As a result, creators would end up with a cash balance as they began to monetize their content.

In addition, Musk noted that Twitter’s paid verification program would help in its plan for payments because anyone who subscribed to Twitter Blue would have already been verified by the “conventional payment system.” That is, Twitter Blue subscribers have to sign up using a credit or debit card and have their payments processed through the app stores’ in-app purchase system, which helps to combat fraud.

Musk then explained how this payments system could scale, saying that, once users gained a cash balance, Twitter could prompt them to move that money on its platform. It could even make a small donation to users’ accounts to get them started. 

“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 said.

Later, the user could move their money out of Twitter by transferring it to an authenticated bank account, he added.

Explained Musk, “the next step would be this offer for an extremely compelling money market account where you get an extremely high yield on your balance.” If such a system existed, he believed people would move cash to Twitter.

“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.

Of course, any such ideas spouted by Musk at this time may be later abandoned, tweaked or entirely revamped if or when they come to pass. Twitter is entering an experimental era and much of what Musk says is in the works, is just the idea du jour, and not necessarily a glimpse into Twitter’s road map.

Musk has experience in payments, of course, as he founded an early digital payments company X.com. It’s not surprising that he would try again, given the opportunity Twitter presents.

His ideas about Twitter payments, however, may not have been good fodder for a conversation with advertisers who are already worried about Twitter’s long-term commitment to their goals, given the company’s move into subscriptions, which signals a desire to reduce reliance on ad dollars. Musk tried to assuage these fears by saying that Twitter was thinking about protecting advertisers’ brand safety in the longer term, not just about its ability to drive short-term sales.

Elon Musk details his vision for a Twitter payments system by Sarah Perez originally published on TechCrunch

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