Financial security is main reason for people’s trust and confidence in ‘Ria’ : Country Manager Ivars-Lopez in an exclusive interview
প্রকাশিত হয়েছে : ২২ মে ২০২৩
The name “Ria” is quite well known in the field of money transfers. It is the quickest and safest method of transmitting money across countries. Ria’s services are not limited to the United Kingdom or Europe, or the United States; they are available in 188 countries and regions worldwide. Ria is now popular in every country. The Ria Money Transfer Service signboard can be seen on street corners and in stores.
The name ‘Ria’ is very popular in the United Kingdom and in many other countries. Within the UK’s Bangladeshi community, Ria’s popularity is growing. Ria is the first name that comes to mind when it comes to sending money to their home country. Expatriate Bangladeshis in the United Kingdom send money to their loved ones in Bangladesh through Ria due to this; Ria has also become popular in Bangladesh.
Most Bangladeshis living in the UK used to transmit money through the hundi method since there were no modern sophisticated money transfer technologies accessible when they first arrived. The hundi technique of transmitting money often resulted in a number of difficulties and problems. Numerous hundi businesses have on occasion taken money from foreigners but defaulted on sending it. As a result, while sending money home, expatriates had to cope with uncertainty.
In this situation, Ria began operating in the European market around 2007. The business quickly brought about dramatic improvements in the money transfer industry. Expatriates no longer have to live in fear when transferring money back home. Due to the introduction of mobile banking, remittance reaches the loved ones in no time.
Jose Ivars-Lopez, the United Kingdom Country Manager of Ria, told the Weekly Desh newspaper the tale of how RIA rose to become the second largest and most well liked money transfer business in the world. He recently spoke in detail about these topics in an exclusive interview with the Weekly Desh in the company’s main headquarters at Baker Street, West London.
How the Journey Began
Ria started its journey in New York in 1987, with the goal of sending remittances from America to the rest of the world. It did not take long for Ria to gain trust in transmitting money swiftly, safely and at a low cost.
Ria was acquired by Euronet Worldwide in 2007. Over time, Ria has continued to expand. Now, this organization is active in numerous European, Asian, and African nations. Ria is currently the world’s second-largest money transmission service.
The organization Euronet primarily focuses on technology. As a result, technical excellence is an ongoing and continual process at Ria. They claim that by regularly investing in financial technology, they have significantly contributed to the growth of the remittance transfer infrastructure. Customers are also benefitting from its success. Currently, Ria’s activities are conducted in 188 countries and regions. Ria has spent 35 years operating in the remittance industry.
The Meaning of the Name RIA
In the context of the name “Ria,” Lopez says, the word means “Remesas Inter-Americanas” or “Inter-American Remittances” in English. The organization is no longer restricted to the continent of North America. It is a globally operated institution. Their mission is to overcome all obstacles and send money anywhere in the world as quickly, securely, and reasonably as possible. Now, this organization’s main motto is “We open ways for a better everyday life”
Coverage of Ria’s services
Ivars-Lopez claims his company is unique from any other money transfer company. Their bank-deposit network is the largest in the world. Their company is linked with 3.6 billion bank accounts. Their main goal is to make things easier for customers. And they use technology to achive this objective. 90 percent of financial transactions happen in real time.
Ivars-Lopez claims that sending money takes much less time because of avoiding the intermediaries. They have established a globally reliable network with a proven track record. They conduct transactions through banks directly, saving both money and time. Security and transparency remain intact.
Ria’s Presence in the Bangladeshi Community
Among the Bangladeshi population in the UK, Ria is fairly popular. According to Ivars-Lopez in this context, their success is based on providing fast and secure services. Besides, they now have the most cash-out locations in Bangladesh. They have also recently signed agreements with three companies for mobile banking, which is working positively.
Among UK-based financial organizations, Ria is one of the few that can be relied upon when sending money abroad. The Ria app and it’s network of 2,000 agents around the United Kingdom, making it possible for users to transfer money back to their home countries.
As the eighth most populous nation, Ria is relatively easy to find in Bangladesh. There are a total of 58 banks involved in the remittance process, with a network of 30,000 locations across the country. Since most of the remittance money is sent to Sylhet, Ria has the highest presence there.
People around the world conduct financial transactions using a variety of methods. Currently, mobile phone wallets are also used for transactions. Recipients of a service no longer utilize a singular channel. Various apps are in use. Additionally, Ria is expanding their network. They are encouraging users to utilize their app and website in a variety of methods.
Why Should People Choose Ria?
Despite the presence of various money transfer options in the market, why would people choose Ria as their medium for sending money—a question to which Ivars-Lopez replies that they always try to stay close to the Bengali community and help them. They believe that trust must be earned. Additionally, respect must be shown to those who give others their hard-earned money. This implies that the receivers of the services must remain at the center of everything. Furthermore, Ria is more focused on long-term gains than short-term ones. As a result of their extensive experience, they are aware of the demands of the people who get their services. It is crucial that the funds be sent to the loved ones of expatriates at the right time. They have endured a number of painful situations in the past. Consequently, Ria has agreements with three mobile networks. They claim that each Ria transaction involves the sending of at least £220.
21 Billion Dollars Go to Bangladesh
The Central Bank of Bangladesh estimates that every year, remittances from other nations send 21 billion dollars to Bangladesh. 6.3 billion dollars send to the Dhaka area alone from this total. Among other divisions, 5.4 billion dollars and 2.1 billion dollars have been transferred to Chittagong and Sylhet, respectively. Since a large number of Sylhetis reside in the UK, 80% of the money sent from the UK is sent to Sylhet.
469 Million dollars is Sent to Bangladesh
According to an estimate in 2017, 26.8 billion dollars were sent from the UK alone to various countries around the world. Out of this 469 million dollars have been sent to Bangladesh. However, Evers-Lopez is reluctant to provide recent information in this regard. But they acknowledged that, they are the ones who send the most money from the UK.
Connected with 47.5 Million Account Holders in Bangladesh
Ria also has an office in Bangladesh. This is because Bangladesh is important to them. Ria has 30,000 stores, agents, and payout locations in Bangladesh. Recently, they have collaborated with 58 banks and financial organizations. In Bangladesh, they deal with a total of 47.5 million account holders. Additionally, they give account holders the option to transfer money using bKash to their mobile wallets.
What Other Services Does RIA Offer?
Ria offers its Bangladeshi clients bill payment services in addition to money transfers. They can use this service to pay their mobile phone bills, perform cash checks, and avail other financial facilities.
Clients of Ria in the UK have access to currency exchange services in alongside their financial transactions. Customers can exchange money and use holiday money services using the buy-back option.
The amount of money transferred by Ria depends on the nation it is sent from and the regulations of the country it is sent to. Ria maintains consistent behavior with all its service recipients. There are, nevertheless, certain guidelines for brand-new clients.
Why No More Agents in Whitechapel?
Regarding the hiring of more agents for Ria in Bengali populated area Whitechapel in East London, Ivars-Lopez says they are eager to provide as many agents as possible on any busy road. Whitechapel is no exception. There are already several agents of Ria there. Ria wants to show respect for them. And for this reason, they currently have no plans to hire new agents in this area.
The Reason for Strictness in Sending Remittances
People may wonder why there is such strictness when sending money through a Ria agent. In answer to this inquiry, Ivars-Lopez explains that, protecting their clients’ money is the primary objective of their stringent regulations. At the same time, they want to distribute the remittance in a trustworthy manner that is rapid and reliable. Ria wants to make sure they can accommodate sincere clients and their families. They seek to provide their customers the most ease possible as a money transfer provider.
He gives “Know Your Customer” program as an example. By preventing fraud, money laundering, and other financial irregularities, this program helps real service beneficiaries.
Offers for Bangladeshi Customers
When we inquired Evers if there are any special offers for Bangladeshi service recipients, he responded that there are a variety of offers and special offers available throughout the year for service recipients worldwide. The easiest way to learn about the deals is to follow Ria on social media or sign up for their email list. Nearest Ria office may also help with this. Evers-Lopez had plans to visit Bangladesh before the end of this year to help with a significant donation endeavor with Ria’s media partner, the weekly Desh.
Pictures taken by: Khalid Hossain