Ria - Independent review

All you need to know before sending money with Ria

The third largest money transfer company in the world. Used by millions of people internationally and available in over 300,000 locations. Easy to send, collect, and withdraw money through local agents in over 140 countries.

 


Ria review by Monito

Ria is the third-largest money transfer service in the world, after Western Union and Moneygram. They provide comprehensive money transfer 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, and Africa. In addition to providing local money transfer and currency exchange services they also have a dedicated online platform where users can send money overseas from the U.S.

One of the biggest advantages of Ria is the size of their network. Their services are available in over 140 countries around the world, and over 300,000 locations. They also serve areas that are typically harder to reach. Money transfers are fast too, often being available for collection the same day the money is sent.

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 recipient 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 recipient would benefit from depositing or withdrawing cash through a local agent.


PROS
  • A local presence in more than 140 countries and over 300,000 locations.
  • Easy to send and receive money via local agents.
  • Fast, simple, and easy to use.
  • No minimum on the amount you can send.
  • Fund transfers via bank account, credit card, debit card, or cash.
  • Serves many locations not covered by other money transfer providers.
CONS
  • 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% below mid-market rates.
  • Fees for paying for a transfer via credit card can be expensive.
  • You can receive funds in over 140 countries, but sending funds is more limited.

 

We looked at over 150 reviews of Ria on Trustpilot and found that reviewers gave Ria a positive score of 7.8 out of 10. Although comments from users were generally positive, there were some other, more mixed reviews.

The positive comments were mainly around the speed and convenience of Ria transfers — many users particularly praised how quickly money was sent with comments like, “Easy to send money . Reliable and fast service. Customer service staff are polite and knowledgeable.” and “Better than other money transfers...Ria is still the best choice.” Other users praised how secure the service was and the good exchange rates compared to some other services.

The main complaints were also about speed, specifically that it takes a long time to fund a transfer from a bank account, Ria do explain that transfers from bank accounts can take up to four to five days on their website, but some reviewers seem to have missed that. They say things like, “The whole point of using an online service is to save time--not to create a time consuming event. Why does it need to take 3-4 business days for the money to get to its destination?” Other issues included people getting locked out of their accounts or Ria needing more information to process transfers.

It’s notable that Ria are very active on Trustpilot and responded to reviews, offered to fix any issues and providing explanations if users encountered problems.

Overall, 64% of users rated Ria at five stars while 16% rated them at one star. 80% of users rated them at three stars or better.



Can I trust Ria?

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 ownes 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:

  • Identity verification to check that senders and recipients are who they say they are.
  • 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 money-back guarantee if there are issues with your transfer.
  • A team of security experts who review suspicious transactions.
  • They do not store your debit or credit card information on their servers.
  • They have advanced fraud protection techniques.

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 also adheres to national and international rules, regulations, and standards for the receiving, paying out, and transfer of money. Ria's policies and procedures comply with the laws of the United States and those of the countries where they operate. It also complies with the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) and adheres to all European Union and United Nations sanctions.

Ria have successfully transacted billions of dollars of international transfers for millions of customers over the last 25 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.




How Ria works

Ria’s money transfer process works as follows:
    1. Setup an account with Ria — they will need your name, address, contact details, bank details, and proof of identification.
    2. Decide the currencies that you want to exchange money between.
    3. Book a rate through the Ria website or by contacting a local service agent who can transfer your money. They are available in over 300,000 locations worldwide.
    4. Provide details of the sender and receiver of the funds.
    5. Fund your transaction with a bank transfer, credit card, debit card, or cash (with a local agent).
    6. Specify how the recipient 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 courier delivery.
    7. Ria converts the money and makes it available to the recipient.

If you want to fund your Ria transfers via your bank account you will need to validate the account using a “microdeposits” service — this typically takes two to three days. Note that 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 funds recipient:
  • Your recipient’s first and last name as shown on their government-issued ID.
  • Your recipient’s address and phone number.
  • A way for your recipient to receive money (via cash pickup or bank account deposit).
  • For bank account deposits, your recipient’s bank account and routing number.
  • For cash pickups, their local, preferred payout location.

For a recipient to pick up cash, they just need a government-issued photo ID and the order number for your Ria transfer.


 

Ria Exchange Rate & Fees

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 — $2.
  • $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 form a U.S. credit card for cash pickup in Romania — $30..

Generally speaking, transfers using a U.S. bank account or debit card are much cheaper than using a U.S. 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 rate

Ria’s exchange rates are generally between 1.5% and 2.5% below 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.

Western Union sometimes offers better exchange rates if you send larger amounts of money, so it’s worth considering if this is possible, in which case you might be better off bundling a few of your transfers into a single one if you can.

Here’s how that might look in practice.

Transferring $2,000 to GBP

  • Interbank rate of 1614.60 GBP.
  • Ria rate of 1,573.80 GBP.
  • Difference of Ria vs. “Best” exchange rate: $40.80 or 2.5% of what you’re sending.
  • Additional fee charged by Ria of $5.

Transferring $1,000 to Euros

  • Interbank rate of 930.40 Euros
  • Ria rate of 915.20 Euros
  • Difference of Ria vs. “Best” exchange rate: 15.20 Euros or 1.6% of what you’re sending.
  • Additional fee charged by Ria of $5.

Transferring $2,500 to Philippine Pesos

  • Interbank rate of 125,487.50 Philippine Peso
  • Ria rate of 122,578.50 Philippine Peso
  • Difference of Ria vs. “Best” exchange rate: 2,909 pesos or 2.3% of what you’re sending.
  • No additional transfer fee charged by Ria.

Please note that all comparisons on exchange rates were made in mid March 2017, comparing the standard, interbank rate against quotes provided by Ria’s online calculator.


Speed of Ria Transfers

If you fund a transfer with cash, debit, or credit card, the funds can be available to the recipient the same or the next day, depending on certain factors. Funding a currency transfer with a bank account can mean it takes up to four or five working days for the money to reach the recipient.

Additional Services from Ria

Ria provides a number of financial services 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 services for American Express Serve and Bluebird customers from its network of Walmart stores locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

At the moment, Ria does not provide a dedicated mobile application on any platform.


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 the third-largest international money transfer provider 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 couple of 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.

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

Ria’s locations continue to expand rapidly, growing over 25% year on year, the fastest growing of all international currency transfer providers.


Contacting Ria

  • Call their U.S. customer service team at 1-877-443-1399 (toll-free in the U.S.).
  • Access the Ria locations finder online or by calling 1-800-500-3994 (toll-free in the U.S) or 1-562-345-2119.
  • Email Ria at CustomerService@RiaMoneyTransfer.com. They will respond to your request within the same day as long as your email is sent between the hours of 5 a.m. and 4 p.m. PST.
  • For online orders or website support call (877) 443-1399
  • For Walmart order support call 1-855-355-2144
  • For Ria agent support call 1-844-278-1904
  • Ria’s address — 6565 Knott Ave. Buena Park, CA 90620

Worldwide Ria Offices Contact Details

  • Austria and Luxembourg — 0-800-265-000-00
  • Australia — (+61) 1-800-701-488
  • Belgium — 0-800-99-325
  • Chile — 600-586-7777
  • Denmark, Finland, and Norway — 00-800-265-00000
  • England — 0-800-183-0940
  • France — 0-800-777-858


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Key facts about Ria

Service information

Time to open an account A few hours
Pay-in options Credit card
Debit card
Bank Account
Pay-out options Cash
Bank account
Cash home delivery
Minimum amount No
Maximum amount Yes
Available languages
English
Español
Personnal transfers Yes
Business customers No
Advanced currency contracts No
Required documents ID, Proof of Address

Company information

Type of service provider Global money transfer operators
Active since 1987
Headquarter Buena Park (CA)
Regulated by DFS (NY)

Contact information

Contact support CustomerService@RiaMoneyTransfer.com
Service hour Business Hours
Phone (877) 443-1399
Twitter @RiaFinancial
Facebook RiaFinancialServices