Ria Review: Any good for small money transfers abroad?
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Ria Money Transfer is one of the world’s largest money transfer companies, enabling money remittances all around the globe. Ria was founded in 1987 from small beginnings in New York. It began by offering money transfer services to Latin America and steadily expanded to serve virtually all corners of the world.
Today, Ria allows you to send money overseas by debit/credit card online or through their app, by bank transfer, or in branch, with the recipient receiving the funds in their home currency either electronically or in cash.
Along with having an extensive branch network around the world, Ria also offers a web portal and app designed to make money transfer more convenient, with easy-to-follow steps.
Table of Contents
- 1 Ria Money Transfer Currency Transfers
- 2 Ria Money Transfer Rates, Charges & Fees
- 3 Ria Money Transfers
- 4 Ria Money Transfers in Cash
- 5 Ria Money Transfers by Bank Transfer
- 6 Ria Money Transfers Home Delivery
- 7 Ria Money Transfer App
- 8 Ria Money Transfer Online
- 9 Ria Money Transfers Near You
- 10 Ria Money Transfer Euro Exchange Rate
- 11 Ria Money Transfer US Dollar Exchange Rate
- 12 Ria Money Transfer Indian Rupee Exchange Rate
- 13 Ria Money Transfer Security & Regulation
- 14 Ria Money Transfer Pros
- 15 Ria Money Transfer Cons
- 16 Ria Money Transfer Alternatives
Ria Money Transfer Currency Transfers
You can opt to have funds transferred to a recipient’s bank account, delivered as a cash pickup at one of Ria’s agent locations or, in certain countries, dispatched through a home delivery service. Ria offers prompt, secure and reliable money transfer in 100 different currencies. Money can be sent in only 15 minutes if you pay by cash or card, though much longer if you choose to pay by bank transfer.
Overall, Ria is on par with competitors in terms of the service it offers given its website and app features, though the sheer scale of its agent network and its enormous geographical reach give it an edge. Ria’s website and app form a core part of its proposition in this now highly competitive digital marketplace. You can use Ria’s app to instantly share order details with the recipient by text, Whatsapp, or email.
You can upload your debit/credit card information with your smartphone camera, find the most convenient Ria locations using the agent finder tool, track your transfers and get alerts direct to your phone. The app lets you login with fingerprint and facial recognition for added security.
Ria Money Transfer Rates, Charges & Fees
As is standard industry practice, the cost of your transfer is made up of a transaction fee and an exchange rate margin. Ria’s margin for a given currency pair is typically in the range of 0.5% to 1.2%. You can quickly calculate the cost of sending money to a given country using Ria’s online calculator.
It’s worth shopping around and at least comparing Ria with one of its main competitors for a given transaction, looking at the total cost of the transaction to you and what the recipient will actually receive in their own currency. You will find it can be more expensive for certain currency pairs and cheaper for others versus the competition, but also depending on how the money is sent and to be received.
For example, sending £100 as a debit card transaction to Germany can work out as more cost effective through Ria versus Western Union if it’s for cash pickup, but less cost effective if the funds are to be received into someone’s bank account. Meanwhile, it’s marginally more cost effective to send £100 to someone’s US dollar bank account or as a US cash pickup through Western Union. Again, for India, it works out as slightly more cost effective through Western Union versus Ria to dispatch £100 either for someone to pick up in rupees as cash or as funds in their Indian bank account. For those using its online service, Ria will currently add £5 to the first money transfer.
Ria’s fees and charges are generally transparent, especially if you are using the website or app, as the calculator allows you to easily dial up what will be paid by you and received at the other end in any given transaction. As always, using a credit card to fund transactions can result in additional charges as credit card companies tend to levy cash advance fees. The cost of transferring funds at Ria’s agent locations may differ to those displayed on its website and may be less favourable.
Ria Money Transfers
Ria allows you to send money to most countries in the world, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, using 100 different currencies. You can fund transactions through your bank account, credit card, debit card or by dropping off the cash at a physical agent location.
Paying by credit or debit card is the fastest option, as money can be sent within just 15 minutes. As credit card providers are likely to charge you a cash advance fee, using a debit card should work out as more cost effective. Ria will typically charge you somewhere between £1.50 to £4.50 to send £100 overseas from the UK. However, part of the transfer fee is made up of an exchange rate margin. As exchange rates differ between currency pairs and between the various money transfer companies, it’s worth looking at what the recipient would actually receive in their own currency and the total value of the transaction for the sender.
Ria can work out as slightly more expensive for various transactions versus key competitors such as Western Union; for sending money from the UK either as a cash pickup or into someone’s bank account to the US or India. We found Ria was more cost effective in a euro transaction versus Western Union, sending funds to Germany, but only in the case of a cash pick up. However, on the plus side, Ria sometimes allows you to send money to some of the less common destinations that its main rivals may not service.
For example, Ria’s portal allows you to send funds to Armenia from the UK, either as cash pick up or cash home delivery, whereas Western Union’s portal does not allow you to send money from the UK at all.
Ria Money Transfers in Cash
Ria’s significant branch network, with approximately 447,000 locations in 160 countries, means it can be one of the best choices if you want the recipient to receive the funds in cash, for instance if you are sending money to a friend or family member, as the large number of branch locations means they should generally be able to locate an agent reasonably close by.
The website and app both let you elect the cash pickup option and you can also choose to send as cash delivery to people’s homes for certain country destinations, namely Armenia, the Dominican Republic, Hungary, Morocco, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam. If you choose this option, it can be more expensive than if you choose to dispatch the funds into someone’s bank account.
For example, the fee for sending money as a cash pickup from the UK to the US can be three times as expensive as compared to if you send it to their bank account.
Ria Money Transfers by Bank Transfer
In line with Ria’s main competitors, including MoneyGram and Western Union, bank account transfers will cost less but take longer for recipients to receive the funds as compared to if you choose to make a debit or credit card payment instead.
It tends to take longer because the payments process for bank transfers is somewhat different, with more steps involved. A bank transfer is a direct payment from your bank account into Ria’s bank account, with Ria then sending the funds onto the recipient.
The bank transfer option will be suitable if the money transfer is not urgent, as going down this route means it could take up to four days for the funds to reach their destination.
Banks say they need to make checks to prevent fraud, though the banks are also thought to be unwilling to speed up this process as they can earn overnight interest on your money.
Ria Money Transfers Home Delivery
Home delivery is only available in select countries: Armenia, the Dominican Republic, Hungary, Morocco, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam. Rather than having to go to an agent to pick up the money, choosing this option allows the recipient to have the funds delivered to their home in the cash. Such a service is likely to appeal to elderly recipients as well as those who have busy schedules.
It may also appeal if the locality is deemed to be relatively unsafe. Again, using the example of Armenia, the fee to send £100 from the UK as home delivery still works out at £4.50, and is therefore no more expensive than Ria’s standard cash transfer. Home delivery has become more popular among remittance firms during the coronavirus crisis. Western Union says it will not charge a home delivery service fee but says its agents may well charge extra for this.
Ria Money Transfer App
The Ria Money Transfer app can be downloaded through both Google Play and the App Store. It has a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars on both platforms. Ria’s app allows you to easily make money transfers as well as repeat historic remittances by scrolling through your activity record in the app.
The app enables you to log in through both face and fingerprint recognition, though this has become standard for money transfer apps of late. It comes with a map that helps you find agent locations using GPS. You can also use the Ria app to notify recipients of an order status. Overall, the app appears to us as broadly on par with competitor offerings, with ease of use and cutting-edge technology like biometrics.
However, MoneyGram’s payment app has slightly better review ratings on Google Play and the App Store, with 4.3 and 4.8 respectively, as does Western Union, with 4.5 and 4.6 respectively.
Ria Money Transfer Online
Ria Money has a relatively user-friendly portal, which many people will likely view as their preferred method to send money through the company, as this should allow you to easily transact from home. Just like the app, it has been designed to ensure that money transfer is as stress free as possible, with easy-to-follow steps. There is a handy online calculator that allows you to instantly compute costs for sending money abroad.
You can also track payments to see exactly where your money is in the remittance process and an online agent locator will help you pinpoint the nearest agent location to where the recipient is in the world. Through Ria’s website, you can send money from the US, Australia, UK or Canada to most countries worldwide.
Ria Money Transfers Near You
You can use the app or web portal to find the nearest agent to you or to the location where your recipient is located. There is also a toll-free number (0207 467 2539) that will help you find the nearest agent. Ria offers money transfer services at around 447,000 locations in 160 countries as well as online and through its app. Ria’s agents are often small businesses, including shops and internet cafes.
Most people will find the portal or app more convenient to send money abroad, for instance by simply inputting their debit card details rather than visiting a branch in person. It is possible to use the portal or app to send money for cash pickup, or in certain countries as cash delivery, along with allow you to send the funds to someone’s bank account.
However, for those who want to make the actual payment in cash, the large number of agent locations mean that finding a branch relatively near to your home is unlikely to be an issue.
Ria Money Transfer Euro Exchange Rate
Making a £100 money transfer to Germany in euros from the UK by debit card through Ria’s website will result in a fee of £4.50, whether this is for the recipient to pick up in cash or if this is to be sent straight to their bank account. For the total transaction value of £104.50, the recipient would receive €113.20.
Western Union would charge a fee of £1.90 to send the £100 through your debit card to the recipient’s bank account in Germany, with the receiver getting €114.85 for a total sender transaction value of £101.90. However, Western Union offers a less favourable exchange rate and a higher fee (£2.90) if you choose to send the funds for the receiver to pick up as cash. It means the recipient would get just €104.77 for a total sender transaction value of £102.90.
Ria Money Transfer US Dollar Exchange Rate
Sending £100 to the US with your debit card through Ria’s portal results in a fee of £1.50 if you are transferring it to the recipient’s bank account. For a total sender transaction value of £101.50, the receiver would get $135.50. However, if you want to send for the recipient to pick up as cash, the fee would be £4.50. In this case, the receiver would still get $135.50 but for a total transaction value to the sender of £104.50.
Meanwhile, transferring the money to someone’s US bank account via Western Union would result in a fee of £1.90, with the receiver getting $136.34 compared with a total cost for the sender of £101.90. Remitting the money as a cash pick up via Western Union would result in a fee of £2.90, with the recipient getting $134 and a total sender transaction cost of £102.90.
Ria Money Transfer Indian Rupee Exchange Rate
Again, sending £100 to India through the Ria portal with your debit card results in a £1.50 fee if you want to transfer the money to the receiver’s Indian bank account. For a total transaction value to the sender of £101.50, the recipient gets INR 10200. However, if you want to dispatch the funds as a cash pickup in India, Ria charges a fee of £2.50. The receiver still gets INR 10200 but for a total transaction value to the sender of £102.50.
Sending £100 to an Indian bank account via Western Union results in a fee of £1.90. The receiver gets INR 10266.41 for a total transaction cost to the sender of £101.90. Nevertheless, as a cash pick up through Western Union, the recipient gets just INR 10168.58 for this same transaction cost.
Ria Money Transfer Security & Regulation
Ria Money Transfer is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and is also regulated by various other financial watchdogs around the world in the jurisdictions where its international subsidiaries are located. In this US, its home market, Ria is regulated by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Using a major, established money transfer company that is regulated in this way gives you peace of mind, as this should mean your funds are more likely to be secure while in transit. The regulator’s standards mean Ria must keep all customer funds segregated from its own, so client money should remain safe. If you have a serious complaint and Ria is unable to resolve it, you can ultimately take this to the Financial Ombudsman.
Ria Money Transfer Pros
- Ria has a vast geographical reach, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe allowing you to make money transfers to destinations that its rivals may not serve, including less common destinations such as Armenia.
- A large number of agent locations worldwide, over 447,000, means you should nearly always be able to find a branch close by the receiver if you want to send funds for cash pickup.
- Ria offers a user-friendly portal and app, which should help take some of the hassle out of money transfer, giving you information at your fingertips.
- Ria already being a popular choice for cash pickups, has pioneered cash home delivery in select markets.
- Money can be sent in as little as 15 minutes if you use cash or card.
- You can send small amounts, with its minimum transfer valuing being just £1.
Ria Money Transfer Cons
- Ria’s can work out as being marginally less cost effective than competitors, for example if are sending money to either the US or India.
- You can only use the website or app to transfer sums up to £5,000. Above this level, you would need to set up a transaction through one of Ria’s agent locations.
- If you elect to make payments by bank transfer, it can take up to four days for recipients to get the funds.
- Rates offered at agent locations may be less favourable than those on Ria’s website.
Ria Money Transfer Alternatives
As one of the biggest transfer providers in the world, Ria’s key competitors are MoneyGram and Western Union. Ria really stands out for its extensive branch network, making it convenient for cash pickups or in-person transactions.
The company has extremely impressive coverage across the world in terms of the countries that it serves. For instance, Ria allows you to send money to countries such as Armenia, areas of the world that some of its competitors simply do not reach. The cash delivery service that Ria offers in certain countries can be a key differentiator. Ria’s portal and app are also simple to navigate.