Just like everyone else these days, PayPal is also feeling investing FOMO. PayPal is exploring a possible stock-trading platform. After rolling out the ability to trade cryptocurrencies last year, the payments giant has been exploring ways to let users trade individual stocks.
PayPal recently hired brokerage industry veteran Rich Hagen, co-founder of TradeKing (bought by Ally Invest) as part of the move. Hagen is now the CEO of a previously unreported division of PayPal called Invest at PayPal, according to his LinkedIn page.
PayPal’s move comes amid a retail trading renaissance. 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. Trading has become a booming business for the companies that offer it. Square, Robinhood and SoFi offer a list of overlapping products and describe the same mission of being a one-stop-shop for finance.
Short Squeez Takeaway: PayPal should have probably gotten into the stock trading business a long time ago when it barely had any competitors. A PayPal stock-trading launch now comes at a competitive time for the fintech industry. PayPal has more than 400 million accounts worldwide so it's definitely well positioned to take some market share away from competitors.