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 recipient locations
- Flexible delivery options
- Large retail store network
What we don’t
- Suitable for low-value transfers only
- The online platform has a clunky interface
- 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 expanded to become one of the most used money transfer services on earth. Now, they have also developed an online platform to complement its existing retail store footprint.
Primarily aimed at those living in Australia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Ria’s online platform looks to help those living and working abroad in sending smaller amount back to friends and family at home.
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, the Ria has grown its retail network to offer services in 149 countries through more than 350,000 locations, in addition to its online money transfer platform.
In 2006 Ria 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 HiFX in 2014 and XE.com in 2016. After three decades in business, Ria is now the third-largest overseas money remittance services provider in the world, behind MoneyGram and Western Union.
Ria 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 the company’s performance is closely 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
The service has also established local offices in the following countries:
- United Kingdom
Ria Money Transfer supports the transfer of funds to 158 countries across the world. For the most part, the company facilitates its transfers using the SWIFT network, which provides it with the ability 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. While the company is equipped to complete transfers of varying sizes, its online platform is limited to a maximum transfer value of £5,000. For any values larger than this, you will need to approach one of Ria’s retail stores directly to arrange an in-person transfer.
Ria Money Transfer exchange rate and fees
What is the Ria Money Transfer exchange rate and fees? Let’s 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 average cost of Ria Money Transfer?
The average cost of Ria Money Transfer is 3.06%.
How did we arrive at this figure? To calculate the average cost for our Ria Money Transfer review, 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|
As you can see, the average cost of Currencies Direct is 3.06% of the transfer value at any given exchange rate. In other words, for every £1,000 sent, on average it will cost you £30.60 in spread + fees. Of course, this is not a perfect representation of all situations, but it does provide a helpful indication for comparative purposes.
Important note on SWIFT: It should be noted 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.
If you would like to learn more about the rationale of our Ria Money Transfer review, take a look at our review methodology.
Ria Money Transfer review: Comparison chart
Now that you know about the average cost of Ria Money Transfer, how does this compare to other services in the market? To help you determine its relative competitiveness, we have prepared a comparison 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 table by a specific column, click its heading. 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|
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.
How is our Ria Money Transfer review affected by its features? Let’s take a look at the capabilities of the service.
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 customer care representatives. 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 the Ria Money Transfer customer service staff 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 the security initiatives adopted by the service.
As Ria Money Transfer is headquartered in the United States, the company regulated by FinCEN. Ria’s subsidiaries are also regulated by the relevant authorities in the jurisdiction of their operations, such as FCA in the United Kingdom 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 separate from the service’s own operating accounts. This ensures the security of customer funds, should Ria Money Transfer encounter financial difficulty.
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 varied interactions between the company’s customer service staff and its customers. As Ria is very much a consumer-level operation, they respond to many queries per day. Their responses appear to be prompt and helpful. Additionally, the company has quite an active presence in posting general cultural news, aimed to engage their followers.
As for the mainstream media, their reporting on Ria Money Transfer has generally been sparse but positive. As much of Ria’s business is conducted at their retail stores, much of the reporting by media outlets surround the company’s plans on expansion into new markets, 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 the user experience.
The Ria Money Transfer website has a basic design. While functional, it’s not exactly the most satisfying user experience you’ll ever have. However, we understand that the interface has been revamped recently. It is available in 2 languages, English and Spanish.
Ria Money Transfer app
The service has developed a Ria Money Transfer app 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, you first need to provide proof of identification so Ria Money Transfer can verify your account. Typically this will 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 and log in. When you enter the website, you will be presented with a dashboard. To begin a transaction and add your first recipient, click Send Money.
Step 2 – Select receiving country
Select the country of your recipient, the value of your transfer, and the currency denomination in which you want the funds to be paid out. Then select the method of payment and the Select the method in which you would like the funds delivered to the recipient.
Step 3 – Enter recipient details
You can then add the specific information of your intended recipient.
Step 4 – Enter receiving bank details
If you selected bank deposit as the method of delivery, as I have, now is the time to enter the recipient’s bank details. If you selected cash pick up, you will instead be presented with a search box, whereby you will be given a selection of locations to deliver to once you have provided Ria Money Transfer with the name of your recipient’s city.
Step 5 – Provide reason for payment
An additional menu is squeezed into the process, asking for your occupation and the reason for your transfer.
Step 6 – Select payment method
If you wish to pay by debit or credit card, this is the fastest method of transferring funds to Ria Money Transfer. Other payment methods can also be selected, including bank transfer – which is also slightly cheaper. I chose to proceed with debit card.
Step 7 – Confirm transaction
A summary of the quoted transaction is provided for your review. Once you are sure you want to confirm and proceed with the transaction, click Submit. Once your transaction is confirmed, it is time for Ria Money Transfer to get to work and begin processing your payment.
Step 8 – Ria Money Transfer online tracking
Once your funds have been received by Ria Money Transfer, they will finalise the transfer to your recipient. You can track your transfer online or with their mobile app. Additionally, throughout the process, you will be provided with email updates as the payment moves within the system.
Finally, once the transfer has been completed, its status will be updated accordingly and the payment will be reflected in your recipient’s account shortly.
In our experience, Ria Money Transfer was simple to use, despite the interface being a little clunky, and we were satisfied with the updates provided to me 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 company leverages its significant retail store network, developed over the past 30 years, to deliver funds to all corners of the globe. If you would like to arrange a cash pick up for a friend or family member, you would be hard-pressed to find a better way than with Ria.
Its online presence, however, leaves a lot to be desired. When compared with its newer and more technology-savvy peers, Ria Money Transfer begins to look less attractive. Want better pricing? Take a look at TransferWise or WorldRemit. Want more features? Try OFX or WorldFirst. Use Ria Money Transfer if you have to. Otherwise, there might be something better out there.
If you have any questions or feedback about our Ria Money Transfer review, let us know in the comments below.