Another new Era of e-Commerce in Malaysia, powered by Paypal (in RMs!)

Yesterday marked an exciting day for over ten million internet-using Malaysians all these years deprived of own currency, having been forced to use foreign currencies like US$, Euro or Singaporean Dollar when making online transactions using world's most popular international micro payment systems - Paypal: NOW pay using Ringgit Malaysia (RM) -- for Malaysian users only!

We haven't seen official announcement from Paypal, but here's one of official referral notication email mentioning MYR instead of the usual USD starting yesterday, Oct 17:

---------- Start message ----------
Date: Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 2:35 PM
Subject: PayPal Merchant Referral Bonus
To: "..." <>

Hello ... [(Company #)],

Thank you for referring Jack ... to PayPal. Because Jack ... just signed up for a Premier or Business PayPal account, you are now eligible to receive a Merchant Referral Bonus.

Here's how it works:

As soon as Jack ... has used PayPal to receive a total of 800.00 MYR in payments, you will receive your initial bonus of 5.00 MYR, which will be deposited directly into your PayPal account.

In addition, once you've received your initial bonus, you will receive a residual payout based on the total amount of Jack ...'s PayPal payments for 12 months after Jack ...'s initial PayPal account creation.

PayPal encourages you to assist the new merchant get started with their account so you can get your money faster!



Merchant Referral Bonus Program

With regards to referring others to Paypal, the minimum transaction for referral bonus has been increased slightly from USD200 to RM800 ~ USD237 based on currency exchange of 1USD = RM3.37, BUT the bonus payout has also been increased from a mere 1USD to RM5 ~ US1.50 (a 50% increase!)

Withdraw Cash to Malaysian Banks

If withdrawal to VISA (credit or debit) account announced not too long ago brought joy to Malaysians, the bigger joy for Malaysian Paypal users, along with users in Vietnam, Argentina and Brazil, is that they can soon also withdraw money to bank accounts.

As of today, here's the long list of 24 currencies supported by Paypal, seven of which are of Asian countries, showing PayPal, Inc's interest to enter the fast-growing Asia Market (no Chinese RMB though!):-
  1. Canadian Dollars
  2. Euros
  3. British Pounds
  4. U.S. Dollars
  5. Yen
  6. Australian Dollars
  7. New Zealand Dollars
  8. Swiss Francs
  9. Hong Kong Dollars
  10. Singapore Dollars
  11. Swedish Kroner
  12. Danish Kroner
  13. Polish Zloty
  14. Norwegian Kroner
  15. Hungarian Forints
  16. Czech Koruny
  17. Israeli Shekels
  18. Mexican Pesos
  19. Brazilian Real (only for Brazilian users)
  20. Malaysian Ringgits (only for Malaysian users)
  21. Philippine Pesos
  22. Taiwan New Dollars
  23. Thai Baht
Looking forward to save some cash by possibly avoiding international exchange fees (as much as 2% or more of transfer amount)...

The fees for withdrawal are as follows, where users can save as much $5 / RM20 by withdrawing straight to bank account instead via VISA card:-

The minimum withdrawal amount is RM40 or US$10. However, a check on Sunday, 18 OCT 2009 at the website shows that withdrawal option for banks other than US-based ones is not yet enabled:

Neither does an option to add funds from banks other than US-based ones:

The New Fees (in RM)

The new fixed minimum fee is RM2 which is a bit higher compared to US$0.30, but quite a standard for interbank transfer in Malaysia, via ATM or online banking (maybank2u, cimbclicks etc.)

Merchants that can generate transactions exceeding RM400,000 on a single month can enjoy minimum transaction rate of 2.4% (or 2.9% for international transfer) + RM2 - quite competitive compared to having own merchant account at a local bank.

Bank Negara Malaysia at its Best ;)

By the way, the surge of Paypal use in Malaysia has noticebly attracted attention by Bank Negara Malaysia known for its stringent enforcements to protect local banks and its Ringgit Malaysia currency:

Amendment to the User Agreement and underlying policies

Beginning 14 October 2009, the PayPal User Agreement, Payments policy and buyer protection policy will be modified to include several new currencies as holding currencies and add additional withdrawal countries and the related fees and charges have been modified to include these new currencies. New currencies include: Philipino Peso, Taiwanese Dollar, Thai Baht, Malaysian Ringgit, Argentinean Peso, and Brazilian Reais. Bank account withdrawal countries being added include Vietnam, Malaysia, Argentina, and Brasil. Several of these currencies are restricted currencies and not all PayPal features will be available with regards to a restricted currency and not all customers will have access to restricted currencies.

In addition, for Malaysian resident customers, PayPal has made specific modifications to the User Agreement as required by Bank Negara Malaysia regarding your rights as consumers in Malaysia accessing the PayPal services.

The governing law section of the User Agreement applicable to Malaysian residents has been modified as follows:

“For Malaysian residents who register for the PayPal service with a Malaysian address, this Agreement is governed by and interpreted under the laws of Malaysia as such laws are applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within Malaysia.”

In addition, PayPal is required as a designated payment instrument under Malaysian law to provide the following useful information to Malaysians:

Malaysian customers of PayPal can contact BNMLINK and BNMTELELINK for information, inquiries or redress in the areas of conventional and Islamic banking, insurance and takaful, advisory services for small and medium enterprises, foreign exchange administration and other matters under Bank Negara Malaysia’s jurisdiction.

The contact details for BNMTELELINK are:

Jabatan Komunikasi Korporat
Bank Negara Malaysia
P.O.Box 10922
50929 Kuala Lumpur

Read an opinion about the above at published on 15 OCT 2009.

No Bahasa Melayu, official language of Malaysia

By the way, although Indonesian Rupiah is still not supported by Paypal, Paypal Malaysia offers only two language options - English and Bahasa Indonesia, presumably to cater Indonesian students and workers in Malaysia to send money back to home country or to other countries - we'd definitely look forward from a Bahasa Melayu option soon, my dear Paypal!:

Don't have a Paypal account? Open one today, it's FREE! And join the e-commerce bandwagon....

Author has been an avid fan and user of PayPal since it was first introduced as (founded by a physicist turned philantrophic & green entrepreneur and space-enthusiast Elon Musk) back in 1999, more than ten years ago. He is a proud owner of PayPal Business Debit MasterCard.

For Malaysian technopreneurs, think BIG: If a simple Paypal can finance Musk an electric car manufacturing company and a reusable spacecraft company, how far can your next innovations in technology bring you. Join Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009 today - Register at and unleash your ideas!

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