A Malaysian's guide to paying in ringgit

Wanna know more about the currency of Malaysia? Here are some important facts and tips for you to handle ringgit while travelling.

A Malaysian's guide to paying in ringgit

Important facts about ringgit:

⭐ Ringgit is the currency of Malaysia.

⭐The full term of ringgit is Ringgit Malaysia.

⭐ The code of the currency is MYR.

⭐The symbol for ringgit is RM.

In the Malay language, the full name of the currency is Ringgit Malaysia. So, when you are shopping, you will probably see Ringgit Malaysia written as RM. If a product is priced at 8 ringgit, it is written as RM8. See an example below.

The numbers after the decimal point are cents. When you see the price, you can read it as:

RM79.50 : Seventy-nine ringgit fifty cents

In Malay, you can read the price as:

RM79.50: Tujuh puluh sembilan ringgit lima puluh sen

The bills of Ringgit Malaysia look like this:

While coins used in Malaysia look like this:

Are you about to travel in Malaysia? As a Malaysian, I think you should know these tips:

  1. When you are travelling to Malaysia and want to shop around, you should prepare some cash to pay small businesses like hawker stalls selling ABC, or roadside trucks selling putu mayam. I usually prepare at least 50 ringgit cash in my purse just in case a shop only takes cash. But if you are looking to purchase souvenirs for people at home, do bring more than that because souvenirs at tourist destinations are quite expensive.
  2. Nowadays, many shops and small stalls have cashless payment methods by providing QR codes. I use this frequently to buy cheap nasi kukus at a stall 5 minutes away from my house. Just scan the business's QR code using your preferred bank app or e-wallet, and key in the amount you need to pay. I would show the amount to the business owner so they can confirm it's correct and I'm ready to enjoy my food! You can find more info about using QR code payment method here: DuitNow QR
  3. Most brick-and-mortar shops have card readers to let you pay using debit or credit card. Just make sure the settings in your bank account or payment service provider allow for transactions and purchases to be done abroad.
  4. Some states in Malaysia have local slangs for the currency and it replaces the word ringgit. You might hear:
    1. "kupang" in the northern states like Kedah and Pulau Pinang
    2. "riya" or "ya" in Kelantan and Terengganu

Rounding off 5 cents

Since 2008, in Malaysia the total amount of your shopping (at brick-and-mortar shops, not online) will be rounded off to the nearest multiple of 5 cent.

If the total amount is 79.54 ringgit, you have to pay 79.55 ringgit at the counter.

If the total amount is 79.56 ringgit, you have to pay 79.55 ringgit at the counter.

Remember, this rounding off rule applies to the total cost of all your items when you are paying, not each individual item in your trolley or basket. You can also refer to the explanation by the Central Bank of Malaysia.



Authored by Cikgu Ain