BigPay vs Wise Comparison for Malaysia 2024

Claire Millard
Şeyma Mektepli
Last updated
28 February 2024

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 debit cards you can use for international spending, in-app options to manage your account and card, and fast international transfers. BigPay has some extras like loans and ways to pay local bills from your phone, whereas Wise offers more international features, like multi currency accounts that support 40+ currencies for holding and exchange, including local account details to get paid in 10 currencies. Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate, while BigPay has a competitive exchange rate.


Which is better in Malaysia, BigPay or Wise?

ProviderBest features
  • Send domestic and international payments to select countries 

  • 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 160+ countries

  • Hold and exchange 40+ currencies with Wise multi currency account

  • Spend internationally in 150+ 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 supports more currencies than BigPay.

  • Both Wise and BigPay cards can be used for international spending.

  • 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

Supported currenciesHold MYR only, spend globallyHold 40+ currencies, spend in 150+ countries
Exchange ratesCompetitive exchange rateMid-market exchange rate with no markup
Card availabilityPhysical and virtual cards available Physical and virtual cards available 
Card fees

20 MYR order fee for physical card

Up to 1% currency conversion fee when spending overseas

13.7 MYR order fee for physical card

Currency conversion from 0.43%

ATM fees

6 MYR local withdrawal fee

10 MYR international withdrawal fee

Up to 2 withdrawals worth 1,000 MYR free/month, 5 MYR + 1.75% after that
Send money to

Indonesia, Singapore, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, The Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, China, UK, EU 

160+ countries 
Transfer speedCan be instant, may take up to 2-3 working daysMore than 50% are instant, 90% arrive in 24 hours
ServiceIn-app chat and emailIn-app chat, email and by phone
SafetyFully regulated and licensedFully regulated and licensed
Reviews (TrustPilot)No Trustpilot score4.3 out of 5 from 206,000+ reviews.

*Correct at time of writing, 29th january 2024

  • Supported currencies: Wise supports 40+ currencies for holding, BigPay supports MYR only

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

  • Card fees: Both BigPay and Wise have an order fee for a physical card. BigPay charges 10 MYR for an international ATM withdrawal, Wise has some fee free ATM withdrawals globally, with fees of 5 MYR + 1.75% after that

  • 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 in Malaysia

  • Transfer 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.

BigPay ReviewGo to Wise

BigPay card vs Wise card comparison

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 cards 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 40+ currencies, and spend and withdraw with your linked Wise card in 150+ countries.

It’s free to spend any currency you hold enough of in your Wise account. Not got the currency you need? Wise currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate with low fees from 0.43% - 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.

BigPay cardWise card
Currency coverageMYR40+ currencies 
Spending internationallyAnywhere Visa is accepted150+ countries
Card fees20 MYR order fee13.7 MYR order fee
Overseas charges1% foreign transaction feeFree to spend a currency you hold - currency conversion from 0.43%
Conversion ratesVisa rateMid-market rate
ATM withdrawals10 MYR international fee, 6 MYR domesticSome free ATM withdrawals every month, then 5 MYR + 1,75%

Pros and cons

Wise vs BigPayProsCons

✅ Uses mid-market exchange rate for currency conversion

✅ Low and transparent fees

✅ Send to 160+ countries

✅ Hold and manage 40+ currencies in Wise multi-currency account

✅ Spend internationally in 150+ countries with Wise card

❌ Online and mobile payments only - no branches

❌ No option for cash payments

❌ Transfer fees vary by destination country


✅ Competitive exchange rate

✅ Provides personal loans

✅ Offers budgeting tools

✅ Pay bills

✅ Offers a debit card to spend internationally

❌ Can send money to only a relatively small number of countries

❌ No business accounts

❌ No multi-currency account

BigPay ReviewGo to Wise

The verdict: BigPay or Wise?

Both BigPay and Wise offer international debit cards, and payments with 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, Wise has multi-currency holding accounts with broad international features, and uses mid-market exchange rates.

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

BigPay is handy to hold money in MYR and manage your account with an app - you can spend globally, with the Visa exchange rate and a 1% fee.

Wise has powerful features for those who travel often and spend internationally. You can hold and exchange 40+ currencies with a Wise accountt, and spend internationally in 150+ 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 16 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 160+ countries.

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

BigPay vs Wise fees for international transfer

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 exchange rates

BigPay exchange rate

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.

Are BigPay currency exchange rates good? BigPay’s 1% fee for currency conversion can be lower than the foreign transaction fee applied by a regular bank

How to check BigPay exchange rate

BigPay uses the Visa exchange rate and adds a 1% fee when you spend with your card. To check the rate that will apply you’ll need to find a Visa exchange rate calculator on a web browser, and add 1%. For international transfers, you’ll see the rate available for your currency in the BigPay app before you confirm the payment.

Wise exchange rate

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 0.43%.

Are Wise currency exchange rates good? Wise uses variable fees which are also often lower than bank conversion charges, with no fee to spend any of the 40+ currencies you can hold enough of in your Wise account.

How to check Wise exchange rate

You’ll be able to see the Wise exchange rate instantly online or in the Wise app. Generally, the Wise rate will be the mid-market rate, which is the one you’ll get using a reputable currency conversion tool.

Related: Wise Account Review

BigPay card vs Wise card: Foreign transaction fees

Foreign transaction fees apply when using your card overseas or for spending in a foreign currency online. These charges can include a fee when you spend with your card in person or online, and fees when you make ATM transactions.

BigPay has a 1% foreign transaction fee when you spend in a foreign currency with your card, online or in person. There’s a 10 MYR international ATM fee when you make a withdrawal.

When you spend with your Wise card overseas, it’s free to spend a currency you hold, and if you don’t have the currency needed the card can complete the conversion with fees from 0.43%, which vary by currency. You can withdraw up to 1,000 MYR in 2 transactions a month fee free with Wise, at home or abroad. After that, there’s a 5 MYR +1.75% fee to pay.

BigPay card vs Wise card: Where can you use them?

Both BigPay and Wise are handy as travel money solutions, for spending abroad and making cash withdrawals at ATMs. Let’s look at how each works.

How to use BigPay card overseas

You can use your BigPay card anywhere you see the Visa logo - on payment terminals, when shopping online or at an ATM. You can also:

  • Top up your BigPay account using your phone

  • Check your account balance in the BigPay app

  • Make cash withdrawals in local currency wherever you are

How to use Wise card overseas

Wise cards are issued on either the Visa or Mastercard networks, both of which are accepted globally in 150+ countries. Overseas you can use your Wise card to:

  • Spend and make withdrawals with the mid-market exchange rate

  • Get instant transaction notifications in the Wise app

  • View your balance, top up, freeze and unfreeze your card - all with just your phone

BigPay card vs Wise card ATM withdrawals

Both BigPay and Wise cards can be used at ATMs in Malaysia and overseas. BigPay has flat fees for all transactions - 6 MYR locally, and 10 MYR overseas. You may also pay a 1% foreign transaction fee when you withdraw overseas.

Wise is a little bit different. You can use your card to withdraw up to 1,000 MYR or the equivalent, in 2 transactions a month free, at home or abroad. After that, there’s a 5 MYR +1.75% fee to pay.

How to apply for BigPay card

To apply for a BigPay account you’ll need to first download the BigPay app which is available on either Apple or Android phones. You can then tap Register to complete the online application, and order your card. There’s a 20 MYR fee if you want a physical BigPay card, which will be sent to your registered address by post.

BigPay Card Review

How to apply for Wise card

You can open a Wise account and apply for a card online or in the Wise app. Just tap Sign up and follow the prompts to create your account. Once your account is set up you can go to the Cards tab to order your card, and to pay the 13.7 MYR one time fee. Your card is then sent to your home address automatically.

Get a Wise card

BigPay card vs Wise card benefits

BigPay card benefitsWise card benefits
  • Spend where Visa is accepted

  • Make ATM withdrawals for a flat fee

  • Visa exchange rates apply, with a 1% fee

  • Use your account to pay bills, budget and access other services

  • Manage your account and card in the app

  • Hold and spend 40+ currencies

  • Spend in 150+ countries

  • Access mid-market exchange rates for currency conversions

  • Some free ATM withdrawals every month

  • Manage your card, freeze and unfreeze it, in the app

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.

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.

BigPay vs Wise: Payment methods

Both BigPay and Wise let you add money to your digital account to then spend with your card. You can also send payments overseas.

BigPay lets you add money from your bank or with a card, and you can send payments to be deposited in bank accounts in select countries.

Wise lets you add money from your bank, using Apple Pay or a similar wallet, or with a card, and you can send payments to be deposited in bank accounts in 160+ countries.

Wise vs BigPay: Supported currencies

BigPay supports 13 different currencies for payments to a selection of 30+ countries, including countries in Asia, the UK, EU and Australia.

Wise supports 40+ currencies, and lets you send money internationally to 160+ countries.

Wise vs BigPay Safety: Are they safe to use?

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.

BigPay vs Wise: Which is faster for money transfers?

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.

BigPay vs Wise: customer service

You can contact both BigPay and Wise using in app chat. Wise recommends this as the best way to get a quick answer to your question - plus you can be referred to a specific customer support team depending on your query, if required.

BigPay also has a couple of other ways to get in touch:

BigPay phone number: 1300-13-3388

BigPay email: [email protected]

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

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 a good fit for those who want to manage their money locally through an app, with the ability to send and spend money overseas with ease.

Wise offers fast and convenient international transfers to 160+ countries. A Wise account provides local account details in 10 currencies, including MYR, SGD and USD. You can spend internationally with a Wise card in 150+ countries. It’s free to spend from your Wise account, and Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate for currency conversion. That makes Wise a great option for anyone who needs to manage their money across currencies, or who sends and spends foreign currencies regularly.

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

Can I use BigPay internationally?

Yes. You can use your BigPay card to spend internationally anywhere that accepts Visa, and you’ll be able to access the BigPay app conveniently from overseas to manage your account and make payments.

Is BigPay or Wise better in Malaysia?

BigPay and Wise both have pros and cons and stand-out features. Wise offers accounts you can use to hold & exchange 40+ currencies, international transfers to 160+ countries, and a Wise card to spend internationally in 150+ countries. BigPay only supports MYR for holding but you can spend globally wherever Visa is accepted. Which is best for you will depend on the features that are most important to 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 a selection of around 30 different countries, and you can spend internationally in currencies supported by Visa. Wise offers international transfers to 160+ countries, the Wise account supports more than 40 currencies, and you can spend internationally in 150+ countries with a linked Wise debit card.