Top 5 Revolut alternatives in Malaysia
Revolut is a popular financial app, offering multi currency accounts, debit cards, international transfer services, and ways to budget and save. While Revolut is available across many countries and regions around the world, the service is not yet available in Malaysia.
If you’re looking for smart digital ways to manage your money across currencies, you may be interested in similar companies to Revolut. This guide is for you. We’ll compare 5 companies like Revolut, so you can pick which might best suit your needs.
In our comparison we discovered that:
Wise: offers ways to hold 40+ currencies, send payments to 70+ countries with the mid-market rate, and has debit cards for international spending
BigPay: lets customers send international payments to select countries with low fees, and comes with a smart debit card for local and international spending
WorldRemit: has fast international payment services, with flexible pay out options including cash pick ups in many markets
PayPal: is hugely popular with a large user base, which makes it a convenient way to pay and get paid locally and internationally
OFX: can be a good choice for customers sending international payments who prefer to transact by phone, plus online sellers can access multi-currency account services
Is Revolut available in Malaysia?
Revolut accounts cannot be opened in Malaysia. While Revolut is rolling out services to new countries all the time, at the time of writing you can only open a Revolut account if you have a residential address in their supported countries and regions, which include the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, the UK, and the US.
Does Revolut work in Malaysia?
So, you can’t open a Revolut account if you’re a resident in Malaysia. But what about if you’re not a Malaysian resident and you’re simply travelling there, or looking to send a payment to someone in Malaysia with Revolut?
Revolut services are available in Malaysia for people who have Revolut accounts based in supported countries. So if you already have a Revolut account from elsewhere you can still use your Revolut card to spend and withdraw as normal in Malaysia, and you can also make Revolut international money transfers to Malaysia if you ever need to.
Why you should consider a Revolut alternative
Revolut is a popular financial app, which offers a great range of services for its customers. As we’ve seen, it’s not available yet in Malaysia - so if you’re a Malaysian resident you’ll need an alternative.
That said, even once Revolut launches in Malaysia, it’s worth comparing several similar apps to Revolut, to see which suits you best. We’ll walk through some great Revolut alternatives in this guide - but if you’re looking for multi-currency holding accounts, an app like Wise could be a good fit, as there are no monthly fees to pay, and all currency exchange uses the mid-market rate. On the other hand if you want money transfer services like Revolut, but you need a cash payout option, you may want to investigate WorldRemit which has fast payments to many countries, that can be collected in cash.
We’ll explore all these options and more in just a moment.
Malaysian Ringgit in Revolut
One other important point on using Revolut in Malaysia.
If you already have a Revolut account and card, you can use it to spend in MYR when you’re in Malaysia. However, it’s good to know in advance that holding an MYR balance isn’t possible in Revolut, and you won’t get MYR account details with your Revolut account.
Instead, the Revolut card will simply convert the balance from whichever of their supported currencies you do hold, to MYR at the point of purchase. Depending on the account tier you hold, and how you use your account you may pay a currency conversion or fair usage fee for this.
While Revolut accounts come with some fee free conversion which uses the mid-market rate, some plan types have caps on the amount you can convert before fair usage fees apply. Caps vary depending on the country you’re in, and the account tier you have.
Not all services work like this. With Wise, for example, you can open a MYR balance, and spend from there for free (as long as you hold enough balance to cover the transaction), using your Wise card. You can either top up directly in MYR, or you can add funds in a different currency and convert to MYR with the mid-market rate and low fees - no caps apply to the value of mid-market rate exchange you can get in a month.
If you’re a Malaysian resident, you can also get local account details for MYR to receive payments to Wise by local bank transfer. This has the advantage that you can choose to receive MYR to your account from others, and you can convert funds to MYR in advance if you want to, as you’ll be able to hold a ringgit balance. If you see a good exchange rate, for example, you can switch over to MYR for use in future. More on how Wise can act as a good Revolut alternative, coming up next.
Alternatives to Revolut comparison
Let’s walk through 5 international money transfer providers that compare to Revolut. Not all companies like Revolut offer all the same services that Revolut covers. However, we’ve picked out some good alternatives based on different features, looking at money transfer, multi-currency account holding, debit card availability and exchange rates. You can then use our comparison of services like Revolut to see which best suits your specific needs.
Here’s a quick look at the services we’ve picked out:
|Wise||Multi-currency accounts, international debit cards, mid-market exchange rate and fast or instant transfers - both personal and business services available|
|BigPay||Popular digital travel wallet with international transfers to select markets, a linked international debit card, and budgeting tools built into the app|
|WorldRemit||Good for international payments where you want an instant service and need a selection of pay out methods - cash collection and mobile money payments offered, as well as bank deposits|
|PayPal||Huge user base which means that the chances are your recipient has an account already - handy for sending instant payments to others, although cross currency fees can be high|
|OFX||Fast international payments for bank deposit, 24/7 phone service, and multi-currency accounts for business owners and online sellers, plus currency risk management tools for individuals and businesses|
To sum up:
Wise is a good Revolut alternative because it offers the mid-market rate on all international transfers and 50% of its transfers get to the recipient instantly
BigPay is a good Revolut alternative because you’ll get a widely accepted debit card and budgeting tools you can use from your phone
WorldRemit is a good Revolut alternative because you can send payments online and from your phone, with an excellent range of pay out methods
PayPal is a good Revolut alternative because PayPal transfers are fast and convenient, and many people already have PayPal accounts
OFX is a good Revolut alternative because customers can send payments online and by phone, with competitive exchange rates and fast delivery times
Wise - has many of the same features offered by Revolut, but Wise is available in Malaysia for personal and business customers. It’s also got a few extras compared to Revolut, like ways to receive and hold MYR payments.
Here’s what you can get with Wise in Malaysia:
Multi-currency accounts to hold and exchange 40+ currencies
International debit cards to spend in 170+ countries
Local receiving account details to get paid by local transfer in 9 currencies
Mid-market exchange rates whenever you send or spend a currency you don’t hold in your account
Send payments to 70+ countries
No foreign transaction fees and no monthly maintenance fees
Best Wise features
With Wise you can open a Wise multi-currency account to hold and exchange 40+ currencies - including ringgit - and you’ll get local account details to get paid by others by local transfer to your Wise account, in 9 currencies. If you’re a Malaysian resident you can get local account details for MYR so you can conveniently receive payments to your account.
All Wise currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate with low fees from 0.43%, and there’s no fee to spend any currency you hold in your account using the Wise debit card. Like Revolut, Wise offers accounts which can be opened and managed with just a phone or a laptop for convenience.
|Pros and cons of Wise|
BigPay is a popular mobile money wallet and card, available to Malaysia and Singapore residents. Here’s what you can get with BigPay if you live in Malaysia:
International debit cards for local and overseas spending
Competitive exchange rates when abroad
Overseas transfers to select markets
AirAsia points on card spending
Budgeting tools and analytics to manage your money with your phone
Split bills with friends, pay local bills and pay by QR
Best BigPay features
We’ve included BigPay in our roundup of similar sites to Revolut because of BigPay’s handy payment card, and the budgeting tools and analytics which are similar to those available from Revolut.
BigPay doesn’t let you hold a foreign currency account balance, but uses competitive exchange rates when you spend on your card abroad, or if you want to send international payments. Overseas transfers are available to select markets, with variable fees, and you can also use the app to split bills with others, send local payments, pay bills online and more.
|Pros and cons of BigPay|
WorldRemit is a specialist in international payments arranged online and sent on popular remittance routes globally. Here’s what you can do with WorldRemit:
Send to 130 supported countries (service availability depends on location and destination)
Arrange payment online and in app
Pay for transfers with bank transfer, credit or debit card
Pay out options include bank deposit, mobile money deposit, cash collection and airtime top up
Go to WorldRemit
Best WorldRemit features
If you’re interested in money transfer services like Revolut but you’d prefer a broader selection of pay out options, WorldRemit may suit you. You can send payments online and through the WorldRemit app and pick how you’d like the recipient to get their money from various options based on destination. Pay out services include bank and mobile money deposit, cash collection and airtime top up. Multi currency accounts and cards are not available.
|Pros and cons of WorldRemit|
PayPal is a long established digital payment platform and was one of the pioneers of secure online transactions. It’s got a huge user base, who enjoy services like:
Local and international payments to other PayPal accounts
Secure online shopping with PayPal protection
Ways to continue to earn bank card rewards when paying with PayPal
Receive payments to your PayPal account from others
Personal and business services available
Best PayPal features
PayPal can be a convenient Revolut alternative for local transactions and also offers great ways to shop securely online. It’s a very popular platform which has a huge user base - so sending an instant payment to another PayPal user can be handy. However it’s important to note that PayPal’s international fees can be high. And unlike the other providers we’ve looked at as services similar to Revolut, PayPal transfers are deposited in other PayPal accounts - not a regular bank account. Withdrawals from PayPal to a bank may take extra time or incur fees.
|Pros and cons of PayPal|
OFX is a currency specialist which offers international payments and currency risk management services, plus handy extras for business owners. Here’s what you can get with OFX:
International payments for personal and business customers
Competitive exchange rates
Currency risk management services like forward contracts
24/7 phone, online and in app service
Multi currency accounts for online sellers and businesses
Best OFX features
OFX could be a good Revolut alternative if you’re a business owner looking for a multi currency account, or if you prefer to have access to extra services like 24/7 phone coverage and currency risk management tools. OFX has a reputation for great customer support - making it worth checking out if it covers the services you need.
Currently, OFX doesn’t support transfers from Malaysia, but you can send international transfers from abroad to Malaysia with OFX.
|Pros and cons of OFX|
Wise vs Revolut
Wise offers many similar services compared to Revolut and is available for personal and business purposes in Malaysia. Wise stands out against Revolut also because Wise accounts can hold and exchange a balance in ringgit, and also come with MYR bank details for Malaysian residents.
Learn more about Wise vs Revolut.
BigPay vs Revolut
BigPay overlaps with Revolut in that it offers digital wallet services including budget management and analytics, as well as a debit card. BigPay is available in Malaysia and designed to hold MYR - you’ll also be able to get local bill pay services and split bills with others.
WorldRemit vs Revolut
If you want a money transfer service like Revolut, WorldRemit could help, with payments available online and in app. WorldRemit is available in Malaysia and also has a better selection of pay out options compared to Revolut. Depending on the destination you could pick cash collection or mobile money payments for example.
PayPal vs Revolut
Compared to Revolut, PayPal’s main point of difference is probably its global reach and options for secure online shopping. PayPal is a good pick for local payments and transactions but the PayPal international fees can be pretty high.
OFX vs Revolut
OFX is similar to Revolut in that it offers global payments and some multi currency accounts - although OFX holding accounts are only available to businesses and online sellers. Where OFX stands out is probably in its reputation for great customer support and its 24/7 phone service.
Revolut alternatives conclusion
Although existing Revolut customers can use their Revolut card to pay in MYR, and to send money to others in Malaysia, Malaysian residents can’t open a Revolut account themselves.
If you’re looking for alternatives to Revolut, the best service for you will depend on exactly what you want to do. Other services like Revolut include Wise if you want a holding account and card that can receive, send and spend MYR - or WorldRemit if you’re interested in sending payments with flexible pay out options. You may also consider Revolut alternatives like OFX for business and online seller services, or PayPal for convenient local payments.
FAQs on alternatives to Revolut in Malaysia
If you already have a Revolut account and card already you can send payments to Malaysia and you can use your card to spend in MYR when you travel. However you can’t hold an MYR balance or receive MYR. If you’re a Malaysian resident you can’t open a Revolut account - check out a Revolut alternative like Wise instead.
You can spend and make payments in ringgit with Revolut, but you can’t hold or receive MYR payments in your Revolut account. If you’re a resident of Malaysia you can’t open a Revolut account at all. Alternatives to Revolut include services like Wise and OFX. Wise offers multi currency accounts and debit cards in Malaysia, you can also use Wise and OFX for international transfers.