Elon Musk is advancing his vision to transform the company formerly known as Twitter, now rebranded as X, into an “everything app” with its own integrated payments system. In late November, the company secured three additional money transmitter licenses in the U.S. states of South Dakota (Nov. 27), Kansas (Nov. 28), and Wyoming (Nov. 30), expanding its total to twelve states where money transfers are permitted.
Previously granted licenses cover Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, all obtained within the current year, starting with New Hampshire on June 29. Additional states, including Arizona, Michigan, and Missouri in July, Georgia, Maryland, Rhode Island in August, and Iowa and Mississippi in September, further solidified X’s licensing footprint. The licenses are linked to “X Payments LLC,” formerly known as “Twitter Payments LLC,” the entity responsible for money transfer operations at X.
Elon Musk confirmed these recent additions in a post on X, responding to The Street’s article noting the South Dakota addition on Nov. 27. Musk remarked, “Progress,” in acknowledgment of the new registrations.
Musk has previously expressed his intentions to evolve X into a comprehensive payments platform, outlining his vision for the company shortly after its acquisition. He envisions X as a platform where users can send and receive money, transfer funds to authenticated bank accounts, and utilize a high-yield money market account. This strategy would position X in competition with PayPal, a company Musk credits as a co-founder through its merger with his X.com. X’s move into payments also raises the possibility of cryptocurrency support, given the requirement for a money transmitter license for such services.
Payments are integral to X’s broader foray into the creator economy, allowing users with a minimum of 500 followers and 5 million organic impressions to qualify for revenue sharing from ads. However, recent challenges, including an advertiser exodus triggered by Musk’s controversial endorsement of an antisemitic post and concerns about ads appearing alongside hate speech, have led to the departure of major advertisers. This setback, coupled with the loss of a deal with Paris Hilton’s 11:11 Media, poses challenges to X’s monetization plans, affecting its creator economy and payments ambitions. Despite these challenges, the company intends to focus on small business advertisers and plans to offer Musk’s new AI, Grok, to X’s paid subscribers as an additional revenue stream.