Western Union vs Ria

We compare the well-known Western Union with Ria, a growing international money transfer service that could save you money.

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Western Union is perhaps the most well-known international money transfer service, but newer companies like Ria offer 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.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 9 January 2019.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 2 1 - 2 days AUD 15.00 0.746 USD
735
Ria lets you send money to 130+ countries with cash pick-up at 240,000 locations. Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 20.00 0.743 USD
728
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world. Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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. Most transfer fees start at $5, but they can skyrocket up to $45 or more if you're paying by credit or debit card or for cash pickup in certain countries.

While the fee is different for each currency, here's an example of what a $500 transfer to a cash pick-up location would look like:

  • To India: $9 ($15 if you pay by card)
  • To Mexico: $7 ($35 if you pay by card)

Ria

The fees with Ria also change from currency to currency. The cheapest way to send money is through a bank transfer, with credit cards racking up higher fees. Here is what the same $500 transfer at Ria would look like:

  • To India: $5 ($9 if you pay by card)
  • To Mexico: $4 ($18 if you pay by card)

Trophy icon
Winner: Ria

Although both have higher fees if you pay by card, 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$15$18
Exchange rateAUD$1 = NZD$1.0244AUD$1 = NZD$1.0352
Transfer speedInstantInstant
Total dollars receivedNZD$307.33NZD$310.56
Receiver getsNZD$3.23 lessNZD$3.23 more
Sending $4,000 to New Zealand
Western UnionRia
Transfer fee$30$18
Exchange rateAUD$1 = NZD$1.0244AUD$1 = NZD$1.0352
Transfer speedInstantInstant
Total dollars receivedNZD$4,097.77NZD$4,140.80
Receiver getsNZD$43.03 lessNZD$43.03 more

For both of these transfers, you end up with more money at the end with Ria. Ria's fee may be more for the smaller $300 transfer, 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 = SGD$0.97
  • Western Union's exchange rate: AUD$1 = SGD$0.935

This is a margin of 3.59%.

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 = SGD$0.97
  • Ria's exchange rate: AUD$1 = SGD$0.944

This ends up being a margin of 2.71%.

Trophy icon
Winner: Ria

Ria tends to add a smaller margin to the mid-market rate than Western Union, making it a better choice for fairer exchange rates. This means that your recipient will end up getting more money with Ria's exchange rates than with Western Union's.

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, the exchange typically takes 15 minutes or less. 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 UnionBank transfer, credit card, debit card, cashBank account, cash pick-up locationMinimum: $1

Maximum: $50,000

Same day95+ currencies
RiaBank transfer, credit card, debit card, cashBank account, cash pick-up, door deliveryMinimum: $2

Maximum: $5,000

1 - 2 days95+ 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 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.

Bottom line

Western Union and Ria offer similar options, but you end up saving more money with Ria's lower fees and lower exchange rates.

Looking for more options?

Check out what fees and exchange rates some other money transfer services are offering with our calculator below.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 0 1 - 2 days AUD 1.99 0.764 USD
3,818
Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries. Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.766 USD
3,831
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.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.766 USD
3,831
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.766 USD
3,831
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
WorldFirst sends 60+ currencies at competitive rates with no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days AUD 15.00 0.766 USD
3,819
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 day AUD 26.00 0.769 USD
3,826
Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to $3,000.
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
Go to site Show details
AUD 10 Within an hour AUD 2.99 0.761 USD
3,802
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 0.00 0.765 USD
3,827
XE has fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 - 2 days AUD 25.00 0.769 USD
3,823
Exclusive: Use code FINDER10 to receive US$10 off your first transaction.
InstaReM offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers. Zero-margin rates on some currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.762 USD
3,806
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 3.99 0.76 USD
3,797
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 - 2 days AUD 22.50 0.769 USD
3,829
TransferWise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

More guides on Finder

International Money Transfer Offers

Important Information*
Logo for Azimo International Money Transfers
Azimo International Money Transfers

Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.

Logo for TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX International Money Transfers

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.

Logo for Send International Money Transfers
Send International Money Transfers

Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.

Logo for WorldFirst International Money Transfers
WorldFirst International Money Transfers

Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
WorldFirst sends 60+ currencies at competitive rates with no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.

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