PayPal is reportedly exploring stock-trading service for US customers

A sign is posted outside of the PayPal headquarters on April 9, 2018 in San Jose, California.

PayPal Holdings is exploring a stock-trading service for US customers amid a boom in retail investing, CNBC first reported Monday.

To help launch the effort, the San Jose, California-based firm hired Rich Hagen to be the CEO of a division called “Invest at PayPal,” CNBC reported. This is reflected on Hagen’s LinkedIn profile. An industry veteran, Hagen was previously with Ally Invest.

“Leading PayPal’s efforts to explore opportunities in the consumer investment business,” Hagen’s profile said.

It is unlikely, however, that the service would be launched this year, sources told CNBC.

Still, PayPal’s foray into stock trading comes at a time when retail investing has surged in popularity borne out of the meme stock craze, pandemic lockdowns, and additional income for millions of American via three rounds of stimulus checks from the US government.

The move comes after the online payments company allowed US users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies last year, a service it recently expanded to the UK in August 2021.

PayPal’s competitor, Square, currently offers clients stock and cryptocurrency trading through its mobile payment service, Cash App. Other rivals such as Robinhood and SoFi already also offer both trading options.

PayPal’s userbase dwarfs other services, however, with roughly 400 million global customers.

Shares of PayPal jumped more than 3.5% on news of the stock trading service.