Retail Payment Systems in Malaysia


Retail payments systems are method used to make small payments by individuals and businesses. The most popular method is via cash. These are the payment systems, other than cash, that ca be use in daily life.

Retail payments in Malaysia can be divided into three categories

1. Types of retail payment systems

2. Types of retail payment instrument

  • Cheques
  • Credit cards
  • Charge cards
  • Debit cards (bank cards)
  • E-money

3. Types of retail payment channels

  • Internet banking
  • Mobile banking
  • Mobile payment

Interbank RENTAS Money Transfer in Malaysia


Real-time Electronic Transfer of Funds and Securities System (RENTAS) is the only large value payment system in Malaysia.

It provides multi-currency real-time gross settlement of interbank fund transfers, multi-currency debt securities settlement, and depository services. Foreign currency custodian services and securities settlements are done via Euroclear link.

Normally, RENTAS is used for

  • Transfer large value of funds between banks.
  • Banks withdraw cash from their deposits (accounts) with Bank Negara Malaysia
  • Adjustments of statutory reserve requirements that the banks must hold with Bank Negara Malaysia
  • Settle money market transactions
  • Settle the ringgit part of large foreign currency transactions
  • Transfer of scripless securities such as Malaysian government debt securities that are issued in electronic form

Currently, RENTAS interbank transfer is only can be done over the counter as participating bank as internet banking does not offer this kind of facility.

When compare with Interbank GIRO transfer, the cost to make a RENTAS transfer is higher. It normally cost in between RM5 to RM14 depending on banks versus RM0.10 to RM2 for GIRO Transfer.

RENTAS Transactions are settled throughout the day, as they occur in real time. Normally, the fund will be sredited to recipient account on the same day.

Although RENTAS is designed for large value payments, there is no minimum limit for payments between member institutions. However, there is a minimum limit of RM10,000 for payments that originate from a non-RENTAS member, but this limit does not apply to payments to or from the government or Bank Negara Malaysia itself.

RENTAS is operated by MyClear (Malaysian Electronic Clearing Corporation Sdn Bhd), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank Negara, the Central Bank of Malaysia.

RENTAS membership is restricted to licensed financial institutions in Malaysia. The members include commercial banks, Islamic banks, Investment banks, Development Financial Institutions and non-bank financial institutions that operate in the money markets or capital market. RENTAS is also used by the government of Malaysia.

FPX Payment (Financial Process Exchange)

FPX Payment (Financial Process Exchange) is a secure online payment gateway system that allows consumers to make real time online payments by using their existing current or savings account. FPX provides consumers with the convenience to purchase at their retail websites and online stores. Consumers are not required to register to make FPX Payment.

The great thing about FPX is it allow to make payment between different participating financial institutions or banks. Currently, the participating banks are Maybank, CIMB Bank, RHB Bank, Public Bank, Hong Leong Bank and Bank Islam.

The only drawback of FPX Payment is, consumer needs to have an Internet banking account with any of the six (6) participating banks mention above. Since FPX is for online payment, there should not a bigger issue as most of the consumers who shopping online, have an online banking account.

To use FPX payment, kindly follow these simple steps,

  1. Ensure pop-up blocker of your browser is disabled.
  2. At the merchant website. Select FPX as a payment option.
  3. Select your preferred bank and you will be directed to the Internet banking log-in page.
  4. Proceed to log-in and complete the payment.
  5. Once the transaction is successful, a separate notifications will be sent from the merchant, bank and FPX System.

FPX service operating hour is from 1:00am to 12:00am daily, seven days a week, 365 days a year. However, FPX service is also dependent on the participating banks’ Internet banking service availability.

The maximum transaction limit for an individual banking account is RM 30,000.00 per transaction and RM 1,000,000.00 per transaction for a corporate banking account. However, the above limit is subject to your Internet banking transaction limit, whichever is lower.

FPX Payment System is managed by MyClear (Malaysian Electronic Clearing Corporation Sdn Bhd), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank Negara, the Central Bank of Malaysia. MyClear provides technical expertise as well as providing interbank switching and routing infrastructure for the banks. They will also manage the clearing and settlement on behalf of the banks for the FPX service.

Interbank GIRO (IBG) Money Transfer in Malaysia

Interbank GIRO (IBG) is an electronic fund transfer payment system which allows transfer of money in between paticipating financial institutions within Malaysia. The IBG system is managed by MyClear, a subsidisary of Bank Negara Malaysia.

IBG fund transfer is secure, convenient and cost effective way to move fund between different banks. IBG Services allow customers to transfer fund between own or third party for the purpose of normal money transfer or payment to loan or credit card accounts.

Individual can perform IBG transaction via ATM machines or internet banking or over the counter. The maximium limit for fund transfer via internet banking is up to RM10,000 per day depending on banks, while over the counter IBG transfer can be as high as RM1,000,000.

The charges for IBG transfer is only RM1.00 for ATM machines transaction, RM0.10 for Internet Banking transactions and RM2.00 for transaction over the counter transaction.

For IBG transfer via ATM machines, the fund will be available instantly.

If the transaction is made via internet banking, the money will be available in the recipient account on the same day if transaction is made before 12.30pm on Monday to Friday. After 12.30pm, the fund will only be credited into recipient account next working day. If the transaction made on Saturday, Sunday or Federal Territory Public Holiday, the fund will be credited on the next working days.

Paticipating banks are Affin Bank, Agrobank, Alliance Bank, Al-Rajhi Bank, AmBank, Bank Islam, Bank of China (soon), Bank Rakyat, Bank Muamalat, Bank of America, Bank Simpanan Nasional, Bank of Tokyo – Mitsubishi UFJ, CIMB Bank, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Hong Leong Bank, HSBC Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), JP Morgan Chase, Kuwait Finance House, Maybank, Mizuho Corporate Bank, OCBC Bank, Public Bank, RHB Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland (soon), Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and United Overseas Bank.

What is SWIFT Code?

SWIFT Code or also commonly known as SWIFT-BIC, BIC code, SWIFT ID or ISO 9362 is a standard format of Business Identifier Codes. These codes are commonly used for transferring money between banks, especially in the international wire transfers or foreign telegraphic transfer.

The SWIFT code consists of 8 or 11 characters in the following format.

AAAA BB CC DDD

  • The first 4 characters (“AAAA”) specify the bank. Only letters are allowed.
  • The next 2 characters (“BB”) specify the country. It use the format of ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code.
  • The next 2 characters (“CC”) specify the location. Letters and digits are allowed. The passive Participants will have “1” in the second character
  • The last 3 characters (“DDD”) specify the branch. This is an optional. A ‘XXX’ refers to the primary office. Letters and digits are allowed.

When 8-digits code is given, it refers to the primary office.

The codes are divided into Live & Passive Codes. The Live Codes are for institutions who are actively connected to the SWIFT network while Passive Codes are used for manual transactions.

The registrations and management of SWIFT Codes are the responsibility Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (“SWIFT”). SWIFT headquarters is located in La Hulpe, Belgium.

The best way to obtain SWIFT Code is to ask your bank directly. However, for quick look-up you may find the code at www.theswiftcodes.com. Prior to using it, it is wise to check with your bank to ensure the money went into the intended account.

How to Send Money by Using Western Union

In Malaysia, Western Union is one of the most commonly use method to send money overseas. The recipient will receive the money within hours or minutes depending on transfer method.

Western Union has many authorized agents throughout Malaysia. The main agents are RHB Bank, Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), POS Malaysia, Bank Rakyat, Bank Islam, Kuwait Finance House, Public Bank, Bank Muamalat, AmBank & Hong Leong Bank. Click here to search for agent locations.

There are 4 ways to transfer money by using Western Union.

1. Send Money directly to Bank Account

This method is currently only available to send money to Indonesia, China, India and Philippines’s bank account only. For the list of the eligible bank, kindly refer here.

Here are the steps to send money directly to a bank account

  1. Visit the nearest Western Union authorized agents and fill out the “SEND MONEY DIRECT TO BANK” form.
  2. Submit the completed form together with the money, transfer fee and identification document. Remember to keep the receipt.
  3. The money will be deposited into the receiver’s bank account within an hour.

2. Send Cash to Receiver

Here are the steps to send cash to receiver.

  1. Visit the nearest Western Union authorized agents and fill out the “SEND MONEY” form.
  2. Submit the completed form together with the money, transfer fee and identification document. Remember to keep the receipt.
  3. Inform your receiver the following information in order to pick the cash
    • The sender’s full name (as written on the Send Money form)
    • The country from where the money was sent
    • The amount that was sent and the currency
    • The Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN)
    • Receiver must bring valid identification
  4. The money will be available to pick by received within minutes.

3. Send Through Online Banking

To send Western Union through online banking, you need to have access to either RHB Bank or Public Bank online banking.

Here are the steps to send money through online banking.

  1. Login to RHB Bank or Public Bank online banking
  2. Fill out Western Union money transfer form.
  3. Inform your receiver the following information in order to pick the cash
    • The sender’s full name (as written on the Send Money form)
    • The country from where the money was sent
    • The amount that was sent and the currency
    • The Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN)
    • Receiver must bring valid identification.

4. Send Money via Mobile

Mobile Money Transfer is only available for Maxis Hotlink customers.

In order to send money via mobile, you need to sign up for M-Money.

  1. Sign-up for M-money via SMS – type REG and send to 27007
  2. Top-up cash into M-money account. The first transaction must be done at Maxis Centre and select retailers.
  3. Subsequent top-up can be done internet banking channels and via cheque or cash deposit machines at participating banks.

Registered M-money user with money available in their M-wallets can use the service immediately via SMS.

Bank Transfer in Malaysia

In Malaysia, bank transfer can be made either by visiting the bank’s branch, through ATM machines or via internet banking. To make bank transfer locally within Malaysia, you will need the recipient name, bank name and account number. This no bank codes needed to make the transfer.

Recipient will receive the fund immediately if the transfer is done within the same bank. For Interbank GIRO (IBG) transfer, the recipient will receive the fund either within 2 working day or immediately depending on interbank transfer method & time. Immediate inter-bank fund transfer sometimes called “Instant Transfer,” where the transfer fee is slightly higher.

For inward international fund transfer to the Malaysia, swift code is also needed on top of recipient name, bank name and account number. Normally, it takes take approximately between 1 to 3 days for the fund to be credited to recipient’s account. Similar to local bank transfer, there is no local bank codes needed.

Although, banks in Malaysia have many branches throughout the country, most of the time, each branch does not have separate SWIFT code. To make inward international fund transfer to the Malaysia, you only need the head office SWIFT Code. The list of banks & its branches throughout Malaysia can be found in Malaysian Directory.

If you make bank transfer to invest in Malaysia, stock market & property investment are 2 of the most popular method.

Bank Transfer in United States

To make local bank transfer in United States, you need to have the recipient name, routing number, bank name and account number. Local bank transfer can be made by visiting the bank’s branch throughout the country or via the most convenient and popular method, internet banking.

Routing number is nine digits numerical codes used to identify an individual branch of a financial institution in United States (US).

Local bank transfer needs between 1 to 3 days to complete depending on the option selected while making the transfer. 1 day transfer requires you pay a higher fee while 2-3 days transfer is either free of have lower charges.

If you are transferring money from outside United States, you also need to have SWIFT Code on top of the recipient name, routing number, bank name and account number. Normally, it takes take approximately between 1 to 3 days for the fund to be credited to recipient’s account.

Bank Transfer in New Zealand

Bank transfer is the most popular method to transfer money locally in New Zealand. The recipient will received the fund transferred instantly if funds are transferred within the same bank.  In the case of money being transferred between a different bank, the recipient will receive the money before the end of next working day.

There is a new initiative to speed up inter bank money transfer planned by Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Payments New Zealand. The initiative aim to make inter bank money transfer completed within a few hours. Faster payments should mean quicker trades, and it is very good to the economy.

In New Zealand, bank transfer can be made either by visiting the bank’s branch, through ATM that is available throughout the country or the most convenience way via internet banking. To make bank transfer locally within New Zealand, you will need the recipient name, bank name and account number. Recipient street address and postcode are not required for local bank transfer.

The first six digit of all bank account numbers in New Zealand is called BSB Number. This number is used to identify the branch where the account is held within New Zealand. It is very important to have correct recipient details and bank account to ensure the recipient received the money as soon as possible.

For inward international fund transfer to the New Zealand, swift code is also needed on top of recipient name, bank name and account number. International fund transfer to New Zealand may take approximately between 1 to 3 days.

Bank Transfer in United Kingdom (UK)

In the United Kingdom (UK), bank transfer is the most commonly used method to transfer money locally. The recipient will received the fund transferred instantly if funds are transferred within the same bank.  In the case of money being transferred between a different bank, the recipient will receive the money before the end of next working day.

Bank transfer can be made either by visiting the bank’s branch, through ATM or via internet banking. To make bank transfer locally within UK, you will need the recipient name, bank name, account number and Sort Code corresponding to the recipient bank. Sort Code is a six digits code identifies both the bank, and the branch where the account is held. It is very important to have a correct Sort Code to ensure the recipient received the money as soon as possible.

For international fund transfer to the UK, swift code is also needed on top of recipient name, bank name, account number and sort code corresponding to the recipient bank. International fund transfer to UK may take approximately between 1 to 3 days.