Elon Musk shares his views on a Twitter payment system

The plans have advertisers worried.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Elon Musk and Twitter
Elon Musk and Twitter

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During a live-streamed meeting with Twitter advertisers, hosted on Twitter Spaces on Wednesday, Elon Musk shared his thoughts on the social media platform’s plan to enter the payments market. The plan is to allow Twitter users to send money to others on the platform, extract that cash to external bank accounts and even be offered the option of a high-yield money market account.

Filing registration paperwork

The new comments come after a report yesterday by The New York Times which confirmed Twitter last week had filed registration paperwork that would allow it to process payments. To achieve Musk’s ambitious goals, Twitter would need to make fundamental technology architecture changes in order to better support video. 

It has been suggested that Twitter may be trying to compete with various social media video providers, such as TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts and others. A report by The Washington Post outlined mockups of a new feature where a tweet with a video could be unlocked for as little as $1.00.

This would allow creators to monetize their content. Musk further explained how a payments system could scale, by allowing users who gained a cash balance, to move that money on its platform.

“Now we can say, okay, you’ve got a balance on your account. Do you want to send money to someone else within Twitter? And maybe we pre-populate their account…and say, okay, we’re gonna give you 10 bucks. And you can send it anywhere within Twitter,” Musk asked.

The money could even be moved out of Twitter by being transferred to an authenticated bank account, he added. Musk further appeared to be considering the idea of establishing bank accounts that would pay a high-interest rate to attract potential users. 

“The next step would be this offer for an extremely compelling money market account where you get an extremely high yield on your balance,” said the famous billionaire.

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“And then add debit cards, checks and whatnot and…just basically make the system as useful as possible. And the more useful and entertaining it is, the more people will use it,” he said.

Musk didn’t discuss cryptocurrencies on the call, however, The Information has reported that they are expected to be a part of Twitter’s new payments system.


It’s not surprising to see Musk considering payment options for Twitter. He did after all found an early digital payments company called X.com and Twitter does present many prolific opportunities to incorporate such a system successfully.

However, advertisers who are already concerned about Twitter’s long-term commitment to their goals, may find the new systems worrisome as they would effectively reduce reliance on ad dollars. To counteract these worries, Musk did note that Twitter was committed to protecting advertisers’ brand safety in the longer term.

Musk already created The Official Account Badge for a limited number of accounts. The feature worked by adding the word Official to accounts that have been verified by Twitter staff, as being who they claim to be. He then promptly killed off this feature. Will his other plans suffer the same fate?

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