How to top-up PayPal account in the Malaysia

PayPal is a popular and convenient way to shop online with retailers Malaysia and globally - or to send money quickly to friends and family. However, while PayPal can be cheap or free to use for some transaction types, there are fees you’ll want to consider, which can be particularly high if you’re sending or spending a foreign currency.

In this article, we’ll cover 3 ways to top-up your Malaysian PayPal balance, the pros and cons of PayPal, and some important fees to know about when you use PayPal Malaysia. And as PayPal may not be the best option for international transfers due to the overall costs involved, we’ll also introduce some alternatives to PayPal like WorldRemit and Wise.

Learn more about WorldRemitLearn more about Wise

Key points:

  • Top-up PayPal Malaysia from your linked bank account online or in the PayPal app

  • Bank top-ups may take several days to arrive

  • Have friends or family send you PayPal transfers to add funds to your account

  • PayPal Malaysia top-ups are free as long as no currency conversion is needed

Table of contents:

  • Can you add money to PayPal Malaysia?

  • 3 ways to top-up your PayPal Malaysia account

  • Alternatives to PayPal

  • How much does it cost to top-up PayPal?

  • How long will it take to top up PayPal?

Can you add money to PayPal in Malaysia?

If you have a PayPal account in Malaysia, you’ll be able to top up your PayPal balance using your linked RHB bank account. You can’t top up using a credit or debit card - instead you’ll need to use your normal RHB online banking service to make a payment to PayPal which will be deposited into your PayPal account.

One other option is to have someone send you a PayPal payment directly - we’ll cover how this works, later.

3 ways to top-up your Malaysian PayPal balance

It’s good to know that you don’t actually need to add money to your PayPal account if you don’t want to. You can simply link your preferred bank account or card to your PayPal account and funds will be taken directly from there when you shop online or send payments.

However, if you’d rather hold a PayPal balance, you can also do that. Here are your options to top-up your PayPal Malaysia account:

Option 1: How to add money to PayPal from Bank Account

From Malaysia you’ll need to fund your PayPal top-up from a linked RHB bank account. If you don’t already have a linked bank account it’s pretty easy to set this up:

  1. Log into your PayPal account and go to Wallet

  2. Click Add a card or bank account, then Add a bank account

  3. Enter the RHB account details including sort code

  4. Review your information and click Agree and add

You may need to complete an automatic or manual verification to prove the account you’re linking is actually yours. However, this is usually an easy process - you just follow the prompts to set up the bank account you want to link.

Once your bank account is linked to PayPal: 

  1. Log into your PayPal account and go to Wallet

  2. Click Transfer Money, then Add money to your balance

  3. Select your bank and enter the amount you want to transfer, then click Add.

Option 2: Receiving money from friends and family into your PayPal account

Another option is to have family or friends send you a PayPal payment which could be deposited fairly quickly, depending on how they choose to pay.

All the sender needs is:

  • A PayPal account of their own
  • The email address or phone number which is associated with your PayPal account

They can initiate the transfer by logging into their own PayPal accounts and selecting the options to send a payment. It’s worth noting that the sender may need to pay a fee for this service, which can vary depending on how they choose to pay and the currency they send. 

The sender will also need to double check delivery times and options - paying with a linked card or PayPal balance may mean your money arrives faster, compared to paying with a linked bank account.

Option 3: How to add money through the PayPal App

If you have the PayPal app already this can be an even easier way to add funds to your PayPal account, as long as you already have an RHB bank account linked to PayPal:

  1. Tap the dashboard logo and then Transfer

  2. Select how you want to pay

  3. Enter the amount and tap Add to Your Balance

Advantages and disadvantages of using PayPal in Malaysia

Not sure if PayPal is right for your transaction? Here are a few pros and cons to consider:

Advantages of PayPal MalaysiaDisadvantages of PayPal Malaysia
  • Use PayPal to send and spend

  • Very widely accepted locally and internationally

  • PayPal Honey offers a browser extension to automatically find and apply vouchers when you shop 

  • International transfer fees are conversion fees of 3.5% - 4% of the payment value + 4.99 USD fixed fee.

  • Exchange rates include a variable markup - check the live rate in the PayPal app 

  • Top-up is only available to RHB bank customers

Alternatives to PayPal

PayPal is understandably popular, and offers some great services including many fee free domestic transactions in Malaysia. However, as soon as you’re sending a payment in a foreign currency - or if you’re shopping online in a different currency - extra PayPal fees do creep in. The specific costs you need to know about are:

  • PayPal’s international fee for sending money to friends and family - from 1.99 USD to 4.99 USD

  • PayPal’s exchange rate markup - varies by currency and transaction type

When you transact internationally, the fee you pay and the exchange rate used to convert your money from one currency to another are both important. While transfer fees tend to be reasonably easy to find out, extra costs are also often added into the exchange rate applied, which can be harder to spot - and often far more expensive than the transfer fee itself.

To see the exchange rate you’ll be offered from PayPal you’ll need to use the currency converter tool which is available in the PayPal app or desktop site. Compare the PayPal Malaysia rate to the mid-market rate which you can find with a simple Google search. Often you’ll spot a difference of 3% or more - this is the PayPal exchange rate markup, and it pushes up the cost of your transaction significantly.  

PayPal isn’t your only option for sending or spending money in foreign currencies. Alternative specialist services can work out cheaper - with all the same convenience you’re used to from PayPal. Here are a few to consider:

Service/feeWiseWorldRemitCurrencyFairWestern Union
Account opening feeNo feeNo feeNo feeNo fee
Currencies supported

Send to 70+ countries


Hold 50+ currencies


Receive payments fee free from 30+ countries


Local account details in 10 currencies, including MYR

Send to 80+ countriesSend payments to more than 150 countries

Send payments from Malaysia to almost every country in the world


No option for holding a currency balance

Exchange rate usedMid-market exchange rateExchange rate includes markupExchange rate includes markupExchange rate includes a markup
International transfer feeFrom 0.41%5 MYRDon’t provide transfers in MYRFee varies by payment type 
International transfer optionsSend to bank accounts in 70+ countriesCash pickups, bank transfers, mobile money*Don’t provide transfers in MYRSend to bank accounts and for cash collection in most countries around the world
International transfer speed50%+ of payments are instant, 90% arrive in 24 hours90% of payments are completed the same dayDon’t provide transfers in MYRCash collection payments can be instant, bank deposits may take a day or two
Linked card availableDebit card available to spend in person and online, and make global ATM withdrawalsNot availableNot availableNot available 

*Not all options available on all currency routes

**Information correct as on 26 December 2022

Learn more about WiseLearn more about WorldRemit

PayPal may not be your best bet if you’re sending money overseas from Malaysia. However, which alternative is best for you will depend on the type of payment you want to make, and the destination country. Here are some pointers to help you decide:

  • Wise - may be a great option for fast payments with the mid-market exchange rate. You can make cheap international payments or open a Wise multi-currency account to hold and exchange 50+ currencies in one place. Read our comprehensive Wise Review to learn more. 

  • WorldRemit - send money to more than 80 countries. They offer a variety of money collection options, including cash collection on some currency routes. 

  • CurrencyFair - You cannot send MYR with CurrencyFair. However, you can send money to more than 150 countries with their supported currencies. 

  • Western Union

    • send money to almost every country in the world, and have it collected in cash in just a few minutes, with options to send to bank accounts available too.

Go to WorldRemitGo to Wise

How much does it cost to add money to PayPal?

Depending on how you want to add money to your PayPal account, there may be a charge to pay:

ServicePayPal Malaysia fee
Top up account in MYR from linked RHB bank accountNo fee
Receive payment in MYR from friends or family

No fee for the recipient


If your sender is based outside Malaysia they will pay a fee and an exchange rate markup, which varies depending on the country they are in

Send money in MYRNo fee as long as no currency conversion is required
Send money internationally 

conversion fee of 3.5% - 4% of the payment value + 4.99 USD fixed fee.

How long will it take to add money to PayPal?

If you’re adding money to your PayPal account from a linked bank account, it’ll usually arrive within about 3 working days. Several factors can make a difference to the delivery time:

  • Your own bank’s processes, and when the payment is initiated

  • Whether any currency conversion is needed

  • Value of the transfer

  • Transfers made out of hours, at weekends or during bank holidays will take longer

Conclusion

While you don’t need to top up your PayPal Malaysia account to send and spend, you may choose to add some money so you know you’ve got a balance ready for the next time you want to transact. In Malaysia you can only add money to PayPal via a linked RHB bank account or by having someone send you a payment. There’s no fee to add money in MYR from a Malaysian account, but if someone sends you money they may pay a fee depending on how they fund the transfer and what currency their PayPal account is held in.

If you’re transacting internationally you may be able to cut your overall costs if you choose an alternative provider. Services like Wise offer low transaction fees with the mid-market exchange rate - or an alternative like Western Union or WorldRemit may be a good choice if you’d rather the recipient gets their money in cash.

Learn more about WorldRemitLearn more about Wise

FAQ

How do I instantly top up PayPal?

In Malaysia you can top up PayPal for free from your RHB bank account, but the money may take up to 3 working days to arrive. You may find it faster to link a bank account or card to your PayPal account using the automatic verification process, and send or spend that way instead.

How to top up PayPal without a credit card?

You can top up a PayPal Malaysia account with a linked RHB bank account, or by having someone send you a PayPal payment.

Can I top up my PayPal account at 7-Eleven in Malaysia?

Unfortunately you are not able to top up your PayPal account at 7-Eleven in Malaysia. You can however use your RHB bank account to top up your PayPal account.

Seyma Mektepli
By Seyma Mektepli
Updated 30 December 2022