PayPal is exploring a stock-trading platform for U.S. customers, according to a report released by CNBC on Monday.

  • After launching the capacity to trade cryptocurrencies last year, the payments giant has been looking for ways to allow users to trade individual stocks.
  • The California-based company hired brokerage industry veteran Rich Hagen as part of the move. Hagen is now the CEO of a previously unreported unit of PayPal referred to as Invest at PayPal.
  • His current job description describes PayPal’s efforts to identify opportunities in the consumer investment business.
  • PayPal’s move comes amid a retail trading renaissance. Over 10 million new individual investors have entered the market in the first half of this year.
  • A mix of stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, government stimulus checks and viral incidents like the rise of GameStop in January have spurred new interest in the stock market.

Trading has become a booming business for the companies that offer it. PayPal rival Square provides stock and cryptocurrency trading via the Square Cash App, and its CFO mentioned the app promotes engagement and revenue per user. PYPL up +0.60%