Elon Musk has released his plan to turn Twitter into an all-in-one WeChat-style app. The company is working on a payment system to integrate it into the platform. The project is in charge of Esther Crawford, director of Product Management at Twitter, who leads a small team focused on defining the necessary steps for its implementation, Financial Times.
Sources close to the company revealed that Twitter is advancing in the development of its payment system. Not only has it started applying for regulatory licenses in the United States, but it is also working on creating a vault to store and protect the data of the users who use it.
If all goes according to plan, payments would arrive on Twitter in 2024 for users in the United States, with a view to expanding to other territories in the future.
The idea of a super app is something that Elon Musk sketched out before finalizing the acquisition of Twitter. The tycoon stated that one of the reasons that encouraged him to buy the company was to accelerate the creation of a multifunctional platform. X, or “the application for everything”, would be the answer to WeChat where users would have access to the social network, news, entertainment and a payment or process management system.
Elon Musk later endorsed this idea in a call with advertisers in November. During the same month, The New York Times reported that Twitter filed registration documents with the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Bureau (FinCEN).
This step, necessary for those who want to do business with transfer services, currency exchange or check issuance, made it clear that the super app plan was underway.
Elon Musk needs regulatory approval
Although the idea of Twitter becoming an app for everything sounds interesting, the deployment of a payment system is complex. Elon Musk will not only face a technical hurdle but will have to convince regulators to approve it.
Sources close to the company confided that Twitter has already applied for state and federal licenses with the hope that they will be approved in a year.
In order for Twitter to compete with other established payment systems, it must first meet certain requirements. From the outset, the Treasury Department establishes that all companies involved in financial operations must alert the authorities about any unusual activity.
To avoid fraud, users would have to link their accounts to a real profile. Any failure not reported would cost the company a million-dollar fine.
Although all these requirements would not be a problem for a focused person like Musk, his actions do not favour him. After closing the purchase of Twitter, the magnate laid off a considerable number of employees, some of them in charge of critical areas.
Among those affected were personnel in charge of enforcing the laws of the European Union, putting its operation in the Old Continent at risk.
Twitter not only needs to build and maintain a payments infrastructure, but it also needs to comply with the law. The first is expensive, and for this Musk requested the support of investors to be able to hire more staff.
The latter is more complicated, considering Elon Musk’s relationship with regulators. “Elon puts rockets into space, he’s not afraid of the FTC,” his lawyer, Alex Spiro, said a few months ago.
- Twitter breaking down: Something big is happening at Twitter
- Elon Musk buys Twitter: How will he change Twitter?
Follow Ground Report for Climate Change and Under-Reported issues in India. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Koo App, Instagram, Whatsapp and YouTube. Write us at GReport2018@gmail.com.