Jul 192012
 

By W.H.A.| SpeedyPay.info

I received a message today from a woman named Amy, wanting to know where she could pick up a Ria Money Transfer in Singapore.

To give a little background info, RIA Financial Services claims to be the world’s third-largest global money transfer company. Founded in 1987 in New York City with the goal of serving the Eastern seaboard of the United States, the company now serves 134 countries. In 2007 RIA was acquired by Euronet Worldwide, 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.”

Ria Money Transfer

Ria Money Transfer

RIA’s locations are not as easy to find as Western Union or MoneyGram, but if you’re in any large or even medium-sized American city, you can probably find an agent. I’m located in Fresno, California, a city of about half a million. Looking at RIA’s website I see they have a location here at the Fulton Mall, which is kind of a run-down mall downtown.

However, there are some problems. First of all, Ria’s website does not list their rates. You have to call an agent to find out the money transfer fee. Second, there have been some complaints that the fees are higher than the industry average. Third, Ria seems to focus mostly on sending money to Latin America.

Back to Amy’s question. Bottom line: I could not find the payout location in Singapore, sorry.

Not for lack of trying. I tried Ria’s online agency locator, and it’s not working – ugh! So I called the company and spoke to an agent. The agent spoke very poor English (Spanish was her native language). Maybe I should have been warned by the fact that when you call Ria, Spanish is the default language of their automated customer service system. You press 2 for English.

Anyway, after some repetition I gathered that the payout location in Singapore is Ary Forex Limited. But the customer service agent couldn’t give me an address or phone number. I tried looking it up and found that Ary Forex is now called Speed Remit Worldwide Limited. However, I could find nothing useful on Speed Remit’s website – http://www.speedremit.com/.

So in conclusion I do not recommend using Ria Money Transfer. Amy, I hope that the money has not already been sent. MoneyGram would be a better choice.

May 152012
 

By W.H.A.| SpeedyPay.info

If you’re a foreigner living and working in the USA or some other Western country, and looking for ways to send money to your family back home, you’re in luck. Most Western nations have active and extensive money services markets. So there are plenty of options for sending money overseas. Another benefit of an active money services market is that healthy competition means lower rates for you.

Here are six super tips for finding a money transfer service for overseas remittances. These tips are based loosely on an article by Investopedia, with my own thoughts added in.

1. Banks Are the Best Option

Citibank

Citibank is a good example of an international bank with branches in many foreign nations. This can be a convenient and cheap way to transfer money to family members overseas.

The best and most cost effective choice for sending money to a family member or friend overseas is an international bank with branches in both countries. You could have an account in the USA and grant access to the account to your family member overseas. Or your family member could set up an account, and you could simply deposit money in it. Either way, it will cost nothing at all, and the funds will typically be available the next business day.

Before opening an account, talk to the bank and verify that the branch in your home country and the branch overseas are connected; in other words, that the same account can be accessed from both countries.

2. Paypal is Quick and Affordable

If a bank account with an international bank is not an option, Paypal is not a bad second choice.  Paypal’s money transfers are instant, and quite affordable (in fact, when sending money from one account in the U.S. to another, they are free).

3. Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

Start comparison shopping well in advance of when you need to send the money. Talk to the banks about their rates for international wire transfers. Look at affordable options like Paypal and Xoom. Check out specialized remittance agencies that serve the part of the world to which you want to send your money. Find a service that is affordable and reliable.

The problem comes when people don’t do their research, and all of a sudden they have to send money right away. Then they go to one of the ubiquitous and well known money transfer agencies like Western Union or MoneyGram. Don’t get me wrong, these services are extremely reliable, and have agents in every country of the world. But they are not cheap! For example, a $500 Western Union transfer to Mexico will cost $14 if you visit an agent in person. If you send transfers every month, those fees add up.

For last minute transfers, Paypal would again be the cheapest option if it is available in both countries.

4. Send More Money, Less Often (Rather than Less Money, More Often)

It’s often cheaper to send larger amounts of money than smaller amounts (cheaper in terms of the percentage of your transfer amount that you pay in fees – not in total dollars).

For example, if you wanted to use Western Union to send $100 (American dollars) from Los Angeles, California, to Indonesia, it would cost you $15 in fees. If you wanted your recipient to pocket $100, you’d have to pay $115. Let’s say you walked into a Western Union shop every week for nine weeks, and every week you sent $100. You’d end up paying $135 in fees.

On the other hand, if you sent the $900 all at one go by Western Union, the fee would be only $68.

So it’s much cheaper to send large amounts. It pays therefore to plan ahead, save the money you need to send, and send it in a large lump sum.

5. Shop Around

It’s easy and affordable to send remittances to very popular destinations, like Mexico (from the US), or India or Pakistan (from the UK). But if you’re sending money to a more remote or less popular destination, you’ll have to do your homework to find an affordable, safe money transfer service. Shop around and compare rates.

6. Know Your Exchange Rates

Some remittance services earn a profit by converting currencies. They might charge a low transfer fee, but ding you on the exchange rate. Before making a money transfer, look up the current exchange rate. Many websites can give you this information. I personally like Yahoo Finance’s currency converter.

Once you’ve checked the current exchange rate, make sure the rate being charged by the money transfer agency, remittance service or bank is close to that.

Be smart with your money, do your homework, and find a service that works for you.

Apr 052012
 

By W.H.A.| SpeedyPay.info

Wells Fargo ExpressSend – An Affordable Remittance Service for Wells Fargo Customers

Wells Fargo Bank has a service called ExpressSend that allows you to send money to your family and friends in Mexico, and 14 countries in Central America, the Caribbean, South America, and Asia. Customers with Wells Fargo checking accounts get a discount on the money transfer fees when sending money through ExpressSend.

You can use the Wells Fargo ExpressSend service at any Wells Fargo store location, online or through theWells Fargo Phone BankSM . If you want to fund the transfer with cash, you can do that only at Wells Fargo Banking stores, not through the Wells Fargo Phone Bank or online at wellsfargo.com.

Wells Fargo Bank ExpressSendExpressSend Transfer Fees

  • Mexico:  $6.00 per transfer from your Wells Fargo account, $7.00 per transfer from cash
Central America:
  • Guatemala: From account $7.00 per transfer, From cash $9.00 per transfer
  • El Salvador : From account $8.00 per transfer, From cash $10.00 per transfer
  • Nicaragua: From account $8.00 per transfer, From cash $10.00 per transfer
  • Honduras : From account $7.00 per transfer, From cash $9.00 per transfer
  • Dominican Republic: From account $6.00 per transfer, From cash $9.00 per transfer
South America:
  • Colombia: From account $7.00 per transfer, From cash $9.00 per transfer
  • Argentina: From account $8.00 per transfer, From cash $10.00 per transfer
  • Bolivia: From account $8.00 per transfer, From cash $10.00 per transfer
  • Ecuador: From account $8.00 per transfer, From cash $10.00 per transfer
  • Peru: From account $8.00 per transfer, From cash $10.00 per transfer
Asia:
  • India: From account $5.00 per transfer, From cash $7.00 per transfer
  • Philippines: From account $5.00 per transfer, From cash $7.00 per transfer
  • Vietnam: From account $12.00 per transfer, From cash $14.00 per transfer
  • China: From account $12.00 per transfer, From cash $14.00 per transfer

Your beneficiary (the person you sent the money to) can easily access the money – either by cash pick-up or by having the funds deposited into an account at the receiving institution.

The “to-account” or the “to-cash” option may not be available at all Remittance Network Members or locations. When sending money to an account, Wells Fargo will need the beneficiary’s qualifying deposit account number at the Remittance Network Member.

Transferring Money Online Between Wells Fargo Accounts

Wells Fargo’s banking and investing services are integrated online, so you can transfer money between your various financial accounts quite easily.

To transfer funds online from your Wells Fargo bank account to your Wells Fargo brokerage account or vice versa, do the following:

  1. Sign on to Wells Fargo Online®.
  2. Select the Transfers tab, then select Brokerage Transfers.
  3. Choose whether the transfer is To Brokerage or From Brokerage.
  4. Select the linked bank account for this transfer, the amount of the transfer, and the frequency of the transfer (make a one-time transfer, set up recurring transfers, or even plan a transfer for sometime in the future).
  5. Click Continue, review your information, and you’re done.