Ria Online Money Transfer Review

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After Western Union and MoneyGram, Ria is the third largest international money transfer provider in the world.  The company began thirty years ago as just one small store in New York City with a mission to make it easier for migrants and expats to send money to loved ones back home.  Today its vast network includes over 300,000 agent locations in 146 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.  Millions of people around the world rely on Ria to make cross-border payments quickly and conveniently.

How does it work?

Ria customers can send money online, using a bank account or credit/debit card, or in person, using cash.  The money can be delivered to the recipient’s bank account or to a local agency for cash pickup.  In some countries, like the Philippines, Ria offers the option of a courier service to the recipient’s home.  The availability of send and receive methods varies by location (for example, online transfers are only supported from the US, Australia, Spain, and the UK), but cash can be picked up from all 146 countries in Ria’s network.

How much does it cost?

The cost of a transfer through Ria depends on the payment and delivery method used, the location of the recipient, and the amount transferred.  In general, Ria’s transaction fees and foreign exchange rates are competitive. For cash transactions, Ria tends to be cheaper than other leading services. 

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If you send $1,000 with a bank account or debit card, expect to pay between $2 and $40 in fees.  Transferring that same amount with a credit card will usually cost you more:  fees increase to between $8 and $142.  In addition, credit card companies may charge you interest and cash advance fees.  Ria typically marks up the mid-market rate—the rate major banks use to trade currencies among themselves—between 1% and 3%.

How much can I send?

There is no minimum send amount, but the maximum you can send online is $2,999 per day (except in Oklahoma and Arizona, where there’s a $999 limit)  and $7,999 every 30 days.  If you’d like to send more, you’ll need to visit an agent location and provide additional documentation, such as an official ID.  Ria requires this security check to follow federal anti-money laundering regulations.

How long does it take?

Speed is one of Ria’s standout features.  When you pay with a debit/credit card and select cash pickup, the money arrives in most countries on the same day.  Allow two business days for a card-to-bank transaction and four for a bank-to-bank transfer (not including the time it takes for Ria to verify that your account contains sufficient funds).

Does it have a mobile app?

Ria’s mobile app is available for iPhones and Ipads but not for Android devices.  It does not offer as smooth an experience as other money transfer apps, mainly because the registration process requires a lot of information and too many security questions.  Also, determining transfer costs is challenging, because they’re not shown upfront and the price calculator is hard to locate.

What do customers think of it?

Ria received an average rating of four stars for “great” on TrustPilot.  Occasionally, customers posted extremely negative reviews about such problems as tedious security measures, blocking accounts without cause, low transfer limits, and lack of more widespread online service.  But the vast majority of reviewers appreciated Ria for features like speed, convenience, and reliability. 

 

 

 

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