Bank accounts

How to open a bank account in Malaysia

Opening a bank account in Malaysia is a straightforward process. Bank accounts are not only confined to Malaysian residents. Foreigners can freely set up bank accounts in Malaysia if they fulfill certain requirements.

In order to open a bank account in Malaysia, without holding a residency permit, you need reference from either a Malaysian contact or your company. It is usually required to hold a work permit or to be in Malaysia under the MM2H programme to be able to open a bank account. This definitely makes it more easier. Yet, as regulations are not that firmly set, some banks will also accept your application without such visa.

Bring your passport with you and, if applicable, a statement from your employer. It might make things easier if your Malaysian contact has an account at the bank you are applying at.

It is also possible to open foreign currency accounts at most Malaysian merchant and commercial banks.

Applying for a Malaysian credit card

Along with your Malaysian bank account you can also apply for a credit card which will be billed in Malaysian Ringgit. Some banks, however, are very unwilling to issue them to expats. So shop around and try your luck at different banks. To obtain a credit card, you will have to provide documents like your passport and work permit, your payslips and returned income tax payments.

There are numerous banks issuing credit cards in Malaysia, incuding AmBank, CIMB, Alliance Bank, Citibank, HSBC and Maybank.

Further reading

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