Ria opens 5 Malaysian Retail Stores in 8 days

After expanding into Malaysia following the acquisition of IME in 2015, growth has been rapid, to say the least.

In June, we opened an incredible five new Malaysian stores in the space of eight days, bringing the total Retail Store network in Malaysia to 75. This is no mean feat and the result of a hard-working and dynamic team.

The first store to open was in Chow Kit, a sub-district in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur. The second opening was in Keningau on the Malaysian island of Borneo, where we also opened a store in Tawau, on the south-eastern coast of the idyllic island.

Sibu in the Central region of Sarawak was the fourth to open and finally a store in the Kuala Selangor District.

Chow kit _Malasya Store_OK

Chow Kit in Malaysia was the first of five new Retail Stores to open in June, signalling strong expansion in the South East Asian region.


So why is there so much expansion? Simply, this is due to the growing and changing needs of foreign workers in Malaysia.

“Migrant workers are working hard for their money,” says Dibakar PaudelRia-IME’s VP for Retail. “For most, their parents and families are still in their country of origin and formal remittances are the best way for them to send money in a safe and easy way.

“They choose us because we are a well-known and trusted brand in Malaysia among migrant workers and we are continuing to work and expand our retail presence to better serve those that don’t have a convenient option to send money home,” adds Paudel.

Malaysia has an estimated 878 islands, making travel a challenge for some workers. And although the remittance market is still predominantly cash-based, Ria also offers online money transfer from Malaysia to 14 countries through the IME website.


Borneo Store Malasya_OK

Ria staff celebrate at one of the five new stores in Borneo which was opened in June.


“We have been working hard to expand our presence in Malaysia and offer more locations where people can send their hard-earned money,” says Espen Kristensen, Ria’s Managing Director for South East Asia. “While IME has a strong, established brand among workers in Malaysia, Ria is also gaining more visibility and the rebranding process is going very well.

“In the coming months, we expect to add new partners in South Asia to better serve the diaspora groups that live in Malaysia, so it’s a very exciting time for us right now – but we know a lot of hard work also lies ahead,” affirms Kristensen.

Ria has grown from 110,000 locations in 2010 to more than 310,000 locations in the first quarter of 2016. This should be a fairly clear indicator that we’re not afraid of hard work. This is the Ria way. And just like our customers in Malaysia, we will continue to put in the hard work required in order to keep offering trusted, fast, affordable and more convenient services.


More than just a transfer

This video produced by Bank Negara Malaysia (the Central Bank of Malaysia) created for the World Bank Greenback Project captures the realities for many migrant workers and explains the challenges that many will face when sending money from remote areas. It also looks at the potential that remittances have to boost economies. Ria continues its mission to offer more choices which allow people to send money in a convenient way.