ideal for those who want to keep their money safe while earning interest on it.

Current Accounts offer easy access to funds through debit cards or cheques, making them great for day-to-day transactions. For those looking for more benefits and rewards, there are also special package accounts such as the Premier Account which gives customers access to exclusive privileges like discounts and travel insurance coverage.

For foreigners visiting Malaysia, they can open a Foreign Currency account with any major Malaysian bank in order to make overseas payments easily without having to convert currencies first. This is especially useful if you plan on staying longer than 90 days in Malaysia since foreign currency withdrawals may be subject to withholding taxes after that point. Tourists should note however that these accounts do not come with an ATM card so withdrawing cash will require going into a physical bank branch.

Finally, travellers should look into opening an International Bank Card account which provides access to international banking services such as online banking and contactless payment options worldwide. With this type of account, customers can receive higher levels of security when making purchases abroad while reducing the risk of fraud or identity theft.

Advantages Of Having A Malaysian Bank Account

Tourists who are visiting Malaysia may benefit from opening a bank account. This can allow them to store their money in an accessible and safe place, meaning they don’t have to carry large amounts of cash around with them. It also makes it easier for tourists to pay for goods or services while they’re in the country.

A Malaysian bank account has other advantages too. To begin with, if you need foreign currency during your visit, most banks will be able to exchange it quickly and easily. Additionally, some banks offer special discounts on certain products or services when using a debit card linked to the account. This could save tourists money on things such as travel insurance or car hire.

Having access to online banking is another advantage of having a Malaysian bank account since this allows users to transfer funds between accounts, view statements and set up payments all without leaving the comfort of their own home. This can come in handy for those travelling abroad but still wanting to manage their finances back in Malaysia.

Disadvantages Of Having A Malaysian Bank Account

However, there are some drawbacks to having a Malaysian bank account.

Firstly, the fees charged by banks in Malaysia may be higher than those of other countries. This means that customers will need to pay more for services such as transfers and withdrawals.

Secondly, many international banks do not accept deposits from non-residents or foreign nationals which can make it difficult for tourists to open a bank account in Malaysia.

Lastly, the banking system in Malaysia is generally less secure than those found in developed nations due to lower levels of regulation and oversight. As a result, customers may have limited access to their funds if they experience any financial difficulties while travelling in the country.

Financial Institutions Offering Services To Tourists

Yes, tourists are able to open a bank account in Malaysia. The country offers various financial institutions that provide services for both foreign and local citizens. These range from traditional banks to Islamic banking systems which offer convenience and competitive advantages for those living abroad or travelling the globe.

The first step is to determine what type of bank account best suits your needs; do you need it solely for savings purposes or would having access to credit cards be beneficial? Traditional banks will require proof of residence such as an address verification letter, but other options may not require any form of identification at all. Once this has been established then you can begin looking into the different types of accounts available and compare their features such as interest rates, minimum deposits and fees associated with them.

It’s important to check that a particular institution is regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the central bank of Malaysia which oversees the financial system. This ensures that your money is safe and secure while keeping up-to-date with changes in regulations so you know you’re getting a good deal on your investment. By doing some research beforehand, even if it’s just reading about each option online, you can rest assured that when opening an account overseas there won’t be any surprises along the way.

Documents Needed To Open An Account

Moving on, there are certain documents needed to open a bank account in Malaysia. Generally speaking, tourists need to provide a valid passport and proof of address (such as utility bills or rental agreement) for the application process. It is also necessary to present an initial deposit amounting to at least RM1,000 ($250). This sum can be either cash or cheque made out to the respective financial institution.

Furthermore, some banks may require additional information such as income statement/confirmation letter from employer or copies of previous three months’ bank statements showing sufficient funds available in foreign currency accounts. In addition, credit card details including the expiry date might be required too.

In short, while opening a bank account in Malaysia is possible for visitors and tourists, they must ensure that all necessary documents are prepared prior to submitting their applications.

Identification Requirements

If you’re a tourist interested in opening a bank account in Malaysia, you’ll need to provide certain identification documents. Banks in the country require proof of identity and address before they open an account for you. Here are some of the items that will be required:

  • Passport or national ID card
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • Proof of residence such as utility bills or rental agreement

You may also be asked to show your visa status if you still need a valid work permit. I would like to let you know that all documentation must be presented in its original copy with certified translations when necessary. More than photocopies will be required. Additionally, it would help to provide additional evidence, such as reference letters or contact numbers from people who can vouch for your authenticity. This could include a former employer, local business contacts, or even family members living abroad.

In order to complete the process successfully and open up a bank account in Malaysia, make sure you meet all the requirements by providing the necessary documents beforehand. Doing so will save time and effort on both sides and allow for smooth banking transactions thereafter.

Processing Time For Account Opening

Now that the identification requirements have been addressed, it is important to consider how long it will take for a tourist to open a bank account in Malaysia. Generally, opening an account can be completed within one or two days.

The process begins with finding a suitable branch and filling out application forms. To save time, tourists should ensure they arrive at the chosen branch with all of the necessary documents, such as proof of identity and address. Once their information has been verified by the staff member handling their request, a new customer will receive their banking kit which includes debit cards and other relevant details regarding the account features.

Finally, customers are usually asked to read through terms and conditions before signing any contracts or agreements. After this step is completed, they can begin using their newly opened bank account right away.

When opening a bank account in Malaysia, there are fees and charges that must be taken into consideration. The most common fee is the registration fee which is usually around RM20-50 depending on the type of account you choose. This fee covers administrative costs associated with setting up the account.

In addition to this, banks may also charge service fees for certain types of accounts or services such as internet banking or mobile banking. These fees can range from RM10 per month to higher amounts depending on the type of services used. Customers should ask their bank about these charges before committing to an account so they know what kind of fees to expect.

Lastly, customers will need to pay for any transactions made on their accounts; typically each transaction costs between RM0.30 and RM2 depending on the type. Banks may also offer debit cards which come with additional monthly maintenance fees and cash withdrawal fees when using them at ATMs outside of their network. It’s important to check all applicable fees before making any decision regarding your new bank account in Malaysia.

Currency Exchange Rate And ATM Usage

Moving on from fees and charges related to opening the account, this section will discuss currency exchange rate and ATM usage for tourists in Malaysia.
When exchanging foreign currencies into Malaysian Ringgit (MYR), it is important to be aware of the current exchange rates as they can differ significantly from one bank or foreign exchange service provider to another. Tourists should also take note that most banks are closed during weekends and public holidays, so planning ahead when converting money becomes even more crucial.

The use of ATMs is a convenient option for visitors who wish to withdraw cash with their debit/credit cards while in Malaysia. However, international transaction fees may apply if an ATM belonging to a different network is used. Moreover, there are limits on the amount of cash that can be withdrawn per day which varies depending on the particular bank’s policy. Therefore, prior research is key when utilizing ATMs abroad.

In addition, many automated teller machines offer additional services such as balance enquiry and fund transfers between accounts within the same banking group – saving time and effort compared to visiting a physical branch location. All these features make ATM usage an attractive choice for tourists in Malaysia looking to access their funds quickly and securely.

Online Banking Services Available

Yes, tourists can open bank accounts in Malaysia. There are several online banking services available for visitors and residents alike. Most major Malaysian banks offer digital banking services through their websites or mobile applications, allowing users to access their accounts from anywhere with an internet connection. These services typically include the ability to check balances, transfer funds between accounts, pay bills, and more. Some banks even have options for opening savings accounts that provide higher interest rates than regular checking accounts.

In addition to these services, some banks also offer additional perks such as discounts on purchases made using their debit cards and cashback rewards when shopping at certain retailers. For those who need assistance setting up their account or finding out more information about available products or features, most banks will have customer service representatives available over the phone or by email.

Overall, there are plenty of ways for tourists to take advantage of online banking while visiting Malaysia – whether it’s setting up a new account or managing existing ones – giving them full control over their finances during their stay here.

Security Measures Taken By Banks In Malaysia

Banks in Malaysia are aware of the potential security risks and have taken serious measures to protect customers. To start with, they require all applicants for bank accounts to present valid identification documents such as a passport or identity card. These documents must be verified before any account is opened.

In addition, banks use a two-factor authentication system where customers will need to enter an additional code sent via SMS on top of their passwords when logging into their accounts online. This ensures that only authorized users can access customer’s accounts. Banks also monitor suspicious transactions and alert customers if there are any attempts at unauthorized access.

To further strengthen its security protocols, most banks in Malaysia now offer biometric verification services such as fingerprint recognition or facial recognition technology to confirm the identities of their customers. All these measures combined ensure that customer’s funds remain safe and secure while banking in Malaysia.

Closing The Bank Account

Once a person has decided to close their bank account in Malaysia, they need to take the necessary steps to ensure that all of their personal data is removed. This includes withdrawing any remaining funds and cancelling the associated debit cards or credit cards. The customer will also have to notify the bank in writing about the closure of their account.

The process for closing an account may vary from one financial institution to another, but generally customers must provide identification documents such as a passport or identity card before being allowed to proceed with closing their accounts. Customers can expect banks to conduct thorough checks on them before releasing any information regarding their accounts.

It’s wise for customers to inform relevant parties like employers who directly deposit salaries into their accounts, so these payments are not made after the account has been closed. It’s essential that customers obtain proof from the bank when they close their accounts, as this could be needed later if there are problems with tax filings or other matters related to banking activities.


In conclusion, tourists in Malaysia can open a bank account. However, they must be aware of the banking regulations and requirements before doing so. It’s important to understand the types of accounts available and their benefits, as well as currency exchange rates and ATM usage. Additionally, online banking services are available with extra security measures taken by banks in Malaysia for customers’ peace of mind.

Ultimately, if you’re a tourist looking to open a bank account in this Southeast Asian country, it’s not too difficult – just make sure to do your research first! I’m confident that opening an account here will offer many advantages that could help make your stay more pleasant or even profitable.

If you prefer to open an offshore bank account in Labuan instead, you can just read more here.

Finally, when it comes time to close the account, make sure all transactions have cleared beforehand to avoid any problems down the road.

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