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Traveling abroad is fun and exciting until you run out of cash and have to pay for your purchases using your credit or debit card with ridiculous fees and rates. Cash is king, but it’s also subject to exchange rates and roller coaster markups, as well as those long lines.
Wouldn’t it be great if there is another option that allows you to shop abroad on vacation or just make cross-border payments and money transfers from Malaysia to another country without going through? the hoops and loops of money orders, bank-to-bank wire transfers, or even cashier’s checks, without wasting money in hidden transaction fees and increased exchange rates?
Today, with the rapid emergence of financial and non-bank institutions, taking your funds abroad with you and making international transfers has just become easier, faster and safer. However, you need to know the best way to go to avoid paying high transaction fees and costs.
What features should you look for?
Here are the main features you should look for when you need to make payments in a foreign currency or send money to another country.
Where to check for hidden charges
This is self-explanatory, however, note that it is not uncommon for money transfer service providers to disguise their fees through their exchange rates. While they may offer low transfer fees or even free transfers, take a close look at exchange rates and you may find that you are paying with the difference between their exchange rate and the actual market rate.
If you send a large amount of money abroad, a difference of a few ringgits can amount to hundreds or even thousands of ringgits. Keep an eye out for these exchange rates, as the actual charges may not be displayed in advance.
How fast should your transfer be
Instant money transfers aren’t necessarily good unless the recipient gets the money right away. Just because a service called “instant transfer” does not mean that the recipient receives the money immediately.
Here are the common transfer times for cross-border payment providers:
- Traditional bank transfers: 3 to 7 working days
- Online payment platforms like Paypal: 3 more days to transfer payments from the Paypal account to the recipient’s bank account
- Money transfer services like Western Union: 1 to 3 business days
The number of “gatekeepers” that the money must pass through will also affect the speed of the transfer. When multiple parties are involved, it slows down the speed of the transfer.
Whether for cross-border payments or overseas transactions, you should look for an international supplier that you can access anywhere in the world. Finding the right supplier can mean a world of difference in your time and money.
So be Wise on your money decisions
Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is an online money transfer service provider launched in 2011 to make international money transfers transparent, affordable and convenient.
here’s how Wise ticks all the boxes for the previously mentioned features.
Source: Wise price calculator
In addition to its low initial costs and guaranteed prices, Wise offers users a simple and transparent online transaction journey – 40% of all international transfers made with Wise are instant.
Wise customers can now enjoy even more advantages for cross-border payments with the new multi-currency account and prepaid card.
Multi-currency account creation
In addition to making cross-border payments, you can convert and hold over 50 currencies for free on their platform, and also create currency-specific accounts with local account details (they support 10 currencies including the MYR).
It comes with an account and routing number that you can use for doing local overseas banking transactions, such as your child’s school fees or rent. Now you can avoid the arduous and expensive task of sending money from Malaysia to another country.
This feature is available at no additional cost!
Multi-currency prepaid card
You don’t have to be a frequent customer of cross-border payments to benefit from this money-saving feature. Open an account at Wise will give you access to their prepaid card, which you can use to pay for in-person and online transactions or cash withdrawals abroad with no overseas transaction fees.
And just like creating a multi-currency account, the Prepaid Card allows you to use the card for currency-specific transactions and payments, which is useful when you’re abroad or shopping online. All you have to do is convert your funds to the currency of your choice via the Wise application.
Forgot to convert currency? Its built-in automatic conversion technology chooses the cheapest possible currency to convert money while using the card. You are now ready to make in-store purchases with your prepaid card!
Find out how Wise you are beautiful
Making cross-border payments or spending money abroad doesn’t have to be difficult if you’re prepared with the right information in hand. How well do you know your fees and exchange rates when it comes to sending or spending money abroad? Let’s find out.
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At the end of the day, it’s not just your money that’s at stake in these little decisions you make, but your financial future as well.
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