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Invest at PayPal could compete with Robinhood and Square’s retail stock trading

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A recently added exec reveals PayPal’s interest in stock trading

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The next platform to host a rush on stocks like GameStop and AMC could be PayPal, as CNBC reports the company hired a brokerage industry vet to lead the effort. CNBC points out that Rich Hagen served as Ally Invest president after that company acquired a startup he co-founded called TradeKing, and now his LinkedIn page lists him as the CEO of Invest at PayPal.

The meme stock trading action of the last year may have convinced PayPal it can’t let Robinhood or Square take over the market of retail investors who want to easily trade individual stocks.

Regulatory slaps on the wrist and financial nihilism haven’t stalled activity on those apps. However, it may be a while before PayPal is a tool in the arsenal of r/WallStreetBets. PayPal’s CEO told CNBC the company has plans for additional financial services in the future, including investment capabilities, while at least one anonymous source told the outlet it’s “unlikely” the feature will be available this year.