BigPay vs Wise Comparison for Malaysia 2023

Claire Millard
Şeyma Mektepli
Last updated
17 May 2023

Do you want to send money overseas, but you’re not sure which provider to use? BigPay and Wise are two popular international money transfer providers that allow you to send money overseas from Malaysia.

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about BigPay and Wise, including their debit cards and accounts.

We will cover:

Wise vs BigPay comparison summary: Wise supports more countries and currencies than BigPay, but both offer fast transfers. BigPay offers several personal finance tools, whereas Wise offers multi currency accounts that support 50+ currencies, including local account details in 10 currencies. Wise uses a mid-market exchange rate, while BigPay has a competitive exchange rate.

BigPay Vs Wise: side by side

ProviderBest features
  • Send domestic and international payments to 12 countries in 13 currencies

  • Spend internationally with BigPay debit card in 150+ currencies

  • Top-up BigPay account using debit or credit cards or via FPX bank transfer

  • Offers personal loans

  • Pay bills at certain providers and track your spending

  • Send international money transfers to 70+ countries

  • Hold and exchange 50+ currencies with Wise multi currency account

  • Spend internationally in 170+ countries with Wise card

  • Get local account details in 10 currencies including MYR with Wise account

  • Uses mid-market exchange rate with no markups and low, transparent fees

To summarise:

  • Wise has more features than BigPay,

  • Wise offers business accounts and features - BigPay does not.

  • Wise supports more currency routes than BigPay.

  • BigPay offers personal loans and budgeting tools - Wise does not.

  • Both BigPay and Wise are fully regulated

  • When choosing a provider, check to see which one offers the features that you need

BigPay ReviewGo to Wise

The important bits: difference between Wise and BigPay

RatesCompetitive exchange rateMid-market exchange rate with no markup
FeesLow fees, varies by destinationLow fees, varies by destination
SpeedCan be instant, may take up to 2-3 working daysMore than %50 are instant, can take up to 2 working days
ServiceIn-app chat and emailIn-app chat, email and by phone
SafetyFully regulated and licensedFully regulated and licensed
Reviews (TrustPilot)No Trustpilot scoreExcellent rating. 4.5 from 180,673 reviews.

*Correct at time of writing, 28 November 2022

  • Rates: Wise uses the mid-market rate, whereas BigPay offers competitive exchange rates.

  • Fees: Both BigPay and Wise have variable fees which are based on the destination country.

  • Speed: BigPay payments can arrive almost instantly, depending on where you send money. More than %50 of Wise money transfers are instantly delivered, %90 of them are delivered in under 24 hours.

  • Service: Wise offers multilingual service in a range of languages, with support via chat, email and phone. BigPay is only in English and customer service online can be reached via email or in-app chat.

  • Safety: Both providers are fully licensed and regulated

BigPay ReviewGo to Wise

Pros and cons

BigPay vs Wise: Pros
BigPay Pros
  • Competitive exchange rate

  • Provides personal loans

  • Offers budgeting tools

  • Pay bills

  • Offers a debit card to spend internationally

Wise Pros
  • Uses mid-market exchange rate for currency conversion

  • Low and transparent fees

  • Send to 70+ countries

  • Hold and manage 50+ currencies in Wise multi-currency account

  • Spend internationally in 170+ countries with Wise card

BigPay vs Wise: Cons
BigPay Cons
  • Can send money to only 12 countries

  • No business accounts

  • No multi-currency account

Wise Cons
  • Online and mobile payments only - no branches

  • No option for cash payments

  • Transfer fees vary by destination country

BigPay ReviewGo to Wise

Difference between BigPay and Wise: The verdict

Both BigPay and Wise offer low fees and near-instant transfers on some currency routes, and both are regulated and licensed. In addition to international money transfers, BigPay also offers services such as personal loans and budget management tools. While Wise doesn’t offer these services, they offer business accounts with several business features that BigPay does not.

Whether BigPay or Wise is the best for you will depend on the specific services and features that you need.

BigPay is for those who want to manage their money and have access to personal loans along with the ability to transfer money overseas.

Wise is for those who travel often and spend internationally. You can hold and exchange 50+ currencies with Wise account, and spend internationally in 170+ countries with Wise debit card.

BigPay ReviewGo to Wise

About BigPay and Wise

BigPay was launched in 2017 with the goal of making financial services accessible to more Malaysians, and by 2021 more than 2 million Malaysians have used BigPay. The company is known for offering financial services like low-cost international transfers, a linked debit card, personal loans and more.

Wise was launched as TransferWise in 2011 as a low-cost international payment provider. Since then more than 12 million people have used Wise to transfer money overseas. They offer personal and business multi-currency accounts to hold and manage currencies, accept payments and spend using a linked Wise debit card. Wise allows you to send payments to 70+ countries.

Wise ReviewWise Account Review
Interested in Wise debit card? Read our full Wise card review.

How do they work?

Sending money with BigPay

To send money with BigPay you will need to download the BigPay mobile app and sign up for an account via the app. Make sure you have your ID handy for verification.

When you’re done setting up your account, you first need to top up your account:

  1. Log into your account

  2. Enter the amount you want to add

  3. Select the source of payment

  4. Enter the payment details

  5. You’re ready to start sending money.

Sending money with Wise

To use Wise you’ll need to create an account, and depending on the type of payment you want to make you might need to provide some ID for verification.

Once your account is up and running make payments online and in the Wise app:

  1. Log into your account

  2. Type in how much you want to transfer, or how much you need the recipient to get

  3. Enter the recipient’s details - bank account number or email

  4. Check that all the details are correct

  5. Fund your payment using a debit or credit card or bank transfer

  6. Confirm and your money will be on its way

BigPay uses a network of intermediaries that include retailers, financial institutions, paying agents and other service providers, while Wise uses a network of local banks and does not rely on intermediaries for international money transfers.

BigPay vs Wise: Fees 

The fees of both BigPay and Wise are structured around a transfer fee and exchange rates. These fees vary depending on the currency route and country.

While BigPay adds a competitive exchange rate with a markup, Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate and adds no exchange markup fees.

Wise is upfront with their fees and you can find out how much you are going to pay on their website or app without having to create an account or log in.

BigPay, on the other hand, is a little more opaque with their fees and they require you to create an account and log in to see what they will charge for a specific transaction.

BigPay ReviewGo to Wise

BigPay vs Wise Conversion Rates

When you spend internationally with your BigPay card your ringgit will be converted to the currency needed using the Visa exchange rate with a 1% conversion fee.

It’s free to spend any currency you hold in your Wise account using your Wise card. If you don’t have the currency you need, the Wise card can automatically convert your balance with the mid-market exchange rate and low variable fees from 0.41%.

BigPay’s 1% fee for currency conversion can be lower than the foreign transaction fee applied by a regular bank, while Wise uses variable fees which are also often lower than bank conversion charges, with no fee to spend any of the 50+ currencies you can hold in your Wise account.

Related: Wise Account Review

BigPay card vs Wise card

BigPay is a popular ewallet which comes with a linked Visa card for payments and withdrawals at home and abroad. Top up your card in MYR, and your funds are converted using the Visa exchange rate with 1% fees when you use a foreign currency. You can also send payments to 30+ countries, earn AirAsia points as you spend, unlock budgeting features, split a bill conveniently with friends, and pay your own bills, right from your phone.

Wise accounts have been built for convenient and flexible international use, and allow you to top up in MYR or around 20 other currencies, hold and exchange 50+ currencies, and spend and withdraw with your linked Wise card in 170+ countries.

It’s free to spend any currency you hold in your Wise account. Not got the currency you need? Wise currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate with low fees from 0.41% - just add money to Wise in the currency of your choice, and the card will automatically convert your funds to the currency you need, when you need it, with the lowest available fee.

Provider cardBest features of card
BigPay debit card
  • Hold MYR, spend internationally with the Visa exchange rate and a 1% conversion fee

  • 6 MYR local ATM fee, 10 MYR international ATM withdrawal fee

  • Earn AirAsia points on card spending

Wise debit card
  • Hold and exchange 50+ currencies, currency conversion from 0.41%

  • Spend and withdraw in 170+ countries

  • 2 free ATM withdrawals, to 1,000 MYR maximum, every month, low fees after that

BigPay ReviewGo to Wise

BigPay vs Wise: which is faster?

The speed of a transfer can be influenced by several factors, like the processing times of the recipient’s bank as well as whether intermediaries are involved in the transaction.

Payments made with BigPay can take between a couple of minutes and 3 business days, depending on the country that the money is sent to.

Wise payments also vary by country and currency and can take up to 2 business days.

Wise vs BigPay Safety: Are they safe?

Both BigPay and Wise are fully licensed and regulated, and use verification methods and smart technology to keep their customers' money safe.

  • Wise is regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysia’s Central Bank, as well as other local regulators around the world.

  • BigPay is regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia as a registered e-money issuer.

Ease of use: Which is more convenient to use in Malaysia?

  • Creating an account: You can create a BigPay account on the BigPay mobile app. Wise allows you to register an account either online or mobile.

  • Making a transfer: To make a transfer with BigPay you first have to top up your BigPay account via a Malaysian bank account or a debit or credit card. Wise lets you transfer money by using a bank account or debit or credit card.

  • Ways to send money: Both BigPay and Wise let you send payments directly to the recipient’s bank account.

  • Languages: Wise offers multi-lingual support, while BigPay offers support in English only.

  • Minimum & maximum amounts: Sending limits can vary by destination country.

Wise vs BigPay: Supported currencies

BigPay supports 13 different currencies for payments to 12 countries.

Wise supports 50+ currencies, and lets you send money internationally to 70+ countries.

Conclusion: Which is better in Malaysia, BigPay or Wise?

Both BigPay and Wise offer low fees and fast international money transfers. With Wise, you can send money to more countries than BigPay and hold different currencies in Wise’s multi-currency account. Both providers are regulated by Malaysia’s central bank.

BigPay offers several tools to manage personal finances, including personal loans. This makes BigPay ideal for those who want to manage their money with the ability to send money overseas with ease.

Wise offers fast and convenient international transfers to 70+ countries. Wise account provides local account details in 10 currencies, including MYR, SGD and USD. You can spend internationally with Wise card in 170+ countries. It’s free to spend from your Wise account, and Wise uses midmarket exchange rate for currency conversion.

Both BigPay and Wise accounts are free to open. You can read our BigPay Review to learn more about BigPay, and visit Wise to learn more about Wise account and debit card.

BigPay ReviewGo to Wise

Wise vs BigPay in Malaysia FAQs

Is BigPay or Wise better in Malaysia?

BigPay and Wise both have pros and cons and stand-out features. Wise offers international transfers to 70+ countries, with Wise card you can spend internationally in 170+ countries, and hold & exchange 50+ currencies in Wise account. BigPay offers international transfers to 12 countries, you can spend internationally with BigPay card in currencies supported by Mastercard or Visa, and they offer budgeting tools. Who you consider to be the better choice depends on the features that are most important to you. Do your research before deciding on the best provider for you.

Is BigPay or Wise faster?

Both Wise and BigPay offer fast transfer times that can range anything from a couple of minutes up to 2 business days for Wise, and 3 business days with BigPay.

How many currencies do BigPay and Wise support? 

BigPay offers international transfers to 12 different countries, and you can spend internationally in currencies supported by Mastercard or Visa. Wise offers international transfers to 70+ countries, Wise account supports more than 50 currencies, and you can spend internationally in 170+ countries with linked Wise debit card.