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multiple currency banknotes representing wise multi-currency account review.

Wise Multi-Currency Account Review 2024 (Malaysia)

This post is on Wise Multi-Currency Account (MCA) review.

This review is based on my experience as a Wise account holder from Malaysia and it covers:

  • features and benefits of Wise Multi-Currency Account
  • Wise account limitations
  • personal tips for using Wise

Since this is a detailed and long review, jump to whichever part you wish to read further.

Table of Contents

[Disclosure: This post contains references to our partners who compensate us. But, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.]

About Wise Multi-Currency Account (MCA)

Wise is a financial technology (fintech) company that specialized in cost-efficient international money transfer and foreign exchange.

The UK-based fintech has a broad global presence including in Malaysia, under the name Wise Payments Sdn. Bhd.

Wise is not a bank but a legitimate, safe money service provider regulated by Bank Negara in Malaysia and other global regulatory bodies around the world.

The company builds and uses its own payment networks instead of a typical global payment network such as SWIFT resulting in a faster and cheaper remittance.

Wise multi-currency account on web-based, Wise app and Wise card.
Wise Multi-Currency Account – Image from Wise

The Wise Multi-Currency Account is a unique account where you can hold and manage multiple currencies in one place.

You can also use Wise to transfer money abroad with minimal fees at real exchange rates from your digital devices such as smartphones. For more details, you may read my other post on Wise money transfer review.

The Wise account also comes with an international debit card where you can swipe at global merchants and virtual cards to improve your online shopping security. I share the pros, cons and other important details of the card in another post, Wise Card Malaysia review.

Wise Multi-Currency Account features and benefits

Through this Wise Multi-Currency Account review, let me share the features and benefits of using the unique account.

1. Hold multiple currencies

As mentioned earlier, Wise Multi-Currency Account allows you to hold multiple currencies in one account.

Currently, Wise Multi-Currency Account for residents in Malaysia can hold up to more than 40 currencies.

List of currencies available on Wise Multi-Currency Account.
Currencies available on Wise Multi-Currency Account

Among those currencies are:

  • Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
  • United State dollar (USD)
  • British Pound (GBP)
  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  • Chinese Yuan (CNY)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • Thai Bath (THB)
  • Philippine Peso (PHP)
  • Vietnamese Dong (VND)

This feature makes it very convenient for anyone who needs to deal with foreign currencies, such as:

  • frequent travellers
  • digital nomads
  • students studying abroad
  • international business personnel

Instead of having to hold different types of paper currencies in your wallet, or using multiple apps for different currencies, you can rely on Wise Multi-Currency Account.

Not forgetting, you also don’t have to waste time and effort to change the currency at money changers.

It is so much easier and hassle-free to have all your needed currencies in one place. No wonder its other name is Wise borderless account.

2. Local bank account details

Other than holding multiple currencies in one place, Wise Multi-Currency Account also allow you to have local bank account details of other currencies.

List of currencies available for local bank account details.
List of currencies available for local bank account details

This feature makes it convenient and cheaper for you to receive foreign payments.

At the moment, Wise Multi-Currency Account offers local bank account details and International Bank Account Numbers (IBANS) for the currencies below:

  • Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
  • United State dollar (USD)
  • British Pound (GBP)
  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  • The Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • Hungarian Forint (HUF)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)

With this feature, you can have a foreign bank account such as SGD or USD account even though you are physically in Malaysia.

Then, you can start receiving SGD or USD payments into your SGD and USD accounts.

Compared to transferring foreign payments to local Malaysian bank accounts, this method helps you save money and you get to enjoy faster transactions as well.

Personally, I signed up for Wise because of the local bank account details feature. This feature allows me to receive my USD advertising earnings at no fees with a speedy transaction.

If you are looking for a low-cost but faster way to receive money from abroad, register for Wise Multi-Currency Account today.

Trust me, you’ll enjoy significant savings on transaction fees.

3. Low fees, fast transactions

Wise is well-known for its low fees transactions.

Compared to the regular bank wire transfer that is mostly sent through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system, Wise builds and uses its payment network.

Thus, When you use Wise Multi-Currency Account to send or receive money from abroad, you get to enjoy cheaper and faster transactions.

4. Real exchange rate

Ever wonder why the exchange rate at your local bank or money changer is different from the one you check online such as XE currency converter?

That is because of mark-up charges.

As for Wise, all Wise currency conversion is using the real exchange rate aka mid-market exchange rate. That is the exchange rate you see on online currency converters, without markup.

Real exchange rate on Wise app.
The real exchange rate on the Wise app

So, when you transact through Wise, you avoid bad exchange rates and get more value for your money.

5. No fees for account management

Among the first few things I checked before signing up for a Wise borderless account are the fees for having and maintaining an account.

I was really happy when I found out Wise offering below:

  • No account opening fees
  • No minimum deposit required
  • No annual fees
  • No minimum balance required

Unlike banks that usually have certain requirements for a minimum deposit or minimum balance to open a multi-currency account, Wise does not require you to fund your account.

As I only receive my USD earnings once a month, I am looking for a financial service that offers no or low account maintenance fee.

So, Wise Multi-Currency Account fits well into my requirement.

6. Easy Wise account management

Other than those features mentioned above, the Wise borderless account is very helpful when managing matters related to your foreign currencies such as:

  • Getting proof of account details to facilitate your payment process
  • Checking the exchange rate through the Wise calculator
  • Setting up direct debits
  • Scheduling a transfer
  • Setting up a recurring transfer
  • Requesting a payment through a link
  • Making a donation
  • Receiving money without bank details – through email, mobile phone number
  • Sending money through the email address
  • Keeping a copy of your recipient details for the future transfer
  • Receiving your salary or pension globally
  • Freezing and unfreezing wise debit cards and wise digital cards
  • Setting Wise cards limits
  • Keeping a record of all your Wise transaction details

Thus, if you are dealing with international transactions, the Wise borderless account shall help you manage your money better, leaving you more time for other things.

7. Transparency

Another Wise feature and benefit that I especially love is the transparency in every transaction.

For example, Wise always mentions or shows fees upfront through its currency calculator:

Fees shown on Wise currency conversion calculator.
Fees are shown clearly on the Wise currency conversion calculator

So, Wise users get the option of whether to proceed or choose other alternatives. This helps to prevent unnecessary expenses.

8. Set up Auto Conversions

If you want, you may set up auto conversions from your Wise Multi-Currency Account.

Wise auto convert feature.
Wise auto convert feature

All you need to do is:

  1. select the currency balance you wish to convert
  2. enter how much you want to covert
  3. enter the currency you wish to convert to
  4. select the Auto Convert option
  5. enter your desired exchange rate

When your desired exchange rate hits, your conversion shall take place. This feature saves you time and you won’t miss the opportunity to enjoy better exchange rates.

9. Track the exchange rate

You may also set up exchange rate alerts through Wise Multi-Currency Account.

Track exchange rate feature.
Setting up exchange rate alerts

You can track the exchange rate via:

  • daily email about the desired exchange rate
  • received a notification when the exchange rate is above your desired exchange rate

Again, you’ll never miss the opportunity to convert and get more from your hard-earned money.

10. Wise Multi-Currency Account for business

As for business purposes, Wise Business is available for residents in Malaysia.

Some of Wise Business’s features are:

  • No limits to how much you can hold in your Wise business account
  • Hold more than 50 currencies in your Wise business account
  • Low conversion fees
  • Free first Wise Card for the account

For more details, do check out Wise for Business in Malaysia.

If you are concerned about safety and security, I have covered this in my Wise Card Review post.

As I continue to use Wise, I shall update any new features or benefits in this Wise Multi-Currency Account review.

Wise Multi-Currency Account limitations

Based on my experience using Wise Multi-Currency Account and from my research, below are some of its drawbacks:

1. Holding limits of MYR 20,000

As a Wise Malaysia user, you must be aware that your Wise account cannot hold more than MYR 20,000 at one time.

If you exceed this amount, you’ll receive a notification from Wise informing you to transfer the excess to your local bank account within 7 days. Else, your account will be restricted and you can’t deposit or receive funds into your Wise account.

To remain within the holding limits of MYR 20,000, it is best to set up an external account through the Wise website. The external bank account must be under your ownership.

If you’ve exceeded the holding limits, Wise shall help you to transfer the excess to the external account.

You can find the details in the Wise help article: holding limits for Malaysian residents.

By the way, the holding limits are not imposed by Wise, instead, it is according to Bank Negara Malaysia Regulation.

2. Limited local bank account details

For residents in Malaysia, currently, the local bank account details are limited to 9 currencies, including the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR). But, the good news is that the most popular currencies for Malaysians are on the list, such as USD, GPD, AUD, SGD and Euro.

Do take note the local account details currency is based on your country. For users in other countries, do check the available currencies on the Wise website.

3. Deposit required to have local bank account details

When I opened my first Wise local bank account details – a USD account details, Wise required me to make a transfer of MYR 101 to my Wise account.

I share the screenshot below.

Require to add MYR 101 to have the Wise local bank account details features.
Transferring MYR 101 to have my USD local bank account details

Something like a proof before I can have the local account details.

During the process, Wise stated clearly that I can use this money later or I can transfer it back to my bank account.

After I’ve made the transfer, I am able to see my USD local account details. And no further transfer or deposit is needed to have other local account details such as GBP or SGD.

4. Fee for withdrawing MYR to local Malaysian bank accounts

Based on my experience using Wise Multi-Currency Account, there’s a small fee of MYR 1.06 for making MYR withdrawals from my MYR local account details to a Malaysian local bank account such as Maybank or Public Bank.

For sharing purposes, my MYR local account is under “JPMorgan Chase Bank Berhad”. The screenshot is below.

Wise MYR account details.
Wise MYR account details

Alternatively, you can choose to access the fund through a Wise card or withdraw from a local Visa-supported ATM.

5. Only received MYR within Malaysia

Another Wise Multi-Currency Account drawback is that you only can receive MYR within Malaysia in your MYR Wallet.

MYR account details only for receiving money within Malaysia.
Wise MYR account details

This means you can’t receive MYR from outside of Malaysia to your Wise MYR wallet.

Alternatively, choose to receive the foreign payments into your other Wise local account details such as USD wallet. Once in your USD wallet, convert to MYR with a minimal fee.

How to open a Wise Multi-Currency Account in Malaysia?

Through this Wise Multi-Currency Account review, let’s learn how to open a free Wise borderless account for personal use in Malaysia:

  1. Download the Wise app or visit the Wise web-based page.
  2. Register with your email, Facebook, Apple or Google ID.
  3. Verify your phone number with a code.
  4. Complete the verification step using your MyKad or Passport.
  5. Your Wise Multi-Currency Account is ready.

Next, you can explore:

Just remember that you will need to store or receive the payments in the same currency.

For example, MYR must be stored in the MYR wallet, USD must be stored in the USD wallet and SGD must be stored in the SGD wallet.

Once in your wallet, you can instantly convert the money to other currencies.

How to have USD account details through Wise Malaysia?

To have USD account details, follow the instructions below:

  1. Tap on Home> Account> Open on the Wise app or Wise web-based.
  2. Choose to open Balance.
  3. Under ‘Currencies with account details‘ choose the United States dollar (USD).
  4. If USD is your first account details, you are required to add money to use this feature. The money is stored in your MYR wallet and you’ll be able to use this money later.
  5. After that, you will be able to see your USD account details

When you share your USD account details to receive USD payment, do take note of the “Inside the US” and “Outside the US“.

Follow the instruction accordingly to ensure successful transactions.

How to receive USD from bank accounts inside the US through Wise in Malaysia?

In this Wise Multi-Currency Account review, let’s discover how to use Wise USD account details to receive USD.

I learned that it is possible to receive USD through Wise via:

  • Wire transfer with a fee of USD 4.14
  • Automated Clearing House (ACH) (usually free through electronic fund transfer (EFT))

Personally, I’ve successfully received USD payments from bank accounts in the US through ACH for free. The USD payment is my advertising earnings from Ezoic.

Let me share the procedure below.

Wise USD account details.
Wise USD account details

So, what I did was entered the ACH details using “Inside the US” account details such as:

  • Currency to received: USD United States dollar
  • Transfer type: ACH
  • Recipient type: Person
  • Full name of the account holder: Full name
  • Account number: Follow your Wise US account details
  • Account type: Checking/Saving following the Wise US account details

Basically, you will need to enter your US account details based on the details on your Wise US local account details.

For your information, I received the payment instantly from Ezoic’s Wise account to my Wise account for free.

Successfully received USD into Wise USD account.
Received USD into Wise USD wallet

As for the wire transfer, I have not used it to receive USD into my Wise account. But you may refer to Wise’s website.

Once I’ve tried the wire transfer myself, I shall update the details on this Wise Multi-Currency Account review.

Personal tips when using Wise Multi-Currency Account

Here is a list of personal tips when using Wise Multi-Currency Account in Malaysia:

1. Utilize Wise cards and free ATM withdrawal

Instead of sending MYR to local Malaysian bank accounts with a small fee, you can save on fees by accessing the money through:

  1. Wise debit card at merchants (locally and abroad)
  2. Wise digital card online
  3. Withdraw the MYR at Visa-Supported ATMs (max MYR 1000 in 2 withdrawals within 30 days)

Of course, if you don’t mind the small fee, you can always choose to transfer back the MYR into your local Malaysian bank accounts.

2. Choose to receive money for free

As mentioned earlier, Wise offers different options to receive money from abroad, such as through wire transfer or ACH.

Unless you urgently need the payment, opt for the free methods such as the ACH option to receive USD payments.

3. Enter your name correctly

During registration, make sure you have entered your name exactly as per your Malaysian NRIC and bank account number.

If you are unsure, you can always contact the Wise customer support team.

4. Easy access with a Wise debit card

Once I started receiving USD payments into my Wise Multi-Currency Account, I immediately order a Wise debit card.

The unique card allows me to have easy access to the fund in my Wise Multi-Currency Account, both locally and abroad.

Final thoughts

With Wise Multi-Currency Account, you can manage multi currencies and international transactions smoothly in a low-cost, fast, easy and transparent way from your smartphone or other digital devices.

You no longer have to worry about costly, slow and hidden charges when you need to transact in another currency. It is a must-have for anyone who needs to deal with foreign currencies.

As it might require some time for account activation, register for a free Wise Multi-Currency Account today so that your Wise borderless account is ready to use when you need it.

Lastly, let me know if you have enquiries either on this Wise Multi-Currency Account review or Wise features. I’ll try my best to help.

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