Note that I receive no payment or commission for providing this information or writing these reviews. It’s all a part of my ongoing search for the best money transfer services.
RIA Financial Services is the world’s third-largest global money transfer company. Founded in 1987 in New York City with the goal of serving the Eastern Seaboard, the company now serves 134 countries. In 2007 RIA was acquired by Euronet Worldwide, which is headquartered in Leawood, Kansas, USA.
RIA describes themselves as “the most progressive money transfer company that offers the most competitive and reliable remittance payment services to the general public.”
To send money through Ria, you can contact one of their more than 41,000 paying and receiving Agents, Correspondents or RIA locations around the world. To find a location near you, check here: RIA retail locations. Or call 1-800-227-4195. RIA’s locations are not as ubiquitous as Western Union or MoneyGram, but if you’re in any large or even medium-sized city, you can probably find an agent. I’m located in Fresno, California, a city of about 500,000, and looking at RIA’s website I see they have a location here at the Fulton Mall.
Significantly for U.S. consumers, RIA recently announced that their money transfer services are now available in 5,000 7-Eleven stores.
Unfortunately RIA’s money transfer rates are not listed up front. In order to find out the rate, you are asked to visit a local agent, which in my opinion is a bit of a bother. I see no reason not to provide the information up front if the rates are as competitive as RIA claims.
Personal Experiences and Reviews of RIA
In a discussion on the Visa Journey forum, one member wrote:
“I always used Ria Money Transfer for sending money to my dad in Brazil when I was in the U.S. I usually would go to this Brazilian store, a brazilian store always have way for you to send money, and I’d only pay 10 dollars fee, I think it’s 10 dollars till $3,500, I don’t know what is the fee for your transfer if you send more. One time my husband used Western Union to send me $2,000 to Brazil we ended up paying more fees, cause they take a % of it plus a bank fee.”
Ben in London writes,
“I recently sent some money to South America (to be collected in US dollars) using Ria Money Transfer (I used the branch in Elephant & Castle shopping centre, London). They work in a similar way to Western Union but are much cheaper. They charged me £1 for the transaction and the exchange rate was only about 1.5% worse than the interbank rate – very reasonable I thought. The recipient just had to go to a local agency to collect the money in cash. I’m not sure what the rates are like for sending to the USA but it’s worth asking.”
I personally own a home in Panama and receive the rent from my tenant every month by Western Union. The fee is an odiously high $49 to send $700. Looking at the list of nations that have RIA agents, I see that Panama is included. I’m very interested to find out where the RIA agent is located in Panama, and what the rate would be for my tenant to send the rent.
Countries with RIA Agents:
Congo Democratic Republic
Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
|United Arab Emirates