Twitter is reportedly in the process of applying for permits for payment services, sources confirm to the Financial Times. With this, the social media giant probably wants to take a step toward a much broader platform than just social media, as envisioned by owner Elon Musk.
According to the sources, the social media giant is now in the process of applying for payment services licenses from the U.S. government. To obtain these licenses, Twitter already registered with the US Treasury as a payment processor in November 2022. Recently, the company is said to have applied in individual states for the necessary licenses.
Twitter hopes, the Financial Times writes, that the nationwide permits will be in place within a year. The social media giant is also going to apply for such permits in other countries.
On the technology front, for platform-wide implementation of payment services, Twitter is working with a small team on various solutions and applications. These would include the underlying architecture for facilitating payments on the platform. Also, the social media giant’s tech specialists are said to be developing a special “vault” for storing and protecting end-user data.
Twitter should become ‘all-in-one’ app
Applying for the permits and developing the technology brings Twitter one step closer to the ideal image that owner Elon Musk has of his acquired application. According to Musk, Twitter should develop into an “all-in-one app” like WeChat is in China, for example. Experts see this as a logical step since thousands of Twitter users already use third-party payment services through the social media app.
Other fintech functionality the eccentric owner wants to add includes peer-to-peer transactions, savings accounts and debit cards. Possibly, at a later stage, crypto services should also be processed.
Hurdles to overcome
The development of payment services through Twitter will not be easy, the Financial Times expects. First of all, they will have to compete with already existing payment services, especially in the US. Think of existing apps like Venmo, Cash App and Zelle.
In addition, regulatory and legislative governments will keep a strict eye on these services. Especially when it comes to security and preventing money laundering. This mainly involves keeping an eye on the identity data required for the use of payment functionality. This use is subject to strict rules. Previous payment initiatives by other social media applications have often foundered on this. Musk does have the necessary experience though, he was one of the founders of X.com which was later merged into PayPal.