Juan Bianchi Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Ria Money Transfer, the third largest money transfer company in the world and subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide Inc. is set to ramp-up its presence in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries

Following Ria’s 2015 acquisition of leading Malaysian money transfer business, IME, the company has expanded its footprint in Asia. Ria’s expansion in the Middle East and Gulf countries is the most recent in its global expansion and the company has already established more than 50 key business partnerships in the banking and financial services sector in the region.

Ria, which forms part of Euronet’s money transfer segment processed 82.3 million transactions last year, a 20 per cent increase from 2015 and facilitated $33 billion in transfers.

In the UAE and the Gulf region, the company will focus on the India corridor which accounts for nearly 75 per cent of remittances. There are approximately 15.6 million Indians living outside their country of birth. They are the largest group of the expatriate community in the UAE and the largest diaspora group globally. The World Bank reported that in 2015 more than $38.6 billion was sent from the GCC countries to India, making it the world’s largest sending region for remittances to the world’s second most populous country.

“We have been trying to make a foray into India for nearly a decade. Now with all the regulatory clearances in hand and partnership with 50 financial institutions we are fully geared to service remittance requirements of Indian expatriates,” said Juan Bianchi, CEO & President of Ria Money Transfer

The company has partnered with three large money transfer agents in India, the world’s number one remittance receiving country. Ria’s new principal agents are Paul Merchants Limited, Weizmann Forex Limited and Transcorp International. With the addition of these agents, Ria will upgrade its cash payout network during the next 12 months by adding thousands of retail and non-bank financial company locations across India.

“With the addition of our new agents, Ria will raise the quality of its existing network in India, providing customers with thousands of additional locations to receive cash remittances from their loved ones. Through partnering with Paul Merchants Limited, Weizmann Forex and Transcorp International, we are now better positioned to offer customers in India a ‘gold standard’ service, with money transfer that is fast and reliable, no matter where they reside,” said Bianchi.

In addition to money transfer and cash pickup, Ria also offers bank deposit services which allow customers to transfer money to any bank account in India. The company, which was founded in 1987, now has services in 146 countries, through approximately 321,000 locations.

“Ria’s regional headquarters in Dubai will serve as the base for our expansion in this region. This is a key part of our growth strategy, as it enables us to further connect our money transfer services with additional partners, while reaching more customers worldwide, especially in South and South East Asia,” Manuel Villena, Managing Director for the Middle East at Ria Money Transfer.