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X moves into Super App territory with new payments licenses

For several months now Payments Cards & Mobile has been covering the fast moving change in direction of Twitter (now X) from a messaging platform to a mobile payments Super App.

X moves into Super App territory

Today those suspicions were confirmed as X’s Elon Musk announced it has obtained payments licenses from several US states in recent months – including a currency transmitter license in Rhode Island earlier this week.

While Musk has hinted at supporting crypto on the platform – even briefly switching out Twitter’s bird logo to dogecoin’s dog before its rebranding to X last month – the licenses allow for broader payments services to be offered.

Musk has said that he plans for X to expand beyond social media posts, becoming a Super App and the money transmitter licenses obtained since June from Arizona, Maryland, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri and New Hampshire indicate the company has plans to support payment processing nationwide similar to Venmo or PayPal.

The Rhode Island license, while essential for permitting payments, is also a requirement for offering crypto services.

“I think a new social media company is needed that is based on a blockchain and includes payments,” Musk said in a text message just days before the bombshell offer to buy Twitter for $43 billion back in April 2022.

In an FAQ answering common queries Rhode Island’s Department of Business Regulation (DBR) specifies that firms requiring the approval “include those transmitting money for its customers, including traditional wire transfers (like Western Union) and electronic transfers (like PayPal).”

The state’s currency transmission license is also required for conducting crypto exchange and custody business, with an exception for fintechs in “very rare cases” where the firm “is registered as a true ‘agent’ of the Rhode Island licensed currency transmitter…and money transmission is not the core profit-making business of the fintech.”

Though they certainly open the way for offering crypto payments, the state licenses are not limited or unique to that service.

In New Hampshire, “‘money transmission’ means engaging in the business of selling or issuing payment instruments or stored value, or receiving currency or monetary value for transmission to another location.”

The state also says “an administrator or exchanger that accepts and transmits a convertible virtual currency or buys or sells convertible virtual currency for any reason is a money transmitter under federal regulations…”


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