Elon Musk continues X payment licensing spree with Rhode Island entry

Credit: Shutterstock
Credit: Shutterstock

Social media service X, formerly known as Twitter, has continued to obtain payment licences across the US, hinting at its ambitions to disrupt the payments industry. 

The Elon Musk-owned platform has just obtained a money transmitter certification from the state of Rhode Island in its journey to become a competitor of some of the biggest payment service providers like PayPal, which was co-launched by Musk back in the nineties.

Under the leadership of the world’s richest man, X is now also transforming into a payments provider, having already been licensed in six US states excluding Rhode Island – New Hampshire, Missouri, Michigan, Arizona, Maryland, and Georgia – as part of the billionaire’s vision of a “financial super app” that allows US users to send and receive money nationwide. 

Twitter’s path to becoming X began back in 2022, when in May The New York Times reported that Elon Musk is in talks with investors over a payments business that would generate $1.3b in revenue over the course of six years. 

Official news of Musk buying the platform for $43b then surfaced later in October after a lengthy court battle had ensued beforehand over the company’s capabilities of protecting itself against spam accounts. 

In November, Twitter entered talks with the US Treasury Department about becoming a payments processor. Almost a year later, in June 2023, New Hampshire became the first state to grant X a money transmitter licence. The other states followed soon after. 

And while X continues to unlock new markets along the way,  it remains to be seen whether the social media platform can survive as a payments provider, given the stark competition from US tech giants such as Google and Apple