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What Will PayPal's New Stock Trading Platform Mean to Investors?

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® – Sep 9, 2021 at 7:21AM

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Will an investment feature be a major revenue driver for the fintech?

With other major fintechs like Square (SQ 1.19%) and SoFi (SOFI -0.66%) rolling out stock trading platforms in recent years, it isn't too much of a surprise that PayPal (PYPL -2.69%) plans to do the same. In this Fool Live video clip, recorded on Aug. 30, contributor Matt Frankel, CFP, and Industry Focus host Jason Moser discuss what it could (or could not) mean for investors in the fintech giant. 

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Jason Moser: I'm seeing a headline here, PayPal is exploring a stock trading platform for its U.S. customers, reading this on CNBC on their app right now. I can't say I'm terribly surprised by this, maybe I'm a little surprised that it's not something they pursued earlier. We've seen Square over the last several quarters talk about the growth that they're seeing in Cash App users doubling in the market. Cash App users that own a stock or purchased a stock. It looks like PayPal is looking at possibly getting into something like this as well, leading in service here with its initially being referred to as Invest at PayPal. Clearly, something that's right up our alley. What do you think about those plans? Is it something that makes sense for PayPal, do you think?

Matt Frankel: Well, my first thought was the exact same as yours, why did it take them so long to do this?

Moser: They've been focused on other things, I think.

Frankel: Well, sure. But my other adjacent thought to that is, are they late to the party? Has everyone else already scooped up that? Stock trading exploded in the middle of 2020.

Moser: It did.

Frankel: How many traders came on the market? Robinhood (HOOD -1.20%) blew up, SoFi launched its platform, Square launched its platform. All brokerage went to zero commissions a couple of years ago, and that brought a lot of people off the vault. Who's interested in trading stocks doesn't already have a brokerage they go to? I worry if there might be a little bit late. I would've preferred to see them do that through acquisition is my initial thought, like how Square's now trying to build its buy now, pay later platform, because they're late to the party. PayPal already built theirs, Affirm (AFRM -2.82%) and Afterpay are already out there, so they went and acquired someone who already existed to make up time for being late to the party. PayPal is late to this party, I think. I think they have an uphill battle ahead, their advantage is their massive customer base, especially on Venmo. If they integrated into Venmo, I could see it being a big deal. But I don't know if it's going to be a major needle mover for the business. I think it could just be a value-added service.

Matthew Frankel, CFP owns shares of SoFi Technologies, Inc. and Square. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Affirm Holdings, Inc., PayPal Holdings, SoFi Technologies, Inc., and Square. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2022 $75 calls on PayPal Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

PayPal Holdings Stock Quote
PayPal Holdings
$75.55 (-2.69%) $-2.09
Block, Inc. Stock Quote
Block, Inc.
$62.85 (1.19%) $0.74
Affirm Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
Affirm Holdings, Inc.
$12.45 (-2.82%) $0.36
SoFi Technologies, Inc. Stock Quote
SoFi Technologies, Inc.
$4.53 (-0.66%) $0.03
Robinhood Markets Stock Quote
Robinhood Markets
$9.07 (-1.20%) $0.11

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