PayPal Is Working Toward Launching Stock-Trading Platform

PayPal app on iPhone stock photo
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After rolling out the ability to trade cryptocurrencies back in January, PayPal is now exploring the possibility of a stock-trading platform, two sources familiar with the plans told CNBC. The financial tech company recently hired brokerage industry veteran Rich Hagen — who, according to his LinkedIn page, is now the CEO of an unreported division called Invest at PayPal.

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“Leading PayPal’s efforts to explore opportunities in the consumer investment business,” Hagen wrote on his LinkedIn page. CNBC reached out, but was pointed to CEO Dan Schulman’s comments at the company’s investor day in February.

When speaking of PayPal’s financial services, Shulman mentioned possible investment capabilities. “If somebody is going to be putting their money onto our platform, we want them to be able to grow that money, to invest that money in not just things like crypto, but in individual stocks and other assets that we can digitize and allow people to invest in,” he commented.

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“We announced this feature at our Investor Day in February and we are evolving our app to enable it,” PayPal said on Tuesday.

For full approval as a brokerage firm, PayPal would need to complete a membership process through FINRA, the industry’s primary regulator. That process could take more than eight months, according to CNBC. A stock-trading platform could rival other big fintech companies such as Square, SoFi and Robinhood as crypto and stock trading are seen as ways to keep consumers on the platform.

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One source told CNBC that it is unlikely that the trading service would launch this year.

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Last updated: August 31, 2021

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Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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