HomeMoney TransfersRia Money Transfer Review

Ria Money Transfer Review

Last updated 28th Nov 2022
Disclosure

The third-biggest money transfer provider in the world, Ria has been around for longer than most of its competitors. While it may have lost some of its competitive edge with the newcomers, it's still relevant with its grand network and reliable services. This Ria Money Transfer review discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the provider:

About Ria Money Transfer

With a local presence in over 160 countries and 507,000 locations, Ria is found in every habitable continent. It is indisputably a global leader in money transfers and has been shrinking the distance between families since 1987.

What started as a single storefront in New York City blossomed into a full-blown global empire over the years The company also continued to grow through many financial turmoils over the years. The company has expanded its network almost seven-fold after the Euronet acquisition — and while the brick-and-mortar stores are its bread and butter, its online services have also been growing to meet changing customer requirements.

Ria is truly unmatched in its combination of accessibility, reliability, and affordability — while it is possible to find lower-cost providers, it's rare to find such harmony.

Ria Money Transfer Review at a glance

💳 Pay-in OptionsBank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card, Cash🏧 Pay-out OptionsBank Deposit, Cash Pick-up, Mobile Wallet Deposit💶 Min. Transfer AmountUSD 1💷 Max. Transfer AmountUSD 2,999💱 Currencies Supported60👥 Number of Customers1 million+🔐 Trustpilot Score3.3/5📝 Number of Reviews5,997🌍 Available in149💬 Languages SupportedEnglish, Spanish, French📍 HeadquartersBuena Park, California, United States📃 Established1987🌏 OfficesUnited States, Mexico, Spain, Philippines, France, Australia, El Salvador, Senegal, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Belgium, Norway, Malaysia👥 Number of Employees4000+📈 Private/PublicPrivate🏆 Award(s)Best Social Insertion Project for Employment in the Financial Sector by Premios Empresa Social (2018)👮 RegulatorsFCA, OFAC

How Ria Money Transfer Works

Ria is a money transfer company and most of its operations run transfers through their own bank accounts.

When someone deposits a transfer in country A, they actually deposit it to Ria’s local bank account. Ria then deposits or withdraws the money to be collected by the recipient from their bank account in country B; the destination, in their own local currency.

Top Ria Money Transfer Features

Ria’s online services are not as sophisticated as some of its competitors, but its offering is suitable for basic money transfers.

Bill Payments and Mobile Top-Ups

Users can set up specialized payments to pay their bills abroad, or accept payments abroad. They can also top up the airtime of their loved ones in far-off countries.

Mobile Wallet

The mobile wallet feature is limited to certain countries in Africa like Nigeria, the Middle East, and Latin America — but it makes the cheapest and quickest transfer method.

Ria money transfer is a very popular money transfer provider for people who are sending money to Colombia.

What we Like and Dislike About Ria Money Transfer

Why Should You Use Ria Money TransferWhy Shouldn't You Use Ria Money Transfer ?An extensive network of locations — Ria has agent locations around the globe.Low transfer limits — The limits are as low as USD 3,000, way below industry standards.Quick — For some payment methods, the delivery times can be as fast as 15 minutes.Limited online services — Only users from the US, UK, Canada, and Australia can transfer funds online.Accessible — If you opt for a cash transfer, neither parties need to have a bank account.Not very affordable — Ria’s fees and exchange rates don’t stack up well in comparison with other providers.Excellent customer service — Ria’s customer service, both in stores and online/over the phone, is highly praised.Specialized services — Ria offers services for specific use cases, such as bill payment or mobile top-up.

Ria is among the go-to choices for cash transfers — if you or your recipient doesn’t hold a bank account or if you simply want to avoid using it, Ria has thousands of convenient locations where you can make the transfer in person.

The company is not the right choice for moving large sums, however. Besides being practically impossible to send anything above USD 3,000, the percentage markup hovers between 1.4% to 4.5%, which is easily beaten by services like OFX or Wise.

What Do Users Have to Say About Ria Money Transfer?

Ria has a relatively low rating of 3.3 on Trustpilot with less than flattering feedback on other sites, but it has very few reviews compared to other online providers. This may be caused by people using the physical locations more than they use the online services and positive feedback also suggests this trend. Many praise the customer service they receive at stores and the convenience/speed of the transfers.

The most common negative feedback is delayed transfers and arbitrary security flagging. Many complain about not being able to track their late transfers and being banned from using the service over innocent transfer requests. A number of delays were actually caused by security flagging, and the users state that the communication on issues as such has been poor.

What Are Ria Money Transfer Exchange Rates, Fees & Costs

Despite offering more affordable services than banks, Ria fails to beat other online money transfer services in terms of fees, exchange rates, and transparency.

Exchange Rate MarkupBetween 1.5% and 2.5%Transfer FeesVariesThird-party FeesVaries

Exchange Rate Markup

Exchange rate markup refers to the profit margin providers add to the inter-bank rate, also known as the mid-market rate or the “real” exchange rate. While bank margins hover between 3% and 7%, they tend to be as small as 0.4% with online money transfer providers.

With margins varying around 1.5% to 2.5%, depending on the currencies involved, Ria’s exchange rates are quite poor compared to industry standards. The real exchange rate and margin are not differentiated by the calculator.

Transfer Fees

Ria’s fee structure is not very straightforward and highly variable depending on the amount, currency pairs, and payment methods. The costliest payment method is a credit card, with fees that can be USD 6 for a USD 100 transfer, while debit, bank, and cash payments have respective fees of USD 5, USD 1, and USD 4 for the same destination.

The rate also tends to go down as the transfer amount increases. For example, the fee of USD 6 for a payment of USD 100 accounts for 6% of the total transfer amount. The same destination and payment method ask for USD 32 for a USD 1000 transfer, which accounts for 3.2% of the total amount. Unfortunately, there isn’t a reference chart to understand the cutoff points.

With Ria Money Transfer, you can send money to Venezuela with 0% fees on the first transfer from $3.

Additional Costs

As is the case with many other providers, Ria is also helpless against third-party fees which banks or other intermediaries deduct from payments. The fee amounts will depend on the payment method and may be charged to either the sender or the recipient.

Ria Money Transfer Fee Transparency

As noted previously, the company doesn’t explicitly display its fee structure, except for disclosing the factors affecting the cost. There isn’t a disclosure about the exchange rate difference either, other than simply stating rates found on search engines that don’t necessarily reflect their pricing.

Users can calculate the fees for their transfer by using their in-built calculator before setting up an account to understand their rates and costs better.

Top Currencies and Destinations for Sending Money with Ria Money Transfer

Ria has an extensive reach of more than 160 countries, with physical pick-up locations in 103 of them. Their online services are limited to the US, UK, Australia, and Canada; but the pay-out countries are more extensive. As noted on the website, the pricing varies by country. The top destinations to send money to include the following:

What Types of Transfers Can You Make with Ria Money Transfer?

Ria offers cash and bank transfer and mobile wallet services for selected countries.

  • Bank Transfer: With this method, the funds are directly deposited into the recipient’s bank account. It's usually one of the cheaper options Ria offers, but depending on the destination, it may take up to three working days.

  • Cash Pickup: Senders can cash in their payment, and recipients can collect cash from specified locations. Ria has a vast network of agent locations, and it's usually one of the cheaper and faster methods, regardless of the payout method of choice.

  • Mobile Wallet: People can send money directly to mobile wallets in selected countries. Ria partners with local wallet providers in those countries.

What are Ria Money Transfer’s Payment and Withdrawal Options?

Ria Money Transfer Deposit OptionsRia Money Transfer Withdrawal OptionsCredit CardBank TransferDebit CardCash PickupBank DepositMobile WalletCash

How Long Will it Take to Receive Money Using Ria Money Transfer?

The transfer times depend largely on the payment, delivery methods, and currencies involved. Payments made via credit/debit cards and cash are usually the quickest options. As long as the transfer is not flagged by the security team, transfers can take as little as 15 minutes — which is much faster than bank transfer times.

Bank transfers are usually the cheapest options as far as Ria’s transfer fees go, but they tend to take between 3-5 days.

Is Ria Money Transfer Safe to Use?

Ria Money Transfer is regulated by the FCA and other local regulatory bodies — which means they are contractually obliged to safeguard clients’ monies by separating business accounts and client accounts. As per the privacy regulations, they don’t store your debit/credit card information on their services.

Besides lawful regulations, they make use of a sophisticated security system to monitor log-in attempts and transactions and maintain dedicated security experts. Ria is an established institution that has been transferring funds across borders since the late 1980s, offering a kind of legacy that is comparable to that of banks.

Ria Money Transfer Support Options

Ria has several points of contact for customers’ questions and issues, as well as agents in their locations globally. While there are some complaints about waiting times over the phone and email, customers describe customer representatives at stores as being helpful and kind.

Contact Number0800 085 5955Support Emailsupport@riamoneytransfer.comLive Chat SupportNoSupport LanguagesEnglish, French, SpanishSupport OptionsPhone, email, help center

How to Get Started with Ria Money Transfer to Send and Receive Money

Users can send money using Ria via the website, mobile app, or by visiting an agent location in-person. If you prefer the latter, the customer representative will walk you through the process.

How to Send Money with Ria Money Transfer?

Ria asks for general personal information to set up your account, including an email address and phone number, but they may ask you to verify your identity depending on your country.

Step 1: Set up an account
Step 2: Enter your transfer details
Step 3: Complete and track your transfer

How to Receive Money Using Ria Money Transfer?

There are two ways of receiving money through Ria;

  • Bank Transfer: The money arrives directly in the recipient’s bank account.

  • Cash Pickup: The recipient should visit the specified local agent branch to collect their funds. They will need a government-issued photo ID and the PIN number provided to the sender.

Remember, the best way to send money can differ based on the needs of the sender and receiver.

Does Ria Money Transfer Have a Mobile App?

Ria has a highly-cherished mobile app available on the Apple Store and Google Play with respective ratings of 4.9/5 and 4.3/5. The app is as capable as the website as users can set up an account, check exchange rates, and transfer their funds abroad as they wish.

If you would like to try to send money using a mobile app, we created the following guide on the best apps to send money internationally.

Ria Money Transfer Alternatives

  • WorldRemit: Also supports cash-only transfers with various local locations, though not as many as Ria. However, they do provide better exchange rates and lower costs.

  • OFX: Offers a fuller range of transfer types, as opposed to Ria’s limited options. Users can explore options like spot contracts, limit orders, or forward contracts to make the most out of their transfer.

  • TorFX: Is the best choice for your large transfers — an area that Ria doesn’t cover. You can get personalized customer service as per the requirements of your transfer while getting competitive rates that will protect your principal sum.

FAQs

Is Ria Money Transfer the cheapest way to send money abroad?
How much can you send using Ria Money Transfer?
Can you cancel the transfer with Ria Money Transfer and get your money back?
How do I track my Ria Money Transfer transfer?
Idil Woodall

Idil Woodall

Idil is a writer with interests ranging from arts and politics to history and finance. She spent several years in publishing before becoming a full-time writer, and learning the inner workings of an industry she loved ignited her interest in economics. As an English graduate, she cultivated valuable research and storytelling abilities that she now applies to make complex matters accessible and understandable to many. When she’s not writing, she can be found climbing or watching a movie.