American financial giant PayPal is reportedly exploring ways to offer stock trading after launching cryptocurrency trading services last year
Financial behemoth PayPal is planning its own stock trading platform, sources say.
The payment giant already hired a brokerage industry veteran to lead “Invest at PayPal” — a previously unreported division of the payments giant – sources told CNBC.
In order to get full approval as a brokerage company, PayPal should complete a new membership process through the industry’s main regulator, FINRA. The whole process usually takes more than eight months.
The California-based company recently appointed Rich Hagen – a brokerage industry veteran – who will now act as the CEO of the newly-created division, according to his LinkedIn page.
Hagen said his new job will include PayPal’s efforts to “explore opportunities” in the consumer investment business.
Square and Robinhood as main competitors
It is obvious that trading became a lucrative business for the companies that offer it. PayPal rival Square offers stock and cryptocurrency trading through the Square Cash App. Robinhood also got itself a list of more than 22.5 million customers and doubled revenue in the most recent quarter from a year ago.
The company has more than 20 years of experience in online payments and manages approximately 403 million user accounts. Last week it announced it would allow UK customers to buy and sell four cryptocurrencies.
In the US, the company offers the ability to use balances for payments anywhere that accepts PayPal. This method allows retailers to accept cryptocurrencies without having to make any changes or accept any risk.
Carol Alexander at the University of Sussex says she still doesn’t believe PayPal’s move will help cryptos go mainstream.
“Cryptocurrencies are dominated by huge speculation and rampant manipulation,” she said.
“I can’t see this as the moment crypto goes mainstream. The widespread market abuse needs addressing first.”