Elon Musk plans to turn X, formerly Twitter, into an all-encompassing financial hub that will fully replace the need for banks. And he plans to do it in a year’s time.
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Musk shared his ideas in an all-hands call with employees on Thursday. The Verge heard the call’s audio recording and was the first to report it.
Musk plans to pivot X into fintech
Musk shared his ideas about offering several financial services on X before. In fact, he said it in his very first meeting with Twitter employees, but it looks like his ambitions have continued to grow.
“If it involves money. It’ll be on our platform. Money or securities or whatever. So, it’s not just like ‘send $20 to my friend.’ I’m talking about, like, you won’t need a bank account,” he said on Thursday. “It would blow my mind if we don’t have that rolled out by the end of next year.”
It’s no secret that the somewhat hasty rebranding of Twitter harkens back to X.com, Musk’s online banking project that merged with Confinity in 2000, which later became PayPal. And Musk believes his original vision for X.com is still feasible.
“The X/PayPal product roadmap was written by myself and David Sacks actually in July of 2000,” he said. “And for some reason PayPal, once it became eBay, not only did they not implement the rest of the list, but they actually rolled back a bunch of key features, which is crazy.”
In other words, loans, debit cards, savings – as well as the ability for users to send money to each other regardless of where they are – may all be under X’s umbrella one day.
In a recent blog post, CEO Linda Yaccarino briefly mentioned payments. “We want money on X to flow as freely as information and conversation. We have already secured first money transmitter licenses in several states, and we are moving toward launching a global payment system – more soon,” she wrote.
Musk’s ideas don’t sound that otherworldly when you consider services such as WeChat, a China-based social media platform that also offers money transfers, payments, and other financial services. But it might be a tall order given that X’s daily active users are reportedly plummeting. Additionally, convincing users to switch to its paid tier has been challenging.
X claims that Premium subscribers spend three times longer on the platform than non-subscribers. Perhaps tellingly, the company doesn’t mention how many Premium subscribers have signed up so far.