What is the local currency?
The local currency is the Malaysian ringgit (RM or MYR), which is divided into 100 sen.
What denominations does it come in?
Bank Notes: RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50 and RM100
Coins: 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents and 50 cents
What is the best way to exchange currency?
There are numerous banks in Penang, both local and international. Currency can be exchanged at any of these banks or at licensed foreign money changers. Traveller's checks can only be exchanged for Malaysian ringgit at some authorized money changers, as well as at commercial banks or hotels.
What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Cash is most commonly used, but credit card purchases can be made at most major grocery chains, department stores.
Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
Credit cards are accepted at most department stores, hotels, gas stations, larger restaurants and large supermarkets.
Many businesses offer a discount if you pay with cash. Taxis only take cash, as do the street markets and stalls.
By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
Payment is made directly to the provider/landlord by either cash or check, or at the post office or Internet banking access.
What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
To open a bank account, you must furnish a valid passport and a letter of employment confirmation. It is best to open the account as soon as possible after arrival. Foreign currency accounts are available at major local banks and international banks.
Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
No, only English, Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin are available in most banks and at ATMs.
Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
Some utility accounts (i.e., telephone) require a refundable deposit from a foreign resident in order to establish the service.
What are typical banking hours?
Hours vary from bank to bank, but generally they are as follows:
Monday - Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: CLOSED
Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
Yes, you can find ATM machines throughout the city, as well as at most large supermarkets.
Is there any other money information that might help me?
Things to keep in mind:
Traveller's checks can sometimes be difficult to cash if you're not in an urban center; some currencies are only cashed through the banks.
Malaysia is experiencing a large amount of credit card fraud, so it is wise to limit the use of your credit card and be wary of having the card removed from your sight (i.e., by a restaurant employee, shopkeeper, etc.).
The Touch 'n Go card is a stored-value card that is very useful for toll roads and transport on the light rail system. The card can be purchased at the designated stations located at various toll booths around the city and can also be topped up at these stations or at the ATM machines of certain banks.
The debit card system is not currently used for purchases in Malaysia.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.