PayPal Holdings Inc. is looking into launching a stock-trading platform, according to a report. 

The San Jose, California-based payments company recently hired Richard Hagan, former president of Ally Investment, to head its "Invest at PayPal" division. 

Hagan’s LinkedIn page says he is "leading PayPal’s efforts to explore opportunities in the consumer investment business."

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PayPal has been exploring ways to let users trade stocks, according to CNBC, citing two sources familiar with the plans. 

The company did not respond to FOX Business’ request for comment. 

PayPal shares rallied as much as 4.3% before paring their gains, while brokers including Charles Schwab Corp. and Robinhood Markets Inc. turned lower. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change % PYPL PAYPAL HOLDINGS, INC. 288.47 +10.14 +3.64%SCHW THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORP. 73.44 -2.40 -3.16%HOOD ROBINHOOD MARKETS, INC. 43.64 -3.23 -6.89%

PayPal’s apparent move to become a broker comes at an interesting time for the industry. 

Retail trading experienced a boom during the pandemic as the work-from-home environment allowed more people to focus on their investments. 

Retail investors last year opened more than 10 million brokerage accounts, according to JMP Securities. The momentum continued into 2021 with almost 5 million accounts being opened at Schwab alone during the first half of this year.

However, the industry is expected to take a hit as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and the economy normalizes. 

Robinhood in its last quarterly report warned the online trading boom was set to slow down — at least temporarily. 

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"We expect seasonal headwinds and lower trading activity across the industry to result in lower revenues and considerably fewer new funded accounts than in the prior quarter," the company said.     

PayPal shares were up 19% this year through Friday compared with the S&P 500’s 20% gain. 

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