There may be a changing of the guard underway in financials.
The market caps of payment stocks like Visa and MasterCard have eclipsed the value of Wall Street's biggest banks, even as their balance sheets remain significantly smaller in comparison.
Square, Visa, PayPal and MasterCard are collectively worth $1.07 trillion, while the "big six" banks, which include JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are worth less than $900 billion in total.
A large portion of gains in market value have come in 2020, as investors continue to reward software-based tech companies amid the pandemic. The ETFMG Prime Mobile Payments ETF, which tracks mobile payments stocks, is up nearly 10% in 2020, while the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund is down nearly 20% so far this year.
Payment companies have increased their push into traditional banking over recent years, which investors have rewarded with further share gains. On Tuesday, Square announced that it will allow Cash-App users to access some of their earned wages ahead of schedule, incentivizing users to sign up for direct deposit through the application. PayPal-owned Venmo also allows its users to access earned wages.
Meanwhile, shares of traditional Wall Street banks have come under pressure amid low interest rates and fears of rising loan defaults as the economy continues to suffer during the coronavirus pandemic.
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