PayPal reportedly exploring stock trading for U.S. users

by Jonathan Adams
PayPal stock trading

PayPal’s move comes amid a retail trading boost, with more than 10 million new individual investors having entered the market in the first half of this year

Shares of PayPal Holdings Inc climbed on Monday following a report that it is exploring ways to let its U.S. customers trade individual stocks on its platform.

The payments company also hired brokerage industry veteran Rich Hagen, CNBC reported, citing two sources familiar with the matter. Hagen is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Invest at PayPal, as well as the co-founder and former president of brokerage Ally Invest, according his LinkedIn page.

The company has 400 million accounts and launched cryptocurrency trading in the US earlier in the year.

In a February presentation, PayPal said its total addressable market, including bill payment, government payments and asset trading was $110 trillion.

Retail trading has surged in the past few years as online platforms have gained users and fees have disappeared.

PayPal’s move comes amid a retail trading boost. More than 10 million new individual investors have entered the market in the first half of this year, roughly matching last year’s record level, according to estimates from JMP Securities. A combination of stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, government stimulus checks and viral events like the rise of GameStop in January have spurred on new interest in the stock market.

Charles Schwab Corp estimates that “investible” wealth in the US, including funds in defined contribution plans, retail wealth management and bank deposits, exceeds $50 trillion.

PayPal’s shares jumped and ended nearly 4% higher.

Bloomberg separately reported that PayPal is considering bids from companies including Apex Fintech Solutions and DriveWealth, citing people familiar with the matter.

Robinhood Markets, whose fee-free smartphone stock trading app is widely used by retail investors, extended an earlier decline and was last down nearly 7%.

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