PayPal is considering launching a stock-trading platform for its U.S.-based customers, according to a CNBC report on Monday (Aug. 30), following its successful rollout of cryptocurrency trading last year.
The report cites two sources familiar with PayPal’s plans along with its recent hiring of brokerage industry veteran Rich Hagen to be CEO of a previously unreported division of PayPal called “Invest at PayPal,” according to his LinkedIn page. Hagen founded TradeKing and sold the company to Ally Invest.
More than 10 million new individual investors have been trading stocks in the first half of 2021, almost as many as last year’s record high, according to JMP Securities estimates cited by CNBC. That taste for trading came through pandemic lockdowns, government stimulus checks and viral events like GameStop’s sudden rise in January.
PayPal might have to partner with or buy a brokerage firm to launch its stock-trading platform, according to CNBC, which notes the company has been talking to industry partners about the deal. One source told the news outlet that PayPal’s stock-trading service isn’t likely to be launched this year.
PayPal’s first global cryptocurrency trading expansion kicked off earlier this month for U.K. users, who can now buy and sell bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, get real-time prices and learn more about cryptocurrencies on a desktop computer or via the PayPal mobile app.
U.K. users can fund their PayPal account using their bank account or debit card of choice for buying and selling cryptocurrency. Funds will be transferred to their PayPal accounts and available for spending. There are no fees to hold cryptocurrency, but there are applicable fees for transactions and currency conversions.
Checkout with Crypto was launched in March and allows U.S. PayPal customers to use their cryptocurrency to make purchases worldwide. In April, PayPal launched crypto services on Venmo for users in the U.S.