Public Bank International Transfer

Before you transfer money abroad with Public Bank Berhad, check out this full guide to Public Bank international transfer fees, transfer times and service options. You may find there are better providers out there to get your money moving for a lower overall cost.

Public Bank Berhad is one of the largest banks in Malaysia - but it’s not necessarily the best choice when you’re sending an international telegraphic transfer. In fact, there are money transfer alternatives that may be cheaper, faster, and easier to use, like Wise or Western Union. More on that coming up later.

Learn more about Wise

Public Bank telegraphic transfer comparison

To set the scene let’s start by looking at how the costs and delivery times of a Public Bank international money transfer  compare with a couple of alternatives. It helps to understand that overseas transfers with a traditional bank like Public Bank Berhad, could mean paying up to 3 different types of fee:

  • Transfer fee - this is an upfront fee which is often the cheapest of all the charges involved

  • Exchange rate markup - a percentage rolled up in the exchange rate 

  • Cable charges and third party fees - the sender will usually pay a cable charge. However, any fees imposed outside of Malaysia, on a Public Bank international payment, are borne by the recipient

Take a look at our cost example - sending a standard online telegraphic transfer of 5,000 MYR to a GBP denominated account, with Public Bank and a few specialist services.

ProviderTotal costTransfer time
Public Bank2 MYR + 30 MYR cable charges + exchange rate markup + any applicable third party charges2 business days
Wise31.11 MYRShould arrive in seconds
Western Union10 MYR + exchange rate markup

0 - 1 business days

Go to Wise

The Public Bank Berhad transfer fee is actually only 2 MYR. However, there are also cable charges to take into consideration - plus the matter of an exchange rate markup which can commonly be in the region of 3%. Public Bank doesn’t release details of the markups used by currency - but to put this into context, in this example payment of 5,000 MYR, a 3% markup would add a charge of 150 MYR, much higher than any other fee imposed. 

It’s also worth noting that Public Bank’s online telegraphic transfer service is only available Monday to Friday, between 9:30am and 3:00pm - not much use if you’re in the office during those hours.

Alternative services like Wise or Western Union can offer a more straightforward 24/7 service which is easier to use, and may offer a better exchange rate and lower overall fees, too.

Public Bank international transfer fees

Here’s a run through of what you’ll pay when you make different types of Public Bank international bank transfers.

Transfer typePublic Bank international telegraphic transferfee 
International telegraphic transfer

To Singapore - 2 MYR + 15 MYR cable charges + exchange rate markup + any applicable third party charges


Elsewhere - 2 MYR + 30 MYR cable charges + exchange rate markup + any applicable third party charges

Receiving an international payment5 MYR

Public Bank exchange rate

You can get the live Public Bank exchange rate online. Make sure you’re looking at the rate that applies to your payment type, as there are different rates offered depending on whether you’re buying foreign currency cash, sending a payment and so on.

Traditional banks tend to use a markup added into the exchange rate offered to retail customers, which can be around 3%. That doesn’t sound too bad but you might be surprised to see just how much a 3% markup mounts up over a few different transfer values:

  • Sending 1,000 MYR - the exchange rate markup adds 30 MYR to the total

  • Sending 5,000 MYR - the exchange rate markup adds 150 MYR to the total

  • Sending 50,000 MYR - the exchange rate markup adds 1,500 MYR to the total

Here’s a reminder of the total costs - including exchange rate markups - from the providers we looked at earlier. This is what you’ll pay with each if you set up your payment online and send 5,000 MYR to a GBP denominated account:

  • Public Bank: 2 MYR + 30 MYR cable charges + exchange rate markup + any applicable third party charges

  • Wise fees: 31.11 MYR

  • Western Union: 10 MYR + exchange rate markup

Public Bank additional fees

Public Bank Berhad notes that in addition to the cable charge you’ll pay as the sender, there may be third party charges deducted from your transfer. If any of these fees occur outside of Malaysia - while the payment is being processed - they’re deducted from the amount being transferred. Effectively this means they’re paid by the beneficiary as they’ll receive less in their home currency as a result.

Fees like these are usually deducted when a bank telegraphic transfer is processed through the SWIFT network. They’re paid to intermediaries involved in the transfer, and in some cases to the recipient’s own bank as well. You won’t usually know in advance how much these costs will be, unfortunately.

How long does a Public Bank international telegraphic transfer take?

Overseas telegraphic transfers with Public Bank Berhad will usually be deposited in about 2 business days. The final delivery time will depend a little on the currencies and countries involved, and the recipient’s own bank processing time.

Here’s how the providers we looked at earlier measure up on delivery times:

  • Public Bank: 2 business days

  • Wise: Payments can be instant -  80% of payments arrive in 24 hours

  • Western Union: 0 - 1 business day

Go to Wise

Pros and cons of transferring money abroad with Public Bank

Pros:

  • Pay online, or visit your local branch if you need support

  • Send to a range of countries and currencies

  • Reliable service with low upfront transfer fee

Cons:

  • Exchange rate markups apply - charges and third party fees can also be high

  • Delivery times are not the fastest available

  • Online payment services only available Monday to Friday, between 9:30am and 3:00pm

How to make an international transfer with Public Bank

The easiest way to send a payment overseas with Public Bank Berhad is to use the online banking system, which is available during core banking hours only. Here’s what to do:

  1. Login to your online banking and select Fund Transfer

  2. Select Foreign Remittance followed by Telegraphic Transfer

  3. Accept the payment terms and conditions

  4. Select the From Account you’re paying from, and the currency

  5. Enter the recipient’s bank details and follow the prompts to add all other detail needed

  6. Click Next and Request PAC Now to complete the security step

  7. Enter the PAC number, tap Confirm, and you’re done

What information do you need to make an international transfer with Public Bank?

Whenever you send a Public Bank Berhad international money transfer you’ll need to enter a full set of recipient information to make sure the payment arrives safely, While the exact details can vary based on where you’re sending your payment to, it’s easy to follow the Public Bank international money transfer process using the on screen prompts. 

Generally, you’ll need to enter the following details:

  • Beneficiary name

  • Beneficiary address

  • Beneficiary bank name and address

  • Beneficiary bank account number

  • Purpose of Transfer 

Transfer limits and available countries

Public Bank Berhad international money transfers cover a broad range of currencies - take a look on the Public Bank Berhad online banking service or visit a branch to check if the currency you need is available.

Payment limits vary based on the third party payment settings within your account. You’ll be able to see these by logging into your online banking service.

Receiving money from abroad with Public Bank

If you expect to get an international payment into your Public Bank Berhad account you’ll need to give the sender your personal information and details, which usually include: 

  • Your full name

  • Your bank account number

  • The Public Bank SWIFT code 

  • Your Public Bank branch address

Public Bank SWIFT code

Giving the person sending you money your bank’s SWIFT code is essential to make sure your payment arrives on time and without any hassle. SWIFT codes are assigned to all banks involved with international transfers, and make it possible to send secure payments all over the world. 

Public Bank uses several different SWIFT codes which can vary based on the transaction type. Make sure you’ve got the right code for your payment type, by logging into your online banking service or talking to the team in your local Public Bank branch.

General Public Bank Swift code: PBBEMYKLXXX

Conclusion

Traditional banks don’t always offer the best service when it comes to international telegraphic transfers. It’s not a core business for them, so processing can be slow or restricted, fees can be high and delivery times can take longer than you’d expect. There are also frustrations embedded into the system - like the limits on the hours in which you can send a Public Bank payment, even online.

For a cheaper, faster payment you can set up 24/7 online or in-app, check out online specialists like Wise and Western Union. These providers are usually easy to get started with, and offer relatively fast delivery times, often with overall fees which are lower than regular banks can offer.

Go to Wise

FAQ

How much does a Public Bank telegraphic transfer cost?

Sending an online Public Bank Berhad transfer to anywhere other than Singapore costs 2 MYR + 30 MYR cable charges + exchange rate markup + any applicable third party charges. To Singapore, cable charges are cheaper at 15 MYR.

How long does a Public Bank international money transfer take?

International telegraphic transfers with Public Bank Berhad take about 2 business days to arrive.

How to transfer money internationally with Public Bank?

Make an international money transfer with Public Bank online or by visiting a branch near you. Online services are offered in core banking hours, Monday to Friday, only.

By Seyma Mektepli
Updated 26 August 2022