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Will Elon’s X Become A Fintech Super App in 2024?

Fintech Innovation | Oct 27, 2023

Unsplash Rubaitul Azad X - Will Elon's X Become A Fintech Super App in 2024?

Image: Unsplash/Rubaitul Azad

Elon Musk envisions X as a central hub for all financial transactions, aiming to launch comprehensive financial services by the end of 2024.

According to The Verge who listened to an audio recording, on Thursday, Elon Musk told X staff that by end of 2024, X should 'handle anything in life that deals with money'.  He anticipates the platform's capabilities will significantly exceed expectations, encompassing every aspect of an individual's financial life, from money transfers to securities, and not just payments.

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The company is currently working on acquiring the necessary money transmission licenses across the US to offer these financial services. Musk also plans to reintroduce and enhance features from the original, his dot-com-era online bank that eventually became part of PayPal.

He aims to make X an "everything app," similar to super apps like WeChat in China, offering a wide range of services beyond just financial transactions. However, Musk acknowledges the challenges ahead, particularly in convincing people to trust X with their entire financial life.

Comparison with Other Super Apps

The future vision of X as a fintech super app involves creating a comprehensive and integrated platform that serves all aspects of a user’s financial life, while also offering various non-financial services.  Some quick comparisons can be made:

  • WeChat in China is a leading example of a super app, offering messaging, social media, payments, and various other services. X could differentiate itself by focusing more on comprehensive financial services and aiming for a global user base, whereas WeChat is primarily used in China.
  • Paytm in India started as a mobile recharge app and expanded to offer a wide range of services including payments, banking, shopping, and travel booking. X could offer a broader range of financial services and integrate more non-financial services to create a more comprehensive ecosystem.

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  • Grab in Southeast Asia, Originally a ride-hailing app, has expanded into financial services, food delivery, and more. X could learn from Grab’s success in integrating various services and focus on creating a seamless user experience.
  • Alipay in China is a major player in the mobile payment space, also offering financial products and services. X could differentiate itself by providing a more diverse range of services and focusing on innovation in financial products.

Challenges Ahead

While Elon Musk's innovative track record of transforming business models and disrupting industry sectors is unprecedented (with PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, and many others), and consumers might just love the convenience, personalization, lower costs, and efficiencies of an Elon-esque fintech app that connects with banks, and other fintechs and financial institutions, there are several challenges that must be overcome that may make a 2024 deep financial feature set less likely, although AI predicts cautiously between 50-60% chance for Elon to achieve this milestone currently.

  • The fintech space is highly competitive, with established players and numerous startups vying for market share.
  • Regulatory timelines and hurdles.  The financial industry is highly regulated, and obtaining the necessary licenses and approvals could be a significant challenge.

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  • Technical challenges given the X platform to create a secure, reliable, and user-friendly platform without any missteps that might hinder adoption.
  • Winning consumer, business, and partner trust with a once social media platform turned online bank may prove challenging, if not very costly, too.
  • Global user base and expansion adds complexities with varying user needs and diverse expectations, along with compliance and local regulations.

Given these factors, it's difficult to assign a specific percentage to the likelihood of X's success. However, if Musk and his team can effectively navigate the regulatory landscape, build consumer trust, and deliver a truly innovative and user-friendly platform, X has the potential to be a significant player in the fintech space. However,  experience has taught us that given the uncertainties success is far from guaranteed, or at least a word to the remaining staff at X about to undergo the surgical procedures of transforming X into a global Super App - get ready to sleep on the floor again.

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