Ria Money Transfer offers a basic solution for low-value remittances. Whilst the service provided is reasonable, it is not the cheapest or most functional platform out there.
|Transfer speed:||1-3 days|
|Trustpilot score:||4 stars|
|Our score:||3 stars|
What we like
- Large selection of receiving locations
- Flexible delivery, such as cash pickup
- Large retail store network
What we don’t
- Low-value transfers only
- No advanced payment features
- Rates not as competitive as other specialised services
From humble beginnings in a New York City shopfront, Ria Money Transfer has become one of the most popular money transfer services on earth. It has a massive retail network, and now a complementary online platform.
Targeted at those living and working aboard, Ria Money Transfer clearly wants to capture its share of the online market. If you’re sending money back home to family and friends, perhaps its the service you’ve been waiting for?
To learn more about this service and see if it’s right for you, read on for our in-depth Ria Money Transfer review.
Affiliate disclosure: If you sign up with a money transfer service after being referred from our website, we might earn a referral fee. Learn more.
About Ria Money Transfer
What is Ria Money Transfer all about? Let’s begin our Ria Money Transfer review with some general information about the service.
Ria Financial Services began operations in 1987, when the company began offering international currency transfer services from a single storefront in New York City. Since then, Ria Money Transfer has grown its retail network to offer services in 149 countries through more than 350,000 locations.
In 2006 Ria Money Transfer was acquired by Euronet, a long time payments processor and ATM operator. The acquisition would go on to become the first of many for Euronet, who also purchased XE Money Transfer in 2016. After three decades in business, Ria Money Transfer is now the third-largest remittance provider in the world, behind MoneyGram and Western Union.
Ria Money Transfer is currently led by Juan Bianchi as CEO. He is supported by Shawn Fielder, who acts as Chief Financial Officer, and by John Ashton, who is Chief Information Officer. Erick Palomo oversees the day to day activities as Director of Operations, while its performance is monitored by Michael J. Brown, who is CEO of Ria’s parent company, Euronet.
Ria Money Transfer is headquartered at the following address:
Ria Financial Services, Inc.
6565 Knott Ave
Buena Park, CA 90620
Ria Money Transfer has established local offices in the following countries:
- United Kingdom
Supported countries and currencies
Ria Money Transfer supports the transfer of funds to approximately 158 countries. For the most part, the service facilitates its transfers using the SWIFT network, which allows it to deliver funds to all corners of the globe. The downside to this network is that there are often charges incurred by the recipient, of which Ria Money Transfer has little control of.
Ria Money Transfer has a minimum transfer value of £1. There is a maximum transfer value of £5,000, so the service is suitable for relatively small amounts. For any values larger than this, you will need to approach a retail agent of Ria Money Transfer to arrange an in-person transaction.
Ria Money Transfer exchange rate and fees
What are Ria Money Transfer exchange rate and fees? It will take a few minutes to explore the foreign exchange market, so we can properly consider this question.
How the foreign exchange market works
Let’s begin with how the foreign exchange market works. Banks and other money transfer services will buy foreign currency at a price very close to the mid-market rate. They will then sell this currency to you, the customer, for a higher rate than they bought it for, taking a margin in between – known as “the spread”.
The spread is essentially a hidden cost that is not disclosed to you during the transaction. Then, in addition to the spread, some services will charge a transaction fee on top – which is typically the fee that they quote to you. In any case, the total cost of the transfer for you, the customer, is the combination of the two; the spread + transaction fee.
Q. Does the Ria Money Transfer exchange rate include a spread?
A. Yes, there is a spread.
Q. What about Ria Money Transfer fees?
A. Yes, there is a transaction fee of between £2 and £16, depending on the receiving country and method of payment.
But for the moment, don’t pay too much attention to the details. Rather, for the purpose of our Ria Money Transfer review, let’s consider the overall cost.
Why focus on overall cost?
If you focus on the spread or transaction fee in isolation, it is easy to become lost in marketing gimmicks. Instead, it is more helpful to consider the overall cost when these factors are combined. For example, a typical bank will charge up to 5% of the overall transfer value in spread and transaction fee to complete a transfer on your behalf. Not great.
But what about Ria Money Transfer? To determine its overall cost we need to compare a transfer with a benchmark, the mid-market rate, which in theory has no cost. Practically speaking, it is unlikely that you will ever receive the equivalent of the mid-market rate, however, your goal should be to get as close as possible.
If you can achieve a total cost of less than 1% of the overall transaction value then you are on the right track. However, it really depends on what your needs are and if you are willing to pay a little bit extra for additional features, advice, or research. To find out the mid-market rate of any currency pairing, use this calculator at xe.com.
What is the cost of Ria Money Transfer?
To calculate the cost of Ria Money Transfer, we received three quotes to exchange British Pounds (GBP) into Australian Dollars (AUD) – for low, medium, and high values. The overall cost of each transaction was then compared against the mid-market rate and represented as a percentage of the transfer value.
Here is the calculation:
|Transfer value||Overall cost|
An average cost of 3.06% means that for every £1,000 sent, on average £30.60 will be lost in spread + fees. By using this figure, we can make a general representation of Ria Money Transfer across a range of transfer values. Of course, it is not a perfect representation by any means, but it is helpful for comparative purposes.
Important note on SWIFT: You should be aware that any transfer conducted via the SWIFT network may incur additional hidden charges by correspondent banks; the exact cost depending on the amount of the transfer and the recipient bank. In our experience, these fees can be as high as £25 per transaction.
Ria Money Transfer review: Market comparison
So, how does Ria Money Transfer compare to other services in the market? To help you determine its relative competitiveness, we have prepared a chart. Beside the name of each service, we have listed its average cost, speed of transfer, receiving countries, and our review score – sorted from highest to lowest.
To sort this chart by column, click its respective headings. If you are reading on mobile, you may need to scroll horizontally to view all fields.
|wdt_ID||Service||Ave. cost||Speed||Countries||Our score||Review|
|1||OrbitRemit||0.43%||1-3 days||43||4 stars||Read review|
|2||Azimo||0.89%||1-3 days||200||2 stars||Read review|
|3||CurrencyFair||0.45%||2-4 days||157||5 stars||Read review|
|4||MoneyGram||3.50%||1-3 days||194||2 stars||Read review|
|5||OFX||1.20%||3-5 days||226||4 stars||Read review|
|6||Currencies Direct||1.79%||2-4 days||188||3 stars||Read review|
|7||Paysera||0.97%||3-5 days||174||3 stars||Read review|
|8||RationalFX||1.16%||1-3 days||201||3 stars||Read review|
|9||Remitly||0.77%||1-3 days||58||2 stars||Read review|
|10||Ria Money Transfer||3.06%||1-3 days||158||2 stars|
If you would like to learn more about the rationale of our Ria Money Transfer review, take a look at our review methodology.
A typical transfer with Ria Money Transfer takes 1-3 business days, from sending to receipt. The exact duration will depend on a few factors, including the currency pairings involved, the transfer value, as well as the particular systems of the sending and receiving bank.
Key payment features
How do payment features affect our Ria Money Transfer review? Let’s take a look at its capabilities.
A spot contract consists of a single payment from one currency to another at the currently available exchange rate. If you need to send money right away, simply login to the Ria Money Transfer website and with a couple of clicks a transfer can be arranged.
A cash pickup payment allows you to transfer money to a person in another location, whereby they can pick up the payment in cash – typically from a physical branch. It is the easiest way to send money to family or friends who need quick and flexible access to funds.
Ria Money Transfer telephone number and customer service
A Ria Money Transfer telephone number is available for contacting its customer service. Here are the details for a few of their offices:
+61 1800 531 581 (Australia)
+44 800 085 5955 (United Kingdom)
+1 877 443 1399 (United States)
In our experience, we found Ria Money Transfer customer service to be friendly and helpful. we did not have to wait too long to speak with someone on the phone, and our queries by email have been answered in a prompt and professional manner.
Is Ria Money Transfer safe?
As a customer, is Ria Money Transfer safe to use? Let’s take a look at some of its security measures.
Ria Money Transfer is regulated by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in the USA. Its international subsidiaries are regulated by the relevant authorities in the jurisdiction of their operations, such as the FCA in the UK and ASIC in Australia.
Customer funds are held in trust
In accordance with the standards imposed by government regulators, the funds of Ria Money Transfer customers are held in segregated accounts and are kept apart from the company’s own operating accounts. This ensures the security of customer funds, should Ria Money Transfer encounter financial difficulty.
Website is securely protected
The Ria Money Transfer website is protected with TLS encryption, which prevents sensitive data from being intercepted during your visit. You can confirm that this is in place by recognising a green padlock next to the website’s URL on your browser.
Is Ria Money Transfer legit?
Does Ria Money Transfer scam – or is Ria Money Transfer legit? Let’s take a look at its reputation.
As of publication, Ria Money Transfer has received 4,000 reviews on Trustpilot with an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars; representing a positive experience in 83 percent of interactions with its customers.
Here are our observations of the feedback posted:
- Quick delivery, often in minutes
- Happy long time customers
- Good exchange rates
- Failed transfers with no explanation
- Issues have been reported by customers who have not met their recipient in person
- Funds held back for compliance reasons after payment has already been made by the customer
Upon viewing the Facebook and Twitter feeds of Ria Money Transfer, we can see a range of interactions between the service and its customers. Because Ria Money Transfer is a popular service, it receives a lot of messages on these platforms. Nevertheless, its responses appear to be prompt and helpful.
Ria Money Transfer has an active presence on social media. It posts a variety of general cultural news to engage with its customers.
The mainstream media reporting of Ria Money Transfer is sparse but positive. Although the service is focused on its retail storefront business, much of media reporting seems to highlight its expansion into new markets, its new partnerships and acquisitions.
New Walmart money transfer service operated by Ria.Forbes
Global remittance market dominated by Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria.Forbes
Ria Money Transfer targeting Indian expat community in the Gulf.Arabian Business
User experience to track Ria Money Transfer online
How does product design affect our Ria Money Transfer review? Let’s take a look at its user experience.
The Ria Money Transfer website has been designed thoughtfully, with special attention being paid to user experience and simplicity. It is available in 2 languages, English and Spanish.
Ria Money Transfer app
A Ria Money Transfer app has been developed for both Apple and Android devices. By using the Ria Money Transfer app you can access your account at any time and use its core features, such as initiating new payments or tracking the status of in-progress transfers.
The registration process takes around 5 minutes and is relatively straight-forward. You begin by entering your email and a password, before providing essential contact information such as name, address and phone number.
Before you can commence transferring funds with Ria Money Transfer, you will first need to verify your identity. This will typically require providing two types of documents:
- Photo identification, such as a passport or drivers licence
- Proof of address, such as a bank or utility statement
How does Ria Money Transfer work?
As a part of our Ria Money Transfer review, we will take you through an example transaction. If you would like some guidance in navigating your own account, you can follow along below.
Step 1 – Sign up and login
Visit riamoneytransfer.com, sign up and login. To begin a transfer, click Send Money.
Step 2 – Select receiving country
First, select the country of your recipient and the value of your transfer. You will also need to select the method by which you wish for your funds to be received, and your intended payment method. Click Continue.
Step 3 – Enter recipient details
Enter the personal information of your recipient, including their bank details if that is the delivery method chosen. Click Continue.
Step 4 – Enter receiving bank details
Enter your payment details and click Continue.
Step 5 – Provide reason for payment
Provide your occupation and a reason for your payment. Click Continue.
Step 6 – Select payment method
Enter your payment details and click Continue.
Step 7 – Confirm transaction
The terms of the quote are presented. Once you are happy to proceed, click Submit. If you selected bank deposit in a previous screen, now is the time to transfer your funds into the local bank account of Ria Money Transfer.
Step 8 – Ria Money Transfer online tracking
When your funds are received by Ria Money Transfer, it will complete the final leg of the transfer. You can track its status online or with the Ria Money Transfer app. You will also receive email updates throughout the process.
Finally, once the transfer is complete its status will be updated accordingly. The funds should arrive in your recipient’s bank account shortly.
In our experience, the Ria Money Transfer platform was simple to use and we were satisfied with the instructions provided along the way. The entire process took 2 business days, and the funds arrived into our recipient’s account as requested.
Ria Money Transfer review: Final thoughts
As a basic solution for low-value remittances, Ria Money Transfer gets the job done. The service leverages its significant retail store network, to deliver funds to all corners of the globe. If you would like to arrange a cash pickup for a friend or family member, you would be hard-pressed to find a better way than with Ria Money Transfer.
Its online presence, however, leaves something to be desired. When compared with its newer and more technology-savvy peers, Ria Money Transfer begins to look less attractive. If you have a choice, you might wish to explore alternatives such as WorldRemit, TransferGo or TransferWise.
If you have any questions or feedback about our Ria Money Transfer review, let us know in the comments below.