PayPal to offer stock-trading platform to American users

US fintech giant PayPal is reportedly exploring the idea of launching its own platform for trading individual stocks. News that the company is setting its sights on the booming business sector sent its shares soaring.

(RT) The online payment operator hired brokerage industry veteran Rich Hagen, who co-founded online brokerage TradeKing, to “explore opportunities” for the move, according to unnamed sources familiar with the issue, as quoted by CNBC.

PayPal will reportedly cooperate with a brokerage or purchase a broker-dealer. People close to the matter told the agency that the California-based firm is in talks with potential partners. The PayPal trading service is not likely to be rolled out in 2021.

The move comes amid a retail trading boom that reportedly brought over 10 million new individual investors into the stock market in the first six months of the current year. Robinhood, which went public this summer, has reportedly recorded explosive growth accumulating more than 22.5 million customers. The financial service reportedly doubled its revenue in the most recent quarter compared to a year ago.

The growing interest in the stock market from amateur investors has been boosted by a perfect combo of government stimulus checks, people reluctantly staying in due to the pandemic-related restrictions, along with speculative buying fever that hit Wall Street in January after users of Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum managed to coordinate massive short squeezes.

The latest news comes nearly a year after PayPal expanded its business into the cryptocurrency market. Last October, the financial service provider said it would let US users buy, sell and hold bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash and litecoin.

Shares in PayPal grew by more than 3% after reports emerged of its trading platform plans, while Robinhood shares dropped by around 3%.