PayPal exploring opportunities to allow stock trading on its platform

PayPal, the online payments platform has been expanding its offering and recently introduced support for cryptocurrencies. Now, the company is exploring to offer a new feature to its users — trading stocks. Yes, as per the people aware of the development, PayPal is exploring ways to let its U.S. customers trade individual stocks on its platform.

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For this, the California-based company has also hired brokerage industry veteran Rich Hagen. A report from CNBC indicates that Rich Hagen, after leaving Ally Invest, is now a CEO of Invest at PayPal, a division that was unreported till now. For those who are unaware, Hagen was the co-founder of the online brokerage TradeKing, which was bought by Ally Invest.

At PayPal, he is putting in efforts to “explore opportunities” in the consumer investment business. The move seems to be in line with the company’s long-term vision. As PayPal CEO Dan Schulman mentioned in February this year, the company may include many more financial services, including “investment capabilities.”

For this new feature, the company could partner with or buy an existing broker-dealer. The report hints that PayPal has already held discussions with potential industry partners.

The development comes at a time when retail trading is peaking. In the first half of this year, more than 10 million new individual investors have entered the market, estimates JMP Securities.

If the stock trading support is indeed coming to PayPal, then it’s unlikely to be available to the users in the United States by the end of this year. Instead of partnering with a brokerage firm, if the company decides to operate as its own brokerage firm, it would need approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which could take over eight months.