Ria Money Transfer vs Instarem - Everything you need to know

Tommy Buckley

Ria Money Transfer®1 and Instarem®2 offer easy digital international money transfer services from the UK.

Ria Money Transfer specialises in personal transfers, with an extensive branch network you can use to send payments in person, and a selection of ways to pay and have your money received, too. Instarem on the other hand is a digital only service, which has payments to 60 countries for personal customers, plus business transfers and account services.

This Ria Money Transfer vs Instarem comparison will help you pick the right provider for your next international payment. Plus, we’ll touch on Wise as an alternative, which lets you send personal and business payments to 160+ countries with low fees3 and the mid-market rate. More on that later.

What is Ria Money Transfer?

Ria Money Transfer offers international remittances you can set up online, in-app and in person. You can send personal payments to friends and family in 165+ countries around the world, and your recipient can choose to collect their money from one of 500,000 agents globally, or receive the transfer to their bank or mobile wallet account instead. Being able to arrange payments abroad for cash collection can be very handy if you need to get money to a loved one quickly - or if you’re sending to someone who doesn’t have access to a bank account.

What is Instarem?

Instarem is a fully digital international transfer service, which allows UK personal customers to send payments to 60+ countries. Transfers may be instant or same day depending on the destination, and you can earn rewards which can be traded for discounts on future payments.

Instarem business4 customers have a broader suite of options, including payments to 170+ countries, multi-currency holding accounts, ways to receive payments and cash flow products.

Ria Money Transfer vs Instarem benefits

Ria Money Transfer and Instarem have similar digital services for personal customers, but Ria also has a face to face service offering for cash pay in and pay out, while Instarem stands out for offering a suite of business services. Which option is best for you is likely to simply come down to the type of transactions you need to make.

To build a picture, let's look at where Ria Money Transfer and Instarem are similar:

  • Ria Money Transfer and Instarem are both FCA regulated in the UK
  • Both Ria Money Transfer and Instarem offer transfers you set up online or in-app
  • Ria Money Transfer and Instarem both offer international transfers to UK personal customers which can be deposited to a bank account

Beyond this, both Ria Money Transfer and Instarem have their own unique features and benefits. Let’s look at these individually:

Ria Money Transfer Features and Benefits

  • Set up your payment in person at a UK agent, as well as options for online and in-app
  • Payout options include bank and mobile wallet deposit and cash collection at 500,000+ agents
  • Send to 160+ countries
  • Send no more than 4,999 GBP online per month, higher transfers may be arranged in person at an agent in some cases5

Instarem Features and Benefits

  • Send to 60+ countries as a personal customer
  • Business services are available, including payments to 170+ countries and multi-currency holding accounts
  • Personal customers can send unlimited payments by bank transfer, but can send no more than 10,000 GBP using a debit card 6

Ria Money Transfer vs Instarem - international transfers

Ria Money Transfer and Instarem both offer international payments you can set up online. However, their services are a little different here. Let’s look at a quick summary:

Ria Money TransferInstarem
Send money to160+ countries60+ countries as a personal customer; 170+ for businesses
Payment limit4,999 GBP per month online, higher transfers may be available in storeNo limit for bank transfers; 10,000 GBP for debit card payments
Pay in optionsBank transfer, card or cashBank transfer or card
Pay out optionsBank or mobile money deposit, cash collectionBank deposit
Business servicesNoYes

It’s also important to note that the fees and exchange rates available vary depending on the details of your transfer and the destination country. The way you pay and the pay out method you select will also make a difference.

Ria Money Transfer vs Instarem exchange rates

When using international transfer services, it pays to shop around to get a good deal. However, it’s not always easy to compare different options because fee structures vary widely, and exchange rates change a lot too.

When you’re choosing an international transfer service, be sure to pay careful attention to the exchange rates offered. Many providers add a fee into the exchange rate used to convert your pounds to the currency needed for depositing - which can be hard to spot.

Exchange rate fees - usually called markups - push up the overall costs of sending money abroad. Finding a service which uses the mid-market rate with no markup - or as close as possible to the mid-market rate - is usually a good way to get the best available deal.

Ria Money Transfer vs Instarem fees and charges

What you’ll pay for a transfer with Ria Money Transfer or Instarem can vary a lot based on the value of your payment, where it’s headed, how you pay, and how you want the money to be received. To get a quote from Ria you’ll need to first register an account, and then either log in online or in the Ria app.

With Instarem, as a personal customer, you can model your payment online without an account, to check the rate and fees for your specific payment.

As the costs of sending money abroad can include several different fees, and can be a bit complicated to follow, the easiest way to compare services is to look at how much a recipient would get in the end with payments processed by different providers. To illustrate, let's take an example comparing Instarem and Wise, and imagining we are sending 1,000 GBP to a friend in France:

Sending 1,000 GBP to India with:FeeExchange rateRecipient gets
Wise4.49 GBP1 GBP = 1.15554 EUR1,150.35 EUR
**Instarem **0 GBP1 GBP = 1.1472 EUR1,147.20 EUR

*Details correct at time of research 4th October 2023

As you can see in this example, the recipient gets more with Wise. That’s even though Instarem has no stated transfer fee. This is because Wise offers the mid-market exchange rate and Wise splits out the cost of sending your payment in a transparent charge. Instarem adds a fee into the exchange rate used instead of charging a fee - which pushes up the cost but isn’t necessarily easy to see.

Open a Wise Account Today 🚀

Checking both fees and rates is essential to make sure you’re comparing costs fairly, and getting the best deal for your specific transfer.

Ria Money Transfer vs Instarem - app and ease of use

Both Ria and Instarem offer transfers you can set up in an app. That’s often the most convenient option as long as the app is easy to use and reliable.

A good way to check if the apps from different payment providers are going to be intuitive and quick to use is to look at the ratings for the app online. Here’s how Ria Money transfer and Instarem measure up on app ratings:

App storeGoogle Play
Ria Money Transfer4.9 out of 5 stars, from 83k+ reviews74.7 out of 5 stars, from 75k reviews8
InstaremInstarem UK reviews not available4.4 out of 5 stars, from 7.9k reviews9
  • Details correct as of 4th October 2023

Ria Money transfer does well on both Apple and Android phones, and is well rated with a good number of reviews live. Instarem has a decent score on Google Play, but quite a small number of reviews - and no score is available for Instarem UK on the Apple App store at the time of research.

The good news is that whichever you choose, the apps are safe to use, with regular updates and teams working on improving security behind the scenes all the time.

How to easily transfer money with Wise

When you’re comparing the overall costs and exchange rates available from Ria Money Transfer and Instarem, check out Wise too, to see which works best for you.

Wise offers transfers to individuals and businesses in 160+ countries - and your transfer could even arrive instantly10. Plus, as we saw in our worked example payment earlier, Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate to convert your pounds to the currency you need, with low transparent fees from 0.43%3. That can keep the costs down, and also makes it far easier to see exactly what you’re paying for the services you need.

Here’s a step by step guide to sending money with Wise:

  1. Download the Wise app for free
  2. Register an account by entering your personal and contact information
  3. Get verified by uploading a photo of your ID documents
  4. Model the payment you want to make to get a fee and rate quote
  5. Choose how you want to pay (bank transfer or card for example)
  6. Check everything over and confirm - you’ll be prompted to pay using your chosen payment method

Instarem offers multi-currency holding accounts for business customers - but there’s no similar service for personal customers. If you’re in the market for a multi-currency account for yourself or your business, compare the Wise account to see if it suits your needs.

You can use your Wise account to hold and exchange 40+ currencies, andorder a Wise debit card to spend and make withdrawals in 150+ countries. If you need to get paid by others that’s easy too, with local bank details for up to 9 currencies. Perfect if you’re a business owner, freelancer, or anyone else getting paid in foreign currencies.

Bear in mind that Wise isn’t a bank, it’s an e-money institution. Like Ria Money Transfer and Instarem it’s regulated in the UK by the FCA and safe to use.

Please seeTerms of Use for your region or visitWise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

There’s no single best international money transfer service, so shopping around and comparing a few alternatives including Ria Money Transfer and Instarem can help you find the best deal for you.

Compare them both for your particular payment - and take a look also at other, non-bank, alternatives, like Wise. Ultimately, the right one for you might just come down to your personal preference and the specific transfer you need to make.


Sources:
  1. Ria Money Transfer
  2. Instarem
  3. Pricing/fees: Please seeTerms of Use for your region or visit WiseFees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information
  4. Instarem business
  5. Ria Money transfer limits
  6. Instarem limits
  7. Ria Money Transfer App store
  8. Ria Money Transfer Google Play
  9. Instarem Google Play
  10. Speed: The speed of transaction claim depends on funds availability, approval by Wise's proprietary verification system and systems availability of our partners' banking system, and may not be available for all transactions

Sources last checked: 4-Oct-2023


Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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