You are advised to open a bank account as soon as you arrive in Kuching. A Student Services Unit officer will assist you. Please note that you will need to present your passport and Offer Letter as proof of identification.
The major commercial banks in Malaysia are CIMB Bank, Maybank, RHB Bank and Alliance Bank. Branches of several foreign banks such as HSBC, OCBC and Al Rajhi can also be found in Kuching.
Banking hours are generally 9.15 am to 4.00 pm Monday to Friday. These hours vary from bank to bank and some banks are even open on Saturday mornings. Telephone enquiries are generally taken from 8.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday while Internet banking is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Some banks have student account packages, so make sure you ask. Your bank will let you know what services they provide and how to use your ATM card and PIN.
Malaysia currency uses the decimal system (100 cents = $1.00).
Notes are in denominations of $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.
Coins come in denominations of 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, and 50 cents.
Receiving Money from Overseas
The following information is provided as a guide. Please check clearance times and fees with your own bank.
Telegraphic Transfer (TT)
Money sent by TT can take around five working days to be deposited into your Kuching bank account. Your Kuching bank may charge you a fee, which will be paid out of the transferred funds. You may also be charged a currency conversion fee.
Bank Draft or Bank Cheque
When you deposit an overseas bank draft into your account, it can take up to 30 days to clear. You may also be charged a currency conversion fee.
Other ways to transfer money
There are organisations other than banks where you can send or receive money. For example, many major Post Offices as well as commercial banks are agents for Western Union Money Transfer Services.