Last week, HEXUS reported on PayPal's plans to enable cryptocurrency trading for its UK-based customers. This consumer financial services business expansion came to the UK after a period of success in the US. The UK offering is initially limited to buying, holding and selling crypto, but it expanded to add 'Checkout with Crypto' services in the US a few months after their launch, so that could happen over here a few months down the line too.
On Monday, CNBC reported that PayPal US is now working behind the scenes to implement a way for users to buy and sell stocks and shares using their accounts. Two sources familiar with the matter talked to the news organisation, explaining that the plan is for users to be able to buy and sell individual stocks.
The rumours and insider info is given substance by one of PayPal's recent high-level executive hires. Brokerage industry veteran Rich Hagen joined PayPal earlier this year, and he is now CEO at a previously unreported division of PayPal called Invest at PayPal, explains CNBC. Hagen previously co-founded online brokerage TradeKing, which was bought out by Ally Invest.
Retail investing is currently enjoying a boom. Last year, 10 million new accounts were opened, and it is projected that this year that we will roughly see that record level matched. A mix of WFH, government stimulus cheques, and stock trading in the news (Robinhood, GameStop) has created a great deal of interest. Companies which can enable stocks and shares trading with ease of registration and use, minimising friction, could do well out of this personal finance movement. PayPal has over 400 million account holders worldwide.
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With the publishing of CNBC's report on PayPal stock trading plans, its shares went up by 3 per cent, while incumbent rivals like Robinhood slid an equal amount. It is thought that it is probably too ambitious for PayPal to be able to set up and launch its 'Invest at PayPal' service this year. Setting up a new brokerage firm following regulator guidelines takes at least 8 months, according to the CNBC report.