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Ria Money Transfer Review

Launched in the United States, Ria Money is a global leader in cross-border remittance services, with a worldwide network of more than 397,000 cash transfer and pay-out agent locations across 167 countries. Thanks to easily accessible agent locations in the form of bank branches, retail stores, supermarkets, gas stations, and post offices Ria Money Transfer is widely available. In this review we take a closer look at the company’s key features to find out how to get the most out of your international transfer. 

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About Ria Money Transfer

According to the United Nations International Migration Report 2020, an estimated 281 million people live abroad. Ria Money opened the doors to their first store in 1987 and have been helping people minimise the cost and speed up the process of sending money to their loved ones, from anywhere on the planet. 

Ria Money is a convenient option thanks to the variety of payment and withdrawal options on offer. Beneficiary parties can receive money directly into their bank accounts, pick up cash from designated collection points or have the money delivered directly to their house. 

Since establishing a partnership back in 2014, Ria Money has been able to offer Walmart-2-Walmart money transfer services, utilising the multinational retail corporation’s vast network and allowing customers to access services via more than 4,000 Walmart stores.

In addition to their quality remittance services, Ria Money is able to offer customers help and assistance with other financial services like bill payments, cheque cashing, prepaid debit cards, money orders, and mobile top-ups. This review will explain how Ria Money has evolved into one of the leaders in the industry since launching 30 years ago. 

Ria Money Transfer exchange rates and fees

Whether you are making your transfer in Euros, Pound, Dollars, or any of the other 100 currencies available through Ria Money, this service provider strives to match the mid-market rate as closely as possible. In this section we will review the value for money customers receive when sending and receiving funds abroad. 

Exchange rates

When you send money with Ria Money an exchange rate margin will be applied to the mid-market rate for your currency pair. On the site homepage, there is an FX calculator that allows customers to enter the details of their transfer to preview both the exchange rate and fees.

Customers based in Australia, Canada, Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom, can use the online platform to send money overseas. These specialised services available to users in these sending countries mean customers can benefit from far more competitive exchange rates than what local, high street banks offer.

Customers based in all other countries will need to visit physical agent locations to initiate transfers: find a Ria Money agent or representative near you using the Ria Money locator. An exchange rate quote will be provided during your visit. 

The exchange rate spread provided by Ria Money will vary depending on the currencies involved and, from our research, we found that mark-ups range from 0.5 – 1.9% above the mid-market rate. Generally speaking, we found that the more exotic currencies (those less commonly traded on the FX market) incur larger mark-ups. However, even mark-ups on the higher end of this scale are more competitive than the 4 – 6% mark-ups applied to foreign exchange services offered by banks.

Transfer fees

As with currency conversion, Ria Money fees vary depending on the destination, method of payment and how the beneficiary receives money. 

For instance, customers sending $1,000 USD to Egypt will be charged $5.00 if paying via bank transfer, $9.00 if paying in-person using cash,  $15.00 if paying via debit card and $35.00 if paying via credit card. Funding transfers with a credit card appears to be the most expensive method of payment, with bank transfers incurring the smallest fee. 

Additional costs

Aside from transfer fees, if you are paying for a Ria Money using your bank, you may incur additional charges in the form of processing fees; cash advance fees may be charged when using a credit card. The beneficiary bank may also charge further fees so it is important to check with both the sending and receiving banks for any additional costs, before making your transfer.

Top destinations to send money to with Ria Money Transfer

Now let us turn our attention toward the top destination countries that can be used for transferring funds with Ria Money Transfer. Keep in mind that the company offers a wide network of destination countries around the world. Therefore, you are well-served if you need to send money to many locations. 

Some of the top destinations include Mexico, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Senegal, Nigeria and Pakistan. However, the top 3 destination countries for Ria Money Transfer are:

Ria Money Transfer pros and cons

Before you choose whether to transfer funds overseas with Ria Money, it is worth considering the company’s strengths and weaknesses. Here is a breakdown of the key things to note: 

Extensive remittance network: Ria Money has strengthened its global reach through strategic international partnerships. Currently, there are over 397,000 physical locations where customers can access Ria Money services
Variety of payout options: In addition to bank transfers and cash collection, Ria Money can be delivered straight to the recipient’s front door, thanks to its home delivery service
Quick transfer speeds: If you pay for your transfer using debit or credit card, your funds should take about 15 minutes to be processed. This is an impressive turnaround considering some banks will take 5 – 7 working days to process an overseas payment
Track the status of your transfer online: Customers can monitor the process of their money transfer online, receiving a convenient email notification once funds are delivered
No minimum transfer amount: Ria Money do not employ a minimum limit; customers can send as little as $1.00 to overseas contacts, making the platform convenient for every kind of cross-border transfer
High transaction fees: Transfers paid for via credit card will incur a minimum fee of $35.00; this price is far less competitive than other money transfer operators and more akin to the types of fees charged for international bank transfers
Variation of online rates and agent rates: Ria Money has included a disclaimer which states the online platform’s exchange rates and fees may differ to quotes from an agent location; this inconsistency makes it harder for customers to anticipate overall cost
Limited online accessibility: If you live in any country outside of the US, UK, Australia, Spain and Canada, you will not be able to send an online money transfer. Instead, you must visit a physical agent location

What type of transfers can you make with Ria Money Transfer?

Ria Money supports bank-to-bank transfers, cash transfers available via collection or delivery or mobile top up. These can be paid for via bank account, credit and debit card, or in cash.

How long will it take to receive money using Ria Money Transfer?

The length of time it takes a transfer to be delivered depends on the destination, the payment method and the payout option you choose. 

If you pay using a debit or credit card, the transfer is normally delivered within 15 minutes. On the other hand, bank transfers can take up to 4 business days to be delivered. 

Mobile top up transfers are almost instant and cash delivery will also become available to the recipient within minutes. 

What payment methods can I use when sending money with Ria Money Transfer?

Ria Money offers customers a wide range of transfer payment and pay-out methods, and few competitors can match these dynamic offering. Below we look at how to pay for your transfer and how your beneficiary can access the funds sent.

You can pay for your transfer using any of the following methods:

  • Cash: You can pay for your transfer using cash at any Ria Money agent near you. Cash payments are faster than other methods because the funds become immediately available for onward transfer to your recipient. This is a perfect method if you don’t have a bank account or access to a card payment facility.
  • Bank Transfer: This method is the least expensive for funding your transfer. However, your funds can take up to 4 business days to get to the recipient. For first-time bank payment customers, Ria Money makes two micro-deposits that you have to verify to proceed with the transfer.
  • Debit/credit card: Transfers paid for using a credit or debit card takes just 15 minutes to get to the recipient. This method is also the most expensive and may cost you additional money in fees charged by the credit card issuer.

Ria Money offers 4 different ways to withdraw funds, some of these options may be restricted to certain regions. These include: 

  • Bank deposit: Ria Money works with major banks to deposit your funds directly into the recipient’s account. To ensure the transfer goes into the right account, you need to give the correct account information including the routing number or SWIFT code
  • Cash pickup: Beneficiaries especially those in rural areas can utilise the Ria Money network of 397,000 locations to get their funds in cash. This method is appropriate for smaller transfers because of safety issues
  • Home delivery: If your recipient is in Armenia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Hungary, Morocco, Philippines, or Vietnam, they can have the transfer delivered in cash at their homes
  • Mobile: In January 2020, Ria Money signed a partnership deal with Safaricom, the leading mobile network operator in Kenya to use its M-Pesa mobile money platform for transfers. M-Pesa subscribers in Kenya are now able to receive transfers from over 20 countries directly into their mobile phones through the Ria Money network

What are the best reasons to use Ria Money Transfer?

  • Flexible options available to a worldwide customer base
  • The ability to transfer funds overseas within minutes (if paying via credit or debit card)
  • No minimum transfer limits are applied

Can I trust Ria Money Transfer?

We will now look at the trust factors that make up Ria Money Transfer as a business, to find out how reputable and reliable the company is.

Having first started out in the financial services and electronic funds transfer sector in 1987, launching in New York City, this company has grown exponentially. 

Between 1993 and 2006, the Ria Money network expanded into new markets across Europe, including Spain, UK, Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Germany.

 In November 2006, Ria Money was acquired by Euronet Worldwide, Inc. for $490 million. The acquisition brought Ria Money into a huge family of sister companies like XE and ePay and in 2018, the group processed $115 billion in global payments, amounting to more than $2.5 billion in revenue. 

In 2012, Ria Money launched its online money transfer platform, RiaMoneyTransfer.com, designed to help customers send money from the comfort of their homes and offices.

Regulatory compliance

As an American corporation, Ria Money is regulated by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). As part of the compliance, the provider is required to hold funds in a segregated client account to cushion customers against loss of funds in times of financial crises.

Also, the provider adheres to all United Nations and European Union directives as well as communication from the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). It has put in place an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) framework and a host of other procedures. 

Key industry partnerships

Ria Money has grown through strategic partnerships with banks, retail stores, independent outlets and post offices. This has enabled it to bring services closer to people, especially in hard-to-reach areas. The following are some of the recent partnerships it has entered into:

  • Walmart: Together with Walmart, Ria Money launched Walmart-2-Walmart Money Transfer Service in 2014. This service gives customers a convenient and affordable way to send and receive money through Walmart’s network of over 5,000 retail stores
  • Emirate Post Group: In 2014, Ria Money partnered with Instant Cash Global Money Transfer, a business owned by the Emirate Post Group. This partnership has boosted Ria’s penetration in the Middle East and Asia
  • Union Bank Nigeria: This partnership gives Ria Money access to over 300 locations served by the bank across Nigeria
  • BankIslami Pakistan: Ria Money uses the bank’s branches (over 300 of them) as cash payout locations.
  • M-Pesa mobile money service: The over 26 million M-Pesa subscribers in Kenya are able to receive money from 20 countries through the Ria Money network
  • Mauritius Post: The partnership allows the postal corporation to strengthen its e-commerce strategy by using its 113 post offices as Ria Money cash pickup and transfer agent locations

Protection of customer data

The payment services industry is extremely sensitive and the safety of customer details is at the forefront of every provider’s mind. In light of this, Ria Money has put in place security measures to ensure its clients’ information and funds are safeguarded.

Ria has adopted the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). The standard helps in fighting credit card fraud by targeting controls around cardholder data.

The Ria Money Transfer online platform also has an Extended Validation SSL Certificate. This is a newer form of SSL certificate that Ria has put in place to safeguard its website and create confidence among its users that they are accessing the right website.

Industry awards

Over time, Ria Money has bagged several industry awards and accolades some of which include:

  • Best Social Insertion Project of Employment in the Financial Sector awarded at the 2018 Social Business Awards in Spain 
  • Best Cash Innovation Gold Award by PYMNTS.com Innovator Awards 2015 for their Walmart-2-Walmart money transfer service

What do users have to say about Ria Money Transfer?

Ria Money has more than 5,800 customer reviews on Trustpilot: 81% of these reviews are rated 4 or 5 stars, resulting in an overall rating of 4.1 out of 5. Despite many comments being positive, some shared mixed customer experiences. Here’s a summary of recurring comments:

Positive feedback

  • Good experiences with cash transfers
  • Plenty of payment options 
  • Widely accessible sending and disbursing network, even in remote corners of the globe

Negative feedback

  • Bank transfers take far longer, especially for new customers 
  • Bad experiences with customers service

How to get started with Ria Money Transfer to send & receive money

Ria Money has simplified the process of sending and receiving money. In a few easy to follow steps, you can set up your account and transfer money. If you are sending through an agent, you don’t need to sign up for an account.

Sending Money with Ria Money Transfer

Step 1. Register an account
Step 2. Enter the transfer details
Step 3. Enter recipient details
Step 4. Adding any extra details
Step 6. Submit payment
Step 7. Review carefully and Send

Receiving Money with Ria Money Transfer

There are four ways your beneficiary can receive money with Ria Money. The funds can be deposited in their bank account, mobile money wallet, delivered at home, or collected in cash from a cash pickup point. 

Bank deposits and mobile money transfers do not require the recipient to do anything. However, for home deliveries and cash pickups, the following information is required to receive money:

Cash pickup and home delivery

If your recipient is receiving their transfer through either of these methods, they will need:

  • The PIN provided to you when initiating the transfer
  • A valid ID (the same as that used in the transfer)
Step 1. Choose a Branch
Step 2. Get Your Pin
Step 3. Gather ID and Details
Step 4. Collect

Does Ria Money Transfer have a mobile app?

Yes, Ria Money offers a free mobile app which is available to download from both Google Play and App Store. On Google Play, the app has over 15,000 ratings, with an overall ranking of 4.7 out of 5. On the App Store, it has over 16,500 user reviews, with a score of 4.8 out of 5. Ria Money Transfer app has lots of helpful features that enable customers to: 

  • Send money instantly
  • Track transfers on the go
  • Locate nearby Ria Money agents 
  • Secure login via fingerprint or facial recognition
  • Add new recipients 
  • Manage all pending, complete and cancelled transfers
  • Schedule repeat transfers
  • Share payment details through WhatsApp, Messenger, Gmail, Facebook, OneDrive and several other widely used mobile applications

Can I cancel my transfer?

Yes, you can log in to your online account and cancel your transaction under the recent orders. Transfers that have already been paid out to the recipient cannot be cancelled. Depending on your payment method, it takes anywhere between 2-10 business days to get your refund following a successful cancellation. Cash and mobile transfers are carried out too quickly making cancellations almost impossible.

Is the Ria Money Transfer mobile app any good?
Is Ria Money Transfer a transparent service?
Is the Ria Money Transfer a secure service?
Can you track transfers with Ria Money Transfer?
What is the Ria Money Transfer mission statement?
What is the Ria Money Transfer TrustPilot score?
Does the recipient need a Ria Money Transfer account?
April Summers

April is a trained journalist and the Content Editor for MoneyTransfers.com. She has 10 years experience writing about a diverse range of subjects, from financial services to arts and entertainment. When she’s not writing about global remittances she can be found daydreaming about her next holiday abroad.

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13 June 2020 - 06:54pm