Robinhood CEO's plan for the future sounds a lot like a bank

He said he wants the trading platform to become 'the single money app' people need.

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Karissa Bell
July 29th, 2021
In this article: news, gear, banking, robinhood, finance
Vlad Tenev, CEO and co-founder Robinhood Markets, Inc., is displayed on a screen during his company’s IPO at the Nasdaq Market site in Times Square in New York City, U.S., July 29, 2021.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Brendan McDermid / reuters

Newly public Robinhood has ambitions to be much more than just a stock-trading app, according to its CEO. In an interview with the AP, CEO Vlad Tenev said that, eventually, he wants to turn Robinhood into “the single money app” his users need.

Though Tenev didn’t use the word “bank,” his description certainly sounds more like a bank than the current iteration of Robinhood.

Over time, we want to be the single money app, the most trusted and most culturally relevant money app worldwide. So, everything that you use your money for, you should be able to do through Robinhood.

Anytime you receive a paycheck direct deposit, we’d like you to do that through Robinhood. Your emergency fund, your bill pay, your day-to-day spending, we’d like for customers to use us for that. And of course, all types of investing ranging from more discretionary investing to long-term retirement savings as well.

Tenev didn’t elaborate on exactly how these plans could take shape. And though it’s not necessarily surprising the company would want to expand the types of services it offers, the CEO’s comments will likely raise more than a few eyebrows.

The app, which became popular for its simple interface and commission-free trading, has also drawn criticism for many of its practices. The SEC fined the company $65 million last year, for misleading users about how it executes trades. It was also hit with a class action lawsuit earlier this year after it restricted trading on GameStop and other “meme stocks.” The company has also been accused of making the stock market feel too much like a casino, particularly for younger and less-savvy investors.

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