Should I use Ria for money transfers?
Services Offered by Ria
Ria Review: Executive SummaryRia (a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide, Inc., a global leader in electronic payments) is a convenient way to send money to friends and family members who may not have access to a traditional bank account. The process is simple and can be completed online or in-person at a Ria location. The service is available in over 190 countries and offers a variety of features, including online money transfers, mobile money transfers, and cash pickups. Like WesternUnion and Moneygram, the service is mostly geared toward remittances with little to no support for larger and more complex transfers.
Not Top 10 Ranked
Where is Ria Available?
Our Top Rated Ria Alternatives
On Money Transfer Comparison, we have reviewed 80+ money transfer services, 40+ of which could be considered direct Ria competitors. View our best rated Ria money transfer alternatives which have received higher ratings below:
- Min Transfer: £/€/$ 250
- Currencies Supported: 120
- Offices : UK, EU, USA, HK, and UAE.
- Our Rating : 92.8% 🌟Best for Large Transfers🌟
- Business Oriented, Many High Profile Business Customers
Industry Veteran since 1979
Safest and Most Geared Towards Large Amounts
Up Close and Personal Service by Professionals
Fix Today's Rates for Up to 2 Years with a Forward Contract
- Min Transfer: £/€/$/A$/NZ$/$CAD 100
- Currencies Supported: 140
- Offices : UK, EU, USA, Australia, NZ and Canada.
- Editorial App Rating : 98.4%
- Min Transfer: £/€ 1,000
- Currencies Supported: 138
- Offices : UK, Europe.
- Our Rating : 90.6%
TrustPilot Rating : 4.3 / 5
- Very Quick to Respond in a Friendly Manner
Competitive Rates and No Wire Fees
Very High Customer Satisfaction
Operating from Cornwall, Less Operating Costs Rolled Over to Customers
Directors Have Dozens of Years of Industry Experience
This review for Ria money transfer is intended to explain the good and bad of using it for international money transfers. We focus on the important aspects like fees and exchange rates, the quality of the online trading platform, and the level of service provided. To view other companies like Ria, check our best money transfer companies list.
Is Ria Money Transfers Safe?
Ria money transfer was established in 1987 by Jesus Perez Santalla, an immigrant from Cuba, and purchased by Euronet Worldwide in 2006, which is also the owner of HiFX and XE Money Transfer. Even before the acquisition, Ria was considered to be the third-largest money transfer service in the world, with over 200,000 agent locations. Euronet Worldwide has a market cap of well over USD4bn and is traded as EEFT on NASDAQ.
That means that together with Western Union, Xoom, and Moneygram, Ria money transfer is most definitely a world leader in international currency cross border payments. The history of Ria Money Transfer looks like this:
Ria opens its first store in New York City with the aim of helping migrants send money to their friends and family back home.
Ria expands its operations to Europe, namely Spain, France, Italy, UK, Germany, Australia, Belgium, and Switzerland.
Ria is bought by Euronet Worldwide, a leader in processing secure, electronic financial transactions.
Ria expands its international footprint to India and Senegal
Ria launches online money transfers for the first time.
Ria partnered with Walmart to create a domestic money transfer service known as Walmart-2-Walmart. The same year, Ria’s parent company Euronet acquired HiFX, the well-known UK-based FX broker.
Ria expands to the Middle East and Malaysia and Euronet acquires XE, a Canadian-based online foreign exchange tools and services company.
Ria’s Walmart partnership expands into Chile with the Lider branded supermarkets.
Ria marks its 30 year anniversary by opening a new cash payout network in India. Ria also launched Asda Money Transfer in the UK, opening up 100’s of pay and cash collection points for Ria.
2019 and beyond
Ria expands into more locations with new partnerships to increase its agent network to over 447,000 locations worldwide.
For over 30 years then, Ria money transfer has been a long-standing provider of remittance transfers. Throughout this time, Ria’s capabilities have expanded to offer a variety of services, including mobile top-up, ATM’s, bill payments and check cashing but its main business comes from money transfers across the world. Though the majority of transfers are still physical via agents and stores, its online business is growing. Citizens from the UK, US, Canada and Australia can now access the online platform.
Ria is widely covered through mainstream media on news websites like CNBC, MarketWatch, and on partner companies like Walmart.
(we believe they would have had plenty more over their 30 years in business but none that we can see in 2015-2021)
Ria Money Transfer is a reliable company which boasts over 30 years in the remittance industry and a pretty significant global footprint. They have been chosen by Walmart as their payment service provider in their stores, and they have over hundreds of agents working with them globally to run a network of over 447,000 branches where customers can make international wires and collect cash sent to them by other Ria money transfer users. It’s also worth noting that being owned by a company like Euronet Worldwide Inc. makes the feasibility of them going bankrupt very low.
In accordance with their gigantic size, they are often covered by mainstream media, and considered as a highly-known brand, especially in the states. In terms of online transfers, we do know it’s a growing portion of Ria’s business but it receives not nearly as much exposure from the media about this particular service.
Ria Customer reviews
Ria money transfer nets a 4.2 / 5 (Great) score on TrustPilot. While it’s indicating an overall positive experience, this is below many other remittances companies who average a score of 4.5+. A score of 4.2 / 5 also indicates a number of complaints. There are plenty of other reviews of Ria money transfer on various websites, but nothing that we thought added value over the TrustPilot reviews.
The overall number of reviewers on TrustPilot has grown significantly and you can now find over 5800 reviews about Ria. They also have hundreds of reviews that can be found on other websites.
There are a number of complaints we discovered about the company online. The complaints focused on the following:
- Slow arrival of funds and fewer funds being delivered than expected
- Unhelpful customer service, disarray
- Verification issues after the money has been transferred to them
- Funds withheld in the account for no apparent reason
- Charities and churches (high-risk industries) working with Ria were cut off with no further explanation
If you go back to previous years there are positive reviews attesting to the fact Ria have proved cheaper than other major remittances providers in the USA like Xoom. Though it must be said, virtually all Ria money transfer reviews in 2021 are highly critical and lambast the service provided by Ria. The customer service appears to have worsened of late, money seems to be stuck with Ria for multiple weeks and recent compliance changes appear to be causing confusion for customers and causing delays to transfers.
We definitely get the feel that the time for payments to arrive with the beneficiary might be longer than with other companies. Again there were many complaints dealing with this issue, but hardly any positive reviews describing the service as prompt.
On the service side it seems that you’re usually put in touch with an offshore call centre and when email exchanges are required, often information is missing and the instructions on what customers should do to complete a remittance transfer are unclear.
In terms of verification and stopping activity with certain accounts, we can only say that Ria should comply with Anti Money Laundering laws but they must do so in a way which doesn’t confuse customers and result in a lot of back and forth with customer service. For some reason, Ria seems to be causing more confusion in 2021 than it was before. This is perhaps due to increased AML requirements or staff which are less trained to explain the requirements.
Ria Exchange Rates & Fees
Fees: Fixed for all countries – $3 for transfers below the $100 mark, and $5 for transfer above the mark.
Exchange Rates: We know the exchange rates are good in comparison with other remittances providers. The client reviews have attested for that, and so does the World Bank Remittances Prices site, ranking Ria very well for the bank to bank transfers (usually one of the top five cheapest companies for the transfer) and cash pickups (Ria is possibly the cheapest option for that).
In fact, Ria was transparent enough to provide exchange rates on its Price Calculator, and we spotted a steady 2.5% margin. For some destinations that’s pretty good, especially Africa, South America and East Asia, where companies like Western Union can charge huge markups. For some destinations like Europe, if the transfer amount is $1,000 or more, it’s a huge spread. There are companies like Transferwise which operate in the USA and use fixed 0.5% margins for most destinations.
Rates are somewhat similar to other U.S-based remittances companies like Transfast.
Limits: There is absolutely no minimum, but a daily $2,999 max limit. In certain states, a single day is capped at $999 in transfers. If you need to transfer bigger amounts of money, you should turn your attention to companies like WorldFirst, CurrenciesDirect or TorFX.
Fees: From USA– $3 for transfers below the $100 mark, and $5 for transfer above the mark if you pay by card. $7 for cash payments and $9 for credit card.
From UK – £1.50 for transfers under £500 and £2.50 for transfers above if paying by debit or credit card.
From Australia – AUD $0 payment fee if you pay by direct bank transfer on transfers of all sizes (maximum AUD payment limit of $7,500). Debit cards charged at $3 for payments of all sizes and credit cards $4 for payments of all sizes.
From Canada – $7 CAD for transfers under $250, CAD $10 for transfers over $250 and under $500, CAD $15 for transfers over $500 and under $750, CAD $20 for transfers over $750 and under $1000, CAD $25 for transfers over $1000 and under $1500, CAD $30 for transfers over $1500 and under $2000, CAD $45 for transfers over $2000.
Note these payment fees are for online bank-to-bank transfers. If you’re making a transfer for cash collection it’s likely fees will be higher.
Exchange Rates: If we look at the World Bank Remittances Prices site, it ranks Ria very well for both bank to bank transfers (usually one of the top five cheapest companies for the transfer) and cash pickups (Ria is possibly the cheapest option for that). Though it also says Ria charges an exchange rate markup of 0.14% which we just don’t think is correct. It’s possible there is some malfunctioning on the World Bank site or Ria has submitted incorrect spreads to the World Bank. It also says Moneygram charges a 0.48% spread which is definitely not right.
In fact, we don’t necessarily believe there to be any purposeful wrongdoing as Ria is transparent enough to provide exchange rates on its Price Calculator, and by our analysis, we spotted a steady 2.5% margin. For some destinations that’s pretty good, especially Africa, South America and East Asia, where companies like Western Union can charge huge markups. For some destinations like Europe, if the transfer amount is $1,000 or more, it’s a huge spread. There are companies like Wise (Transferwise) which operate in the USA and use margins starting at 0.35% for most popular destinations.
Rates are somewhat similar to other U.S-based remittances companies like Transfast.
Limits: There is absolutely no minimum, but a daily $2,999 max limit for transfers from USA and Canada. Transfers from the UK are capped at £4,999 and transfers from Australia are capped at $7500. If you need to transfer bigger amounts of money, you should turn your attention to companies like Moneycorp, CurrenciesDirect or TorFX.
You can’t compare apples with oranges so we won’t be comparing Ria’s exchange rates to the ones offered by other specialist foreign exchange firms, else this rate would not look particularly attractive. When you compare it with other companies in the remittance sector, with this ultra-wide reach, and considering the fact it is very transparent in its approach (allowing to view prices before sending), we grade it as middle of the road. Cheaper than the likes of Moneygram and Western Union but more expensive than Wise, Azimo, and CurrencyFair. Its exchange rates for cash pick up are really pretty good.
The payment fees are on the whole reasonable, with the exception of Canada. At $45, payment fees from Canada are ridiculously expensive for transfers over $2000. This is much like you’d expect from a bank and not a money transfer or remittance specialist. We wouldn’t recommend using Ria from Canada for this reason.
Ria Global Reach & Service
- Dedicated Dealer: No.
- Offices: USA but 447,000+ transfer agents around the world.
- Ways to approach: Phone, Email.
- Translations: None.
- Accepts clients: Online payments can be made from UK, USA, Canada and Australia..
- Currencies Handled: 100+
- Client reviews: Mostly satisfied but still, many complaints.
On one hand Ria is a truly international company. With 447,000 agent locations and stores across the globe, they have the right connections to sort out any issues and make cash collection possible in countries where recipients may not have a bank account. They handle a lot of very important corridors in Africa and make it cheaper for immigrants to send money home.
On the other hand, for those who want to transfer large sums of money into less remote parts of the world, Ria isn’t a perfect solution. With competitors like OFX you get a dedicated dealer helping you with every step of the transfer (including currency-related consultancy), and they are reachable via various channels – and this gets them much higher client satisfaction than with Ria.
There are no other FX functionalities to this service besides sending and receiving funds into bank accounts or in cash pickup. There is now an app although it seems to be having a lot of teething issues, there are no hedging tools, and no regular transfers that can be done automatically. It’s far from the best money transfer apps out there in the market.
There’s a helpful search tool online which will list all of the agent locations Ria has. This is particularly appropriate for payments made for cash collection. As the sender you can ensure the person you are sending money to has a local agent that they can easily access. In some instances they might not – in Tanzania for example Ria only has a cash partner in the city of Arusha so if the beneficiary lives far away from here, Ria may not be an appropriate provider. The tool, however, at least let’s you check this with Ria ahead of making a transfer.
Ria is an international currency transfer service. Easy and simple. Not meant for large transfers and thus there are no hedging tools of any sort. Regular transfers could have been nice, but it’s not an absolute necessity with this type of service.
Ria Money Transfer Review Summary
- Credibility Score - 85%85%
- Client Feedback - 68%68%
- Fees, Exchange Rates - 85%85%
- Global Reach, Availability, Service - 70%70%
- Added Values - 70%70%
Ria money transfer is a solid remittance provider for those who want to send small amounts of money online to a developing country, or a remote place in the world. Originally only available to US citizens, the firm has expanded into the UK, Canada and Australia. It is a far cheaper option than using options like Western Union. On the other hand, if you’re sending money to locations like Europe you could use companies like OFXor Currencies Direct which offer cheaper rates and a more personalized service.
Our only concern is the level of negative feedback the firm has received in 2021 – it appears the majority of clients that took the time to leave a review had a poor experience. Whilst people who have a bad experience are more likely to leave a review we would have still expected four out of five users to report a positive experience as Ria has a 4.2 / 5 review score. In fact, four out of five Ria Money Transfer reviews in 2021 appear to be negative.