Monday, March 04, 2019

Malaysian ATM Withdrawal in Makkah and Madinah

The original title actually says, Message from Boost as that was the early intention in writing this post but as the entry goes on, I began to membebel on ATM withdrawal at Makkah, so I guess that info is much more importang, so I edited the title. Apa pun, saya start juga this post with the boost message. Got this message thru my email from Boost. One of the steps untuk cegah scammer. Maklumlah dunia tanpa sempadan, semua online, so scammer pun semua IT literate juga. 

Scammer dan hacker adalah dua ancaman utama para penggemar online ni. Hacker tak perlu nak bersusah payah pecahkan password kita menggunakan software. Kadang-kadang mereka guna reverse engineering which is menyamar jadi official representative dari apps yang kita guna. Kemudian mereka guna teknik tipu helah sampai lah kita terpedaya nak dedahkan password.

Manusia zaman sekarang too lazy to pick up the phone and talk to someone or even write an email. Mereka dah dalam serba serbi mudah. Ada connection internet and they will text someone. Even customer service. So bila account apps mereka dah di compromise, tindakan yang diambil untuk repair the damage adalah lambat. Takes them some time to make a call (which receive a faster response sometimes), or even make it to the customer service building to lodge a report (if you happened to stay nearby la). 

For me, I've been using various kind of apps. Boost is the latest one. But honestly, I just installed and register my username. Guna belum lagi. Yang saya kerap guna adalah apps bayar resit parking and sometimes my internet banking apps. Mostly I still prefer using my MBA for internet banking unless its really important where time is so gold. So la sangat.

Remember last month when I was at Saudi, asyik hilang je ahli keluarga di Masjidil Haram. Masing-masing takde line phone. Kalau ada pun segan nak guna sebab roaming auto ni seminit Rm 5. Guna when its really necessary. Both my mom and dad pula tak on handphone. SMS send is RM 1 per sms. I know this because I also brought my Maxis and Digi prepaid along while my wife's using her Celcom prepaid. Luckily balance checking using shortcode tak kena tolak duit.

So in the end, I bought the Celcom 7 day roaming passport through the Celcom Apps. Dapat 6GB internet and unlimited call and sms to/from Malaysia and to/from Saudi. Whether its Saudi sim or Malaysia sim does not matter, its unlimited. The roaming partner is Mobily, Zain and STC. Itu sahaja Telco yang available di Saudi. Tapi harga pun agak hefty juga, RM 138 for 7 days. But my mutawif gelak sebab saya on that roaming passport a day before going to Madinah. Masa kritikal awal-awal di Makkah, tak on pula. Rate and offerings do change from time to time so check this link out for the latest offering. Kalau link tak work, just go to the Celcom website and find the roaming section or check it out at the Celcom Apps.

Managed to call my bank's customer service at number 03-xxxxxxxx dan bercakap dengan customer service dalam 10 minit juga including waiting for them to pickup my call. Ingat lagi my first intro was, Hi, I am Nizam and I am calling from Makkah right now. So kelam kabut la that guy at the end of the line to entertain me because it was an international call. The reason was, I tried to withdraw money using my ATM Card but it failed. The ATM machine at Safwa Tower gave me this notice, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR BANK. So I contact my bank..hahaha.

Rupanya bila that guy checked, my card had already been activated for overseas withdrawal. He suggested that maybe I tried to withdraw my money during the daily maintenance period at 0001hrs-0100 hrs. Maybe jugak la sebab at Makkah masa tu belum midnight. Minus 5 hours behind. The guy told me jugak yang based on the system, my ATM card had been activated. Yeah, I activated thru the internet banking a week before going to Saudi. I even changed to a new ATM card so my ATM chip will be a new clean one.

But one thing I forgot is sepatutnya I call the customer service a day before departing to Jeddah just to make sure. In the end, rupanya ATM di escalator Safwa Tower tu problem, bila turun bawah guna ATM di ground floor, senang je keluar. And mind you, the rate is good bila guna ATM withdrawal compare to moneychanger di Malaysia and Saudi. Dua-dua moneychanger saya dah guna. Cuma bila kenangkan withdrawal charges Rm 12, maybe plus minus almost the same lah. Cuma rasa safe sebab tak perlu bawa cash banyak sangat.

Time guna ATM dapat la seketul Saudi Riyal (SR) 500. Pening juga nak pecah semata-mata nak beli Shawarma SR 10. So that was my experience using my local bank's ATM machine. Another thing is my bank immediately sms me the amount of withdrawal in RM right after I finished my withdrawal at Makkah and Madinah. At that time I had bought my Celcom Roaming Passport 7 day. 

So that's some info on ATM withdrawal and roaming in Saudi.

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