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PayPal reportedly planning to launch stock trading platform

PayPal reportedly planning to launch stock trading platform

As part of expanding its product offering, the online payment platform PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) is reportedly exploring the idea of launching a stock trading platform. 

Sources privy to the matter indicate that the company will allow users to trade individual stocks, barely a year after launching the cryptocurrency trading feature, CNBC reports

The company has previously hinted at unveiling the stock feature after hiring brokerage expert veteran Rich Hagen. The sources indicate that the founder of Ally Invest is now the CEO of the PayPal stock trading wing dubbed Invest at PayPal.

According to Hagen’s job description on Linkedin, he is “leading PayPal’s efforts to explore opportunities in the consumer investment business.” Notably, the platform’s possible launch might be later this year or 2022. 

Furthermore, early this year, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman indicated that the company has a long-term vision to offer additional financial services. 

If PayPal unveils the product, there is a possibility the company will partner with or buy an existing broker-dealer. Sources note that the company is already in talks for a possible partnership.

Growing retail investment sector

With the possible launch, PayPal seeks to tap into the growing mobile stock trading sector in recent months. With the emergence of platforms like Robinhood, retail investors have found a new way of entering the stock market seamlessly. 

The growth is partly due to the coronavirus pandemic that offered more investors an opportunity to invest in stocks, especially those that had plunged early last year. Additionally, the regular stimulus packages from the government also provided capital for investment. 

Furthermore, retail stock trading gained momentum with the emergence of social media-inspired stocks like GameStop

Besides Robinhood, PayPal will go head to head with other rivals like Square that provide stock and cryptocurrency trading through the Square Cash App.

Retail stock and cryptocurrency trading present an opportunity for companies like PayPal to record a surge in revenue. However, the booming retail investment sector has received scrutiny from the Securities Exchange Commission. 

Recently, SEC said it is accelerating its inquiry into “gamification” and how brokerages use technology to interact with their customers.

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