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Ria Money Transfer Review

How does Ria Money Transfer works? Is their service reliable? Can you trust Ria with your money? How good are their fees and exchange rates?

    Our independent review of Ria

    Last updated January 24, 2019
    Written by Laurent Oberholzer

    Ria is one of the largest money transfer providers in the world. They provide comprehensive currency exchange services through a large network of dedicated shops and affiliate agents around the globe.

    Ria has a local presence in over 140 countries throughout Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, Africa and Oceania. In addition to providing local money transfer and currency exchange services at brick-and-mortar locations, they also provide a dedicated online platform. Customers in the U.S., UK, Spain and Australia can use Ria’s online services to send money internationally. Ria also provides a dedicated mobile application for both Apple and Android devices.

    One of the biggest advantages of Ria is the size of their network. Their services are available in over 140 countries around the world, including areas that are harder to reach. They offer services in over 350,000 locations through a combination of their own stores, affiliates and local agents. Money transfers are fast too, often being available for collection the same day the money is sent if you’re paying by cash or card. Funding a transfer via a bank account does take longer, up to four working days.

    Unlike many other currency providers, users can easily send smaller amounts with Ria. In fact, their online platform only allows a maximum of $2,999 to be sent with each transaction although you can increase this amount by providing further identification at a Ria agent location. The maximum amount you can send over 30 days is limited to $7,999.

    Although Ria exchange rates are not as competitive as other dedicated money transfer providers, they do offer a convenient, simple and fast service. This is especially true if the beneficiary wants to pick up their money locally. We recommend them if you want to send smaller amounts quickly and conveniently, especially if you or the beneficiary would benefit from depositing or withdrawing cash through a local agent.

    Ria do incentivize people to sign up and refer their friends. From time to time, they may offer Amazon gift cards or similar rewards when you make your first transfer or someone you’ve referred starts using Ria’s services.

    Ria provides plenty of options for you to fund your transfer. In addition to paying for your currency exchange with a bank account, credit card, debit card or at an agent location, you can now setup your money transfer online and pay with cash at a local 7-Eleven convenience store.

    Recently, Ria has opened up a new cash payout network in India and introduced a money transfer service through Asda grocery stores in the UK.

    Ria

    What we like about Ria

    • A local presence in more than 140 countries and over 350,000 locations.

    • Easy to send and receive money via local agents.

    • No minimum on the amount you can send.

    • Serves many locations not covered by other money transfer providers.

    What we dislike about Ria

    • You can only send a maximum of $2,999 in one transaction, or $7,999 over thirty days.

    • Exchange rates are not as good as through other providers, and are typically 1.5% to 2.5% worse than mid-market rates.

    • Rates for sending money do vary between the online platform and when sending via a local agent.

    • Fees for paying for a transfer via credit card or in cash can be expensive.

    Alternatives to Ria

    Compare Ria's exchange rates and fees

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    Ria Fees & Exchange Rates

    Ria fees

    Ria’s fees vary depending on several different factors, specifically:

    • The amount of money you are exchanging or transferring.
    • The way you fund your transfer.
    • The country you are sending the transfer to.

    While the actual cost increases based on the amount of money you choose to send, the equivalent “price per dollar” decreases as you send more.

    Here are some examples of Ria fees.

    These are all sending from the U.S., in dollars, to other currencies.

    • $500 from a U.S. bank account for cash pickup in Australia — $5.
    • $300 from a U.S. debit card for bank deposit in the Philippines — $3.
    • $800 from a U.S. credit card for cash pickup in Kenya — $35.
    • $400 from a U.S. debit card for bank deposit in Vietnam — $8.
    • $600 from a U.S. credit card for cash pickup in Romania — $30.

    Generally speaking, transfers using a bank account or debit card are much cheaper than using a credit card. Bear in mind too that if you fund a transfer with a credit card, your card provider may charge a cash advance fee.

    Certain banks may charge to receive money into accounts, so it’s worth checking with the receiving bank to understand any likely fees.

    Ria exchange rates

    Ria’s exchange rates are generally between 1.5% and 2.5% worse than the mid-market, interbank rates — the standard measure for exchange rate currency pairs. That means for every $1,000 you are transferring, you are paying between $15 and $25 more due to the difference between the “best” exchange rate and what Ria charges, in addition to Ria’s fees.

    Here’s how that might look in practice.

    Transferring $2,000 to GBP

    • Interbank rate of 1,532 GBP.
    • Ria rate of 1,494 GBP.
    • Difference of Ria vs. “Best” exchange rate: $50 or 2.5% of what you’re sending.
    • Additional fee charged by Ria of $5.

    Transferring $1,000 to Euros

    • Interbank rate of 866 Euros
    • Ria rate of 884 Euros
    • Difference of Ria vs. “Best” exchange rate: $20 or 2% of what you’re sending.
    • Additional fee charged by Ria of $5.

    Transferring $2,500 to Philippine Pesos

    • Interbank rate of 132,025 Philippine Pesos
    • Ria rate of 129,237 Philippine Pesos
    • Difference of Ria vs. “Best” exchange rate: $53 or 2% of what you’re sending.
    • No additional transfer fee charged by Ria.

    Please note that all comparisons on exchange rates were made in early 2019, comparing the standard, interbank rate against quotes provided by Ria’s online calculator. Amounts have been rounded.

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    Ease of Use

    Ease of Use 5/10

    Poor

    An average number of Monito users going to Ria end up making a transfer with them

    1.5/3

    Ria's homepage is relatively easy to navigate

    1.3/2

    Signing up with Ria is more complicated than it should be

    0.5/2

    Setting up your transfer is relatively straightforward

    0.8/2

    It's easy to sign up and make a transfer both on mobile and desktop

    1/1

    The points above are added to calculate the "Ease of Use" score of Ria, who scores 5 points on a maximum of 10 points.

    While the overall look and feel of Ria's website is relatively clean and modern, in comparison with other online money transfer providers, Ria isn't as easy and straightforward to use.

    Their online service is available in a limited number of countries (U.S., UK, Spain and Australia) and the sign-up form is a bit long (it contains three "security questions."

    Credibility & Security

    Credibility & Security 7.5/10

    Good

    Ria is fully licensed and authorized

    2/2

    Ria has a good number of positive customer reviews

    1/2

    A very large number of customers already trust Ria

    2/2

    Ria employs a very large number of employees

    1/1

    Ria has already transferred at least 5 billion USD for their customers

    1/1

    Many articles from recognized newspapers mention Ria

    0.5/1

    Ria isn't part of Monito's network of trusted partners

    0/1

    Ria is a long-established company

    0.5/0.5

    The points above are added to calculate the "Credibility & Security" score of Ria, who scores 7.5 points on a maximum of 10 points.

    Ria is owned by Euronet Worldwide who provide electronic payment services to businesses in the U.S. and around the world. Euronet Worldwide is an extremely successful company, with revenue of nearly $2 billion in 2016, assets of over $2.5 billion and profits of over $170 million. This gives Ria an extremely strong financial foundation and means they have the capability to provide fast and reliable money transfer around the world.

    Euronet also owns Xe.com, one of the most trusted providers of exchange rate information and HiFX, a dedicated online currency exchange service. This experience means Ria is extremely well-placed as a money transfer provider. We have no hesitations in recommending Ria as a trustworthy provider for your money transfer needs.

    Ria uses the following measures to protect your money, transactions, information and identity:

    • Sophisticated security and modelling to identify suspicious login attempts, transactions and other issues.
    • Industrial-strength online and offline security to protect data and information.
    • A team of security experts who review suspicious transactions.
    • They do not store your debit or credit card information on their servers.

    Ria’s platform uses sophisticated security to protect your financial information and payment data. Ria complies with all government and other official regulations regarding data security, financial management and international currency transfers.

    Ria have successfully transacted billions of dollars of international transfers and have made over a billion transfers for millions of customers over the last 30 years, and their network is growing consistently. They are a “Better Business Bureau” accredited business with a rating of A+.

    So, is Ria safe? Yes — they are a reliable, secure way to send money overseas and have all the necessary security and regulations in place to protect your money and personal information.

    Service & Coverage

    Service & Coverage 7.4/10

    Good

    Ria allows you to send money from a limited number of countries

    0/2

    Ria allows you to send money to a lot of different countries

    2/2

    Ria is available in a few different languages

    0.4/1

    It is possible to pay for your transfer by local bank transfer

    0.5/0.5

    It is possible to pay for your transfer by credit/debit card

    0.5/0.5

    Ria offers additional pay-in options

    0.5/0.5

    It is possible to send the money to your recipient's bank account

    0.5/0.5

    The money can be delivered to a cash pick-up location

    0.5/0.5

    The money can be sent to a mobile phone (airtime top-up or mobile wallet)

    0.5/0.5

    Ria has a bill payment service

    0.5/0.5

    Ria doesn't offer additional banking features

    0/0.5

    Ria doesn’t offer a multi-currency debit card

    0/0.5

    Ria offers guaranteed exchange rates

    1/0.5

    It is not possible to set up repeating transfers / standing orders

    0/0.5

    There is no minimum amount (or very low)

    0.5/0.5

    There is a maximum amount

    0/0.5

    The points above are added to calculate the "Service & Coverage" score of Ria, who scores 7.4 points on a maximum of 10 points.

    Ria Financial Services provides several financial products in addition to money transfers:

    • Electronic bill payment.
    • Mobile top ups for cellphones.
    • Prepaid debit cards.
    • Check cashing services.
    • Money orders.

    Ria offers a specialized cash pickup service for American Express Serve and Bluebird customers from its network of Walmart stores locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

    Customer satisfaction

    Customer satisfaction 7/10

    Good

    Ria has a very high percentage of excellent customer reviews

    3.5/5

    Ria has a very low percentage of negative customer reviews

    2/2.5

    Ria has a good number of positive customer reviews

    1.5/2.5

    The points above are added to calculate the "Customer satisfaction" score of Ria, who scores 7 points on a maximum of 10 points.

    Ria has over 2,400 reviews on Trustpilot, scoring four out of five stars and a TrustScore of 8.3 out of 10. Although comments from users were largely positive, there were some other, more mixed reviews.

    Positive

    • Ria makes transfers very quickly.
    • The online money transfer service is convenient.
    • Customer service staff are polite, knowledgeable and reliable.
    • The service is safe and secure.
    • Ria are active on Trustpilot and respond to reviews.

    Negative

    • It takes too long to find a transfer from a bank account.
    • People get locked out of their accounts.
    • Providing the necessary information can be complicated.

    Customer support

    Customer support 8/10

    Great

    The FAQ and help center of Ria are easy to understand

    2/2

    Ria doesn't has any live chat

    0/2

    Ria offers email support (even to noncustomers)

    2/2

    Ria offers phone support (even to noncustomers)

    2/2

    It's very easy to get in contact with Ria

    1/1

    The FAQ and help center are translated in all languages

    1/1

    Monito cannot contact Ria on behalf of our users

    0/1

    The points above are added to calculate the "Customer support" score of Ria, who scores 8 points on a maximum of 10 points.

    Ria's FAQ is clear and it's really easy to find information about how to contact them. We just wish they would have a live chat to help their customers in real-time.

    Transparency

    Transparency 3.5/10

    Bad

    The exchange rate margin makes up most of the total cost of your transfer

    0.5/3

    It's quite straightforward to understand the fees of Ria

    1/2

    Ria’s exchange rate margin is not properly disclosed

    0/2

    A real-time quote can be obtained without registering

    1/1

    Ria applies the same fees and exchange rates to all customers

    1/1

    It's very difficult for Monito to access the pricing information of Ria

    0/1

    The points above are added to calculate the "Transparency" score of Ria, who scores 3.5 points on a maximum of 10 points.

    Based on our analysis, we found that the biggest portion of the cost of a transfer with Ria is hidden in the margin they take on the exchange rate. While they always display the exchange rate they will apply to your transfer, they don't make it clear that they are taking a margin on the mid-market rate.

    • Ria mobile app

      Ria offers a mobile application to Android and Apple users, allowing you to make currency transfers on the go. Ria lists the following features for the application:

      • Convenient with no need to carry around cash or mail checks to send money to loved ones.
      • Easy to use and designed with comfort and convenience in mind.
      • Fast, as users can send money quickly and securely within minutes and the beneficiary can receive the money in as few as 15 minutes.
      • Secure as Ria use the payment card industry (PCI) standard and extended Validation SSL Certificates.

      Unfortunately, the app has not been well-received by users, only scoring 2.8 out of 5 stars on Android and 2.4 out of five stars on Apple.Users said that the app was error-prone, demanded multiple logins and that it was difficult to provide the necessary information.

    How Ria works

    Ria’s money transfer process works as follows:

    • Setup an account with Ria — they will need your name, address, contact details, bank details and proof of identification.
    • Decide the currencies that you want to exchange money between.
    • Book a rate through the Ria website or by contacting a local service agent who can transfer your money. They are available in over 350,000 locations worldwide.
    • Provide details of the sender and beneficiary of the funds.
    • Fund your transaction with a bank transfer, credit card, debit card or cash (with a local agent).
    • Specify how the beneficiary is going to collect the funds, either via bank deposit or by picking up the money at a local receiving location. Some locations also provide home delivery.
    • Ria converts the money and makes it available to the beneficiary.

    If you want to fund your Ria transfers via your bank account you will need to validate the account using a “microdeposits” service the first time you choose this option — this can take a few days.

    Note that funding a transfer from your bank account can take up to four working days. If you fund your transfer using a credit card, your credit card company may charge you a cash advance fee.

    Ria will notify you by email throughout the money transfer process and you can also track the transfer online via their website.

    Here’s the information you will need about the person receiving the funds:

    • Your beneficiary’s first and last name as shown on their government-issued ID.
    • Your beneficiary’s address and phone number.
    • A way for your beneficiary to receive money (via cash pickup or bank account deposit).
    • For bank account deposits, your beneficiary’s bank account and routing number.
    • For cash pickups, their local, preferred payout location.
    • For a beneficiary to pick up cash, they just need a government-issued photo ID and the order number for your Ria transfer.

    The story behind Ria

    Ria was founded in 1987 when it opened its first store. Over the last thirty years the company has expanded rapidly to become one of the largest international money transfer providers in the world.

    In 1993 Ria established offices in Spain and was licensed across the United States, Canada and Mexico. In 2000, Ria expanded to France and established headquarters in Paris. In 2001, Ria expanded to Italy and the United Kingdom followed in 2002 by expanding into Germany. 2005 saw Ria open in Australia and in 2006 they expanded to Switzerland, Belgium and Greece.

    Starting in 2010, Ria began working with post offices in many countries to provide money transfer services for customers in hard-to-reach places. They are especially popular in developing countries which are not typically well-served by some other money transfer providers.

    In 2014, Ria started working with one of the largest businesses in the U.S., Walmart. They provide the Walmart-2-Walmart money transfer service, allowing people to easily exchange money between Walmart’s network of over 5,000 grocery stores. Since then they have partnered with Walmart international stores to provide money transfer services to Latin America. The Walmart-2-Walmart service typically charges much lower fees for currency transfer than other local pickup currency exchange solutions.

    Also in 2014, Ria partnered with the Emirate Post Group’s Instant Cash Global Money Transfer business, a large provider throughout the UAE, middle-east region and elsewhere in the world. Instant Cash has partnerships with networks in India and the Philippines, giving Ria more access to those markets too.

    Over the last few years, Ria has entered into a number of new partnerships to expand their agent networks and access to money transfer services including:

    • La Poste du Benin in West Africa, Societe Nationale De Postes in Burkina Faso and La Poste de Côte D’Ivoire. Ria has eight post office partnerships in Africa which account for over 3,000 locations.
    • Union Bank Nigeria for over 300 Union Bank locations across Nigeria.
    • BankIslami Pakistan offering money transfer payout services in Pakistan through the bank’s 317 branches, located across 93 cities.
    • Bank Alfalah in Pakistan.
    • UniCredit Bank in Serbia providing access to currency exchange services in over 70 locations.
    • Germany’s mobilcom-debitel Shop GmbH, one of the largest telecommunication and digital lifestyle providers in Europe.
    • Trust Bank and Islami Bank in Bangladesh.
    • Capital Bank in Ghana.
    • Five new, dedicated stores in Malaysia.
    • Earthport, the leading cross-border payment network for bank deposits.
    • Ecobank Ghana to offer remittance pay-out services across Ghana.
    • New cash payout network in India.
    • Cash pickup service for American Express Serve and Bluebird customers.
    • Asda Money Transfer Powered by Ria in the UK.
    • Funding transfers via PayNearMe and 7-Eleven.

    In 2015, Ria received an award from PYMNTS.com — the “Best Cash Innovation” Gold Award for Walmart-2-Walmart Powered by Ria.


    Contacting Ria

    Worldwide Ria Financial office contact details

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    • Why you can trust Monito's reviews

      Monito's mission is to help you (and thousands of others each day) find the best providers for your money transfers.

      We do that by providing real-time comparison of exchange rates and fees (you can use the form below to make a comparison) and by writting in-depth reviews about money transfer providers.

      We have partnerships with many money transfer providers (Ria included), which help us get access to their exchange rate and fees information (which we always check for accuracy). Those partnerships help us support our activity and offer our service for free.

      We put a lot of efforts to review money transfer providers like Ria in details and based on objective and verifiable criteria. A good example of that is the in-depth User Experience Benchmark Study we conducted in August 2018.


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    Questions you may have

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