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Western Union vs Ria

Take a look at well-known Western Union and growing international money transfer service Ria side by side.

Western Union is a well-known, established money transfer service with an extensive network across the globe. Meanwhile, Ria is a relative newcomer to the market but offers competitive rates to save you money. We compare what the two look like next to each other in terms of delivery speed, fees and exchange rates.

Compare Western Union vs Ria

Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
Ria Money Transfers
Within minutes
$2.89
$0 fee for new customers with code ‘HelloRia’. T&Cs apply.
Ria lets you send money to 165+ countries with cash pick-up at 507,000 locations.
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How they work

Western Union and Ria work in similar ways. They both offer diverse money transfer options including bank transfers and sending money for cash pickup. Western Union is the more established of the two, so can offer an extensive network and fast delivery speeds. But Ria is not far behind, with agent locations in over 165 countries.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 26 April 2022.

Which has lower fees?

Western Union

Western Union's fees vary depending on how much you're transferring, how you're sending it and where you're sending it to. Agent location fees aren't typically posted online, but Western Union's online fees are different for nearly every country it sends to. You can use its "Price Estimator" tool on its website to check the exchange rate and fee for your specific transaction.

Ria

For new customers, transfers are fee-free. If you are already a customer, Ria charges a flat $2.89 fee for online transfers to any country, any amount. However, keep in mind that fees vary between online and agent locations.

Trophy icon
Winner: Ria

With its flat transfer fee for any country, Ria's fees are generally cheaper across the board.

Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $300 and $4,000 to New Zealand

Let's look at an example to put this into context better. We're going to go through what two different transfers look like with Ria and Western Union. In this scenario, we're going to pay with a credit card (which means higher fees than with a bank transfer), and we're going to send the money to a cash pick-up location.

Keep in mind that other currencies will have different fees and transfer times.

Sending $300 to New Zealand
Western UnionRia
Transfer fee$0$2.89
Exchange rateAUD$1 = NZD$1.0651AUD$1 = NZD$1.07
Transfer speedInstantInstant
Total dollars receivedNZD$319.53NZD$321.03
Receiver getsNZD$1.50 lessNZD$1.50 more
Sending $4,000 to New Zealand
Western UnionRia
Transfer fee$0$2.89
Exchange rateAUD$1 = NZD$1.0760AUD$1 = NZD$1.08
Transfer speedInstantInstant
Total dollars receivedNZD$4,303.83NZD$4,326.10
Receiver getsNZD$22.27 lessNZD$22.27 more

For both of these transfers, you end up with more money at the end with Ria. Ria's fee may be higher, but the better exchange rate makes up for this in the end.

Which offers better exchange rates?

Western Union

Depending on the country you're sending money to, a typical exchange rate at Western Union can be up to 6% above the mid-market rate. This means that if you're sending a large amount overseas, you're losing out on hundreds of dollars.

For example:

  • Mid-market rate: AUD$1 = PHP37.56
  • Western Union's exchange rate: AUD$1 = PHP37.4726

This is a margin of 0.23%.

Ria

Ria also adds a margin to the exchange rate, ranging between 0.3% and 4%. The same example of sending money to Singapore looks like this:

  • Mid-market rate: AUD$1 = PHP37.56
  • Ria's exchange rate: AUD$1 = PHP37.41

This is a margin of 0.39%.

Trophy icon
Winner: Tie

It depends on which currency you are sending as to what exchange rate markup you can expect. In our example above, both providers are pretty evenly matched.

Which is faster?

Western Union

Western Union's delivery speeds vary, depending on your transfer options. At an agent location or by phone, your transfer could be delivered in minutes (at higher costs). Your cheapest options could take five days or longer, depending on the country.

Ria

Ria's transfer speeds also depend on how you want to send the money. When you use your credit or debit card, or pay by PayID, your money should arrive in real-time. Cheaper transfers from your bank account can take up to four days.

Trophy icon
Winner: Tie

Both Ria and Western Union offer an instant transfer option as well as a slower, cheaper option.

General features

Payment methodsReceiving optionsMinimum and maximum transfersTransfer speedsCurrencies
Western Union
  • Bank transfer
  • Cash
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Bank account
  • Cash pickup location
Minimum: $1

Maximum: $50,000

Within minutes138 currencies
Ria
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • PayID
  • Bank account
  • Cash pickup location
  • Home delivery
Minimum: $1

Maximum: $20,000

Within minutes95 currencies

Western Union

To transfer money online with Western Union, visit its site, enter the amount you're transferring and to where, and then confirm how much you need to pay for the exchange. Once complete, Western Union converts and delivers your money to a bank account, mobile wallet or for cash pickup at locations worldwide.

Ria

To transfer money online with Ria, go to its site, enter the amount you'd like to transfer and to which country, and choose your payment and payout methods. On the same page, you'll see the exchange rate and transfer fee for your particular exchange.

Is Ria better than Western Union?

Western Union and Ria are pretty evenly matched, but you typically end up saving money with Ria's flat transfer fee and lower exchange rates.

Looking for more options?

Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Xe Large Transfers
24 hours
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Send Payments
24 hours
$0

Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
Revolut
Within minutes
$0
Send money with great rates and low fees in 30+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Instarem
Within minutes
From 0%
50% off first transaction fee from any country in APAC (outside India).
Minimum transfer of $250 and max transfer of $500,000
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.43%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Rocket Remit
Within minutes
From $0 to $5
Send money instantly to friends and family in over 45 countries using just your mobile number.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $1.99
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
SingX
Within minutes
From 0.5%
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
CurrencyFair
Within minutes
€3
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Send Payments
Send Payments
24 hours
$0
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
MasterRemit
Within minutes
From $0
Get your 1st and 2nd money transfer for free with promo codes FIRSTFREE and MASTERFINDER!.
Send money in minutes at competitive exchange rates to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
Qantas Business Money
Within minutes
$0
Limited time offer: Earn up to 125,000 bonus Qantas Points as a first-time converter. Ends 30 April 2024. Conversion limits and T&Cs apply.
Set up accounts in 11 different currencies and get rewarded for global business payments by earning Qantas Points.
Airwallex
Within minutes
$0
Streamline global payments in 60+ currencies. Send & receive securely in 150+ countries, with fast settlements & competitive rates. Simplify book-keeping & manage everything in one place.
TorFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
OFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
WorldFirst
24 hours
From $0
Open bank accounts in Australia, the UK, US, Canada, Japan and Europe. Send and receive funds with zero fees for large sums, including same-currency supplier payments.
Send business
24 hours
$0

Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
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