Union Bank Nigeria and Ria form new partnership

At a press conference in Lagos, representatives from Union Bank Nigeria and Ria met to celebrate their new partnership.

The new agreement allows Union Bank customers to receive remittances in Nigerian Naira at over 300 Union Bank locations across Nigeria. Beneficiaries can receive funds directly to their bank accounts, while non-bank customers can collect cash through any payout location within minutes.

Speaking at the media event, Union Bank’s Head of Alternate Channels, Folorunsho Orimoloye, said of the partnership, “Union Bank is proud to partner with Ria as we are constantly seeking opportunities to make banking simpler and smarter for our customers.”

“With a network of approximately 314,000 locations spanning 144 countries, Ria is one of the largest money transfer services in the world. With this partnership, we will ensure that our customers have access to this worldwide network, thereby extending the options of quality remittance services Union Bank offers to all our customers,” concluded Orimoloye.


Left to right: Robert Kotei, COO for Ria Africa; Joe Mbulu, Transformation Director of Union Bank Nigeria seen here shaking hands with Malick Seck, Managing Director for Ria Africa; and Folorunsho Orimoloye, Head of Alternate Channels at Union Bank Nigeria.


In a press statement issued on the day, Ria’s CEO and President, Juan Bianchi, added, “Ria is pleased to partner with Union Bank and expand our reach in Nigeria, the number one remittance receiving country in Africa and a top five receiving country globally. Our secure and economical bank deposit and cash pay-out services with Union Bank now provides more choice to customers living in the diaspora seeking a reliable option to send remittances home to their loved ones.”

Ria Africa’s Managing Director, El Hadji Malick Seck, who also attended the media briefing, took the opportunity to invite Union Bank staff to Ria’s California or Madrid offices in order to have a better view and appreciation of the global nature of the business. He then explained the importance of Nigeria in relation to Ria: “West Africa is key to our business and of course, Nigeria stands at the forefront of this. All over the world, across the diaspora we have Nigerians working and never forgetting to send money back home to family and loved ones and Ria makes  all this happen in a fast, secure and economical way.

“The Nigerian remittance market is huge, but very competitive as well. Increasingly more and more Nigerians request cashless payments like bank account transfers, which happen to be Ria’s fastest growing channel in Africa,” affirmed Seck.



Ria and Union Bank Nigeria representatives announce the new partnership at a press conference in Lagos.


Ria Africa’s COO, Robert Kotei, highlighted that Union Bank Nigeria’s robust geographical network and coverage – which also includes over 650 ATMs  – touched key cities in Nigeria, including harder-to-reach places, “This is key to our remittance business and to our strategy to improve financial inclusion in the markets we service,” he explained.

He also complimented the bank’s recently upgraded and modernised branches, as well as their investment in technology infrastructure, before rounding off his comments by admitting that Ria had been impressed with the quality and commitment of the Union Bank staff towards the launch of this partnership.

“We continue to interact with a unique team that always seeks to challenge the status quo and better what they offer. The most common question they ask is “how can we improve?” Due to this type of commitment, various teams are presently engaged in projects that will enhance the already seamless service we offer,” said Kotei.

Established in 1917 and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1971, Union Bank is considered a household name and one of Nigeria’s most respected financial institutions.

The World Bank reports that Nigeria received $20.5 billion in remittances in 2015 making it the fifth largest receive country for migrant remittances.[1] Top countries sending to Nigeria include the United Kingdom and the United States where many Nigerians reside. Ria has a strong sending network in both countries, with customers in the United States also able to send money to Nigeria through www.riamoneytransfer.com.

[1] World Bank Bilateral Remittance Matrix, updated October 2016