PayPal is set to launch its very own stock trading platform as it seeks to capitalise on a retail trading boom driven by viral events like “meme stocks”.
According to two sources familiar with the matter, who spoke to CNBC, PayPal has hired someone to head up “Invest at PayPal”, a previously unreported division tasked with “explor(ing) opportunities” in the consumer investment industry.
The move would fit with PayPal’s long-term vision for growth, detailed at its investor day in February, which is understood include a host of new financial services outside of payments.
PayPal has also recently launched cryptocurrency functionality in this vein and now allows users in the UK and US to buy, hold and sell Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum.
According to Insider Intelligence, PayPal has likely recognised the opportunity in the staggering growth of amateur traders since the start of the pandemic, seeing 10 million new brokerage accounts launched in the first half of 2021 alone.
Trading platforms like Etoro and Robinhood have seen monumental growth over the past 18 months, aided by Reddit-driven trading frenzies in stocks like GameStop and AMC.
Businesses such as PayPal’s rival Square, which offers stock and cryptocurrency trading, have seen business boom because of their trading offerings.
Robinhood alone has seen revenues double and 22.5 million new users sign up over the past year.