Wise: RM70 million lost in overseas student transfer fees

KUALA LUMPUR, 1 Aug 2023:

Malaysian students studying overseas overpay approximately RM69.9 million in total transfer fees every year, according to a study conducted by global payment firm Wise.

In a release, country manager Lim Paik Wan said the study found Malaysian students studying in Singapore lost the most in transfer fees.

As more Malaysian students set their sights on furthering their education overseas, she noted the amount of money they will need to spend while studying abroad needs to factor more than tuition fees, other educational costs and living expenses.

She said these are not the only costs as hidden fees in marked-up exchange rates are charged for fund transfers by most traditional providers.

Another advice is not to t rely solely on the traditional credit or debit card from home while living overseas, as conversion rates and foreign transaction fees will rack up quickly over time.

“Students are often advised to set up local bank accounts for this reason, though this can only happen after they’re settled in, as traditional banks require a local address and other documentation.

“Alternatively, consider an option like the Wise account which allows people to get account details in multiple currencies without needing a local address so they can manage their money easily no matter their location. It also comes with a debit card.”

She also advised to not dismiss nor underestimate the benefits of student-only offers and loyalty programmes. “From the coffee shop on campus to grocery stores and cinemas to transit passes, making a habit of checking for any available student deals can net significant savings in the long run.”