Ria Money Transfer review — is it worth it?

TransferWise content team
07.01.19
7 minute read

Ria offers international currency transfers direct to a recipient’s bank account, for collection in cash at an agent location or home delivery in some countries. If you’re planning on transferring money to a friend or family member overseas, you’ll want to do a bit of research to see if Ria is the right international transfer service for your needs.

Make sure you understand the upfront fees that are added for your specific transfer, and also the exchange rate that will be used — more on that later. By comparing the deal from Ria with other providers like TransferWise, you’ll be able to make sure you get the best price out there.

Here’s all you need to know about making international transfers with Ria.

Ria money transfer basics

Ria has been established for over 30 years, and offers international money transfers either direct to a recipient’s bank account, for collection or delivery, all around the world. Working through a network of agents, Ria can arrange money transfers to some 149 different countries, with online transfers available from the US, UK, Spain and Australia.

Strengths and weaknesses

There are lots of different currency transfer services out there. Before you choose whether or not to make your transfer with Ria, you’ll want to compare its pros and cons. Here are a few things to consider.

Strengths Weaknesses
Ria has an impressive global reach, with 350,000 agent locations in 149 countries The cost can get high for some destinations, especially if paying by card
You can also have your payment home delivered to the recipient in Vietnam, the Philippines, Dominican Republic, and Peru There are different rates available online, compared to those at agent locations
Delivery of funds takes only 15 minutes on average if you pay using a credit or debit card In most US states, you’re limited to sending $7,999 per month online. For larger payments you have to visit an agent
You can track your transfer online, and will receive an email when the money has been received Sending money via bank account takes approximately 4 days

How does it work?

To transfer money online, you’ll need to take the following steps:

  • Go to the Ria website, and model the transfer you want to make, to see the fees and delivery options
  • Enter your recipient’s name, address and phone number
  • Decide how to fund and deliver the payment to your recipient
  • Register a new user account to complete the transfer — your details will then be stored so you don’t need to register again.

If you would rather arrange the payment at an agent location instead of online, the agent will walk you through the transfer process.

Ria currency exchange rates and fees

The fees charged by international transfer providers vary widely, so it’s smart to check Rias prices — and compare the costs with others — before you decide which service is best for you. Here’s what you should know about Ria’s fees.

The easiest way to check the Ria fees for your particular transfer, is to go to the Ria website, and use the price calculator available there. You’ll input the amount you want to send, the destination country, how you’ll fund the payment and how you’d like it to be received.

The costs vary depending on all of these factors. For example, for a transfer of $1,000 to Mexico, there’s an upfront fee of $15 to pay using a credit card and have your recipient collect the money in cash at an agent. To fund the same payment by credit card, and have it deposited in your recipient’s bank account will cost $12, while paying for the transaction using a bank transfer will only cost $1 in upfront fees.

As well as looking at the upfront fees, you’ll need to check the exchange rate used for your international payment with Ria. A poor exchange rate can mean your recipient gets far less than you might expect.

The exchange rate Ria uses will vary depending on whether you’re arranging your transfer online or at an agent location. Typically online rates are more favorable — so you’ll want to check the specifics for your transfer.

Once you know the exchange rate Ria will apply to your transfer, you can check if it’s fair by comparing it to the mid-market exchange rate. The mid-market rate is the only real exchange rate, and the one that banks use when they’re selling currency on global markets. However, international transfer services often do not use the real exchange rate when making a payment. Instead, they add a markup and keep the difference as their own profit.

To check if you think the exchange rate is fair, you can find the real mid-market rate by googling your currency pairing, or using an online currency converter.

If you don’t like what you see when you compare Ria’s exchange rate with the real mid-market rate, it’s time to find a new international payment provider. You could save yourself some money and time with safe, cheap international payments through TransferWise. All international transfers are made using the mid-market exchange rate, with just a small and transparent fee to pay. There are no nasty surprises, and because all transfers are arranged online, it’s convenient too.

A multi-currency borderless account from TransferWise is another great option, if you make or receive payments from abroad often. You can keep your money in any of over 40 different currencies all in one account, and switch between them whenever you need to using the real exchange rate. There’s just a small fee to pay when you convert your money. You’ll be able to get a linked debit card to withdraw your money from ATMs as you travel, and spend in stores and restaurants — making it flexible and convenient for anyone who has an international lifestyle.

Ria money transfer locations

You can send money either through an agent or online via Ria if you’re in the US, UK, Spain or Australia. The service is also available via an agent from a range of other countries, including Canada, Chile, New Zealand, France, Germany, Italy and several other European countries.

There is a network of Ria agents across the world, operating in 149 countries, which means you can send money to a very broad range of destinations. The services on offer in each country will vary slightly, so you’ll need to check the detail depending on where your recipient is. Get the full list of Ria agent locations throughout the world, online.

Ria money transfer speed

If you’re sending money using a credit or debit card, it could be available for your recipient in as little as 15 minutes. However, if you’re funding the payment by bank transfer, it’ll take around 4 working days for the money to clear and be delivered.

If your recipient is going to collect their money in cash, or have it couriered to their home, the speed will also depend on the operating hours of the agent or courier company.

Ways to transfer your money

Depending on where you want to send money to — and where in the world you happen to be — you have a few different options when it comes how to send and receive payments with Ria.

Ways to send money with Ria Ways to receive money with Ria
Online payment from the US, UK, Spain or Australia, funded by credit or debit card Visit an agent location near you, in 149 different countries, to receive your payment in local cash
Online payment from the US, UK, Spain or Australia, funded by bank transfer Have the money courier delivered to your home in local cash — limited availability
Online payment funded by cash payment through PayNearMe at participating 7-Eleven locations Receive the payment as a direct deposit into your bank account
Visit an agent location near you to arrange payment

Ria money tracking

You’ll be able to track the progress of your transfer via the Ria website. Click the Track Transfers button on the main home page, and then enter your transfer order number, reference number or PIN.

Ria also sends you emails with updates on the transfer status, so you’ll know when the money is received by your recipient.

Customer experience

Ria has a detailed FAQ section with answers to lots of common questions. You can also email their customer service team, call them, or get in touch via social media if you have a question or complaint. Customer service is available between 5AM – 6PM PST Monday to Friday, and between 6AM – 6PM PST on Saturday and Sunday.

Trustpilot, which collates user reviews, awards Ria a 4 out of 5 star rating — you’ll find lots of customer testimonials and ratings by visiting the Trustpilot website.

Ria is an established international transfer service, with great global reach. However, depending on where you’re sending money to, you might find that there are better deals out there from alternative providers like TransferWise. Do a bit of research to find a service which meets your needs, and comes at the right price.


Sources:

  1. https://www.riamoneytransfer.com/about-ria
  2. https://www.riamoneytransfer.com/
  3. https://riamoneytransfer.com/help/faq
  4. https://www.riamoneytransfer.com/countries
  5. https://www.riamoneytransfer.com/pay-with-cash
  6. https://www.riamoneytransfer.com/track-money-transfer
  7. https://www.riamoneytransfer.com/about-ria/contact-ria

All sources checked 3 January 2018


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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