Meet The Entrepreneur Who Wants To Disrupt Western Union And Fix A Half-Trillion Dollar Economy
Why should you have to cash a check, wait in line, use a calling card, and pay high fees just to send money to your family abroad? Edrizio De La Cruz was sick of it, and now he’s hatched a much easier way.
For a system that moves half a trillion dollars around the globe each year, remittances are remarkably primitive. The person-to-person (and usually relative-to-relative) cross-border transfers require large fees (9% on average, according to the World Bank), phone calls, and time spent waiting in line for both sender and receiver.
It’s a system that Edrizio De La Cruz grew up with. He dropped out of college and worked two jobs fixing airplanes in Queens, cashing his paychecks to wait in line at Western Union and send money to his aunt and grandmother in the Dominican Republic. Cashing a check, waiting in line, using a calling-card to pass on the identifying number so his relatives could go wait in yet another line: It was a routine he became increasingly frustrated with, and that he’s now trying to change with a company called Regalii.