Transferring Money to the UK? Here’s a Cheaper Way


transfer money to the UK

The slow recovery of global oil prices, uncertain political stances and a gloomy economic outlook are some of the major reasons causing the Ringgit to continue to weaken against the major currencies. It has many parents concerned over the amount of money needed to support their children’s education overseas, including the U.K.

As of June this year, there are about 16,215 students from Malaysia studying in the U.K compared with 7,893 students in the United States and 14,378 students in Australia. According to Fortune.com, it appears that non-EU international students at UCL (University College London) pay £16,000 per year for most arts and humanities programs and £21,000 for degrees in science.

That is about RM89,000 and RM117,000 respectively given the latest exchange rate of RM5.57 to 1 British Pound (as of 19 December 2016). On top of that, living expenses in the U.K, including food, rent, and transportation can amount to £10,000 per annum, and that’s living on a budget.

In no particular order, here are the cheapest ways to transfer (remit) money to your friends & family in the U.K.

1. Western Union

western union transfer money to the UK

The most common brand that comes to our mind for remittance, Western Union allows you to transfer money to the UK in three ways: cash-to-cash, bank transfer, and mobile transfer.

Each alternative comes with different processing fees with cash-to-cash the most expensive yet fastest way, while the other two may take a longer time (about one week) but have cheaper processing fees at about 10% or less. (Note: processing fees may vary across different agents/locations)

You can look for an agent nearest to your location including RHB Bank, Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), POS Malaysia, Bank Rakyat, Bank Islam, Kuwait Finance House, Public Bank, Bank Muamalat, AmBank & Hong Leong Bank. If you hold an account with any of these banks, you can log-in online and transfer money via the Wester Union without even leaving your home.

Pros: Easy to find agents and has established networks over 200 countries.
Cons: Processing fees are not disclosed and it can be difficult to get the best rates.

2. TransferWise

transferwise transfer money to the UK

An easy-to-use app that allows you to transfer money to European countries, to the US, and most countries in Asia. Transfer Wise works like PayPal and is available on both website and mobile. You can transfer, track and receive money based on real exchange rates. Transfer Wise charges a 7% processing fee from the total amount of money transferred.

By making sure all your personal details are correct and verified, you can complete the whole transfer process within four days. You can find out more about better rates for different transactions on different currencies here.

Pros: Easy-to-use with just smartphone or tablet.
Cons: You need to have an international bank account or local bank account in the foreign country to withdraw the funds.

3. PayPal

PayPal: transfer money to the UK

Being the leader in the digital payment industry, PayPal not only allows you to shop online but is also a platform for money transfer. Instead of the conventional money transfer models, people who transfer money will be recognised as a buyer while the receiver will be recognised as a seller.

You will be charged a fixed fee of 4.4% on the currency (RM1 for sterling pound) for the transfer. The only catch is you or the receiver needs to have a foreign bank account in the U.K. to be able to withdraw the funds from PayPal.

On top of that, a new user needs to complete three transactions to be able to get their funds before PayPal will verify them as a legit user (and not a fraudulent case). During the initial process, the receiver needs to wait at least 21 days before they can actually receive the fund and withdraw the money for their use.

Pros: Easy-to-use with just smartphone or tablet and you can shop at quite a number of international e-commerce sites such as Amazon and e-Bay.
Cons: You need to have an international bank account or local bank account in the foreign country to withdraw the funds.

4. MoneyGram

moneyshop: transfer money to the UK

The only platform that provides same-day transfer and works just like the Western Union, where you have to look for the nearest agent to help you with the transfer and comes with a 5% processing fee.

Complete these five simple steps to transfer money via MoneyGram:

  1. Estimate the amount of money you want to transfer
  2. Find a MoneyGram location near you
  3. Visit your local MoneyGram agent^
  4. Complete a simple money transfer form
  5. Contact the person receiving your money transfer and inform them the money is on the way

Pros: Affordable and provides the same-day transfer.
Cons: Limited countries available for money transfer.

5. Maybank2U Visa Direct

Maybank Visa Direct transfer money to the UK

This platform is only available for Maybank current and saving account users to transfer money to all Visa credit, debit and prepaid card users overseas.  Available 24/7, you can use Maybank2U (online banking) to send money to the U.K. with a maximum of RM7,500 daily.

You will be charged a fixed fee of RM10 for each transfer, but the receiver can expect to receive the funds in not more than 2 days. You can apply for a Visa credit card and enjoy the same perks too! If you have more questions about this feature, check out this page!

Pros: Cheapest fee across five platforms and easy-to-use.
Cons: Only available for Maybank users.

Our verdict: After comparison of these five platforms to transfer money to U.K, Maybank2U Visa Direct provides the most competitive pricing and services.

Nonetheless, other providers may continue to improve their services thus it is important to keep track of your options and make the best decision!

  • 3X Timeless Bonus Points for Overseas spend
  • 2X Timeless Bonus Points for Grocery, Petrol & Utility spend & 1X for Other spend
  • Cash advance withdrawal up to 100% of your credit limit
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