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Updated on Thursday, March 28, 2019
With over 350,000 locations worldwide and a robust online presence, Ria is a convenient option for people who need a no-hassle way to send money internationally.
Launched in 1987 as a single New York City storefront, Ria has expanded exponentially in more than thirty years in operation. In 2007, Ria merged with Euronet worldwide and now provides wire transfer services to 149 countries. Money transfers are available to be sent from the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Australia.
Customer service is available by phone during business hours — including Saturdays and Sundays — and a pricing tool allows you to see exactly how much a transfer may cost, making price comparison simple.
In addition to money transfer services, Ria also offers other services like money orders, check cashing, bill payment and prepaid debit cards.
Whether you’re doing business with a client in another country or sending money to family members abroad, it’s important to find a transfer company that delivers money securely, with minimal and transparent fees. You may also look for a money transfer company that’s available both online and in person, in the United States and around the globe. Comparing rates and capabilities helps you choose the best money transfer service for your needs.
In this review, we’ll cover all you need to know about Ria and how it stacks up to competitors.
Ria highs and lows
- Transparent pricing. Ria has a price calculator tool that allows customers to see a price quote of a potential transfer, making price comparisons between service providers simple. This is a rare feature, as many big name transfer services don’t make it quite as simple to see how much a transfer will cost before you make it.
- Multiple payment options. In addition to allowing patrons to send payments online and via their app (available on Apple and Android devices), Ria has a partnership with PayNearMe. This program allows customers to pay a transfer with cash at a local 7-Eleven convenience store.
- Global reach for recipients; limited reach for senders. With storefronts in 149 countries and over 350,000 locations, Ria can be an easy option for those sending money from the U.S. abroad. That said, currently money can only be sent through Ria from four countries: the United States, the U.K., Australia, and Spain. If you’re frequently making transfers and requesting money from elsewhere, Ria may not be the best option for you.
- Limited daily and monthly transactions. While it may be possible to send more money if you work through an agent (as opposed to exclusively online), Ria only allows you to send up to $2,999.99 a day, or up to $7,999 a month.
Sending a money transfer with Ria
Options for receiving funds depend on where the recipient is located. Ria has a courier delivery service available in Vietnam, Peru, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic. Money can also be transferred for in-person pickup at a Ria agent location or deposited in a worldwide bank location.
Funds can be sent from bank accounts, credit cards, or debit cards, with additional fees that differ based on which option is chosen. Cash payments can be enabled by the company’s partnership with PayNearMe, which allows customers to use cash to start a transfer.
How long does a transfer take?
Transfer time is dictated by the transfer method chosen by the sender. Credit card and debit card transfers should take 15 minutes. Credit card transfers tend to be the fastest, and are also the most expensive due to processing fees.
Bank transfers can be the most economical option, but are also the most time-consuming, taking up to four days to reach a recipient’s account. In addition, bank accounts require you to set up your bank account through Ria’s platform, which can cause a delay as you’ll need to validate your bank account info.
Where can you send money?
Right now, money can be sent to 149 countries on six continents, as well as within the U.S. It’s important to note that some countries have differing services — for example, it’s only possible to send money to Nigeria through bank transfer, and many countries don’t currently offer courier money services.
How much can you send?
If you’re sending money online, Ria caps transactions at $2,999.99 a day or $7,999.99 a month. It may be possible to send more money if you’re working directly with an agent.
Fees and fine print
Fees vary depending on country, the payment method and payout method, but it’s not uncommon for fees to be about 0.5% to 1.5% of the total amount you’re sending.
Ria’s price calculator tool provides transparency into how much you pay in fees based on how you’re sending the funds. There may be different fees based on whether you send the transfer online or work with an agent. In addition, you may be charged a retail exchange fee if you want the payout for your recipient to be in local funds, rather than dollars.
So how do Ria’s fees stack up to other money transfer services? These fees may be lower than transferring money internationally through your bank, but it really depends on all the factors we outlined above, so be sure you compare. Wire transfers from your bank may charge a one-off fee (regardless of how much you’re sending) of $20 to $35 per transaction, and may also charge a fee for the recipient who receives them.
Is Ria a good money transfer service to use?
A thirty-plus year history in international money transfers and a robust presence abroad could make Ria a good option, depending on your needs. Here, some potential things to consider:
Alternative money transfer options to Ria
Western Union and TransferWise are international money transfer companies providing similar services to Ria.
- Where can you send money? Western Union’s very large network of 500,000 agent locations lets you send money to more than 200 countries and territories.
- How long does a transfer take? Most Western Union transactions take place in minutes, although like many other transfer services, factors like the destination country and source of funds can slow things down.
- How much can you send? Limits depend on where you are sending money from, the destination country, your transaction history with Western Union and the type of transfer service you choose.
- Fee to send money: Western Union is not known as the least expensive option: exchange rate fees may be higher and there are other transfer fees. You can estimate the cost of sending money using Western Union’s online fee calculator.
Western Union stands out among competitors for its conveniently large network and speed. With more than 500,000 agent locations, finding a convenient spot to send or receive money may be easier than with other service providers.
- Where can you send money? TransferWise lets you send money to more than 70 countries.
- How long does a transfer take? Transfers take one to four business days, depending on destination, payment method, and how long it takes the recipient’s bank to process the transaction.
- How much can you send? How much you send from the U.S. may depend on which state you live in and local laws that apply to international transfers. You can transfer up to $15,000 per order via ACH and up to $1,000,000 via other methods; this upper limit is not applicable in Nevada or Hawaii, or in the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
- Fee to send money: TransferWise’s fees vary depending on the currency you are transferring from and the source of the funds, with extra fees for debit cards and credit cards. It offers a handy online pricing calculator to help you estimate transfer costs and fees.
TransferWise is a relative newcomer to the international money transfer market. Among its unique features is a “borderless account,” or an account where you can keep money in 40+ currencies, transferring them when needed. Like other money transfer options, TransferWise has an online pricing calculator to help you estimate transfer costs and fees.
Should you choose Ria?
Ria’s robust global presence, including a very large number of brick-and-mortar locations and variety of delivery options, make it a great choice for people who need flexibility in transferring smaller amounts to diverse recipients. However, it’s less-than-stellar app and lower monthly transfer ceilings may limit its utility for some users.