We’re Officially PFOF-Free

Public
Public
Feb 16, 2021 · 3 min read

And optional tipping is now live in the app.

On Feb. 1, we committed to ending our participation in Payment for Order Flow (PFOF) and announced an optional tipping feature, in order to align our incentives with those of our members.

Public.com is officially off PFOF

We originally shared this transition would take a few weeks, but we worked hard with our clearing firm, Apex, to make this happen as quickly as possible on behalf of our members. Effective today, with Apex’s help, your trades are routed directly to exchanges (e.g. Nasdaq and the NYSE)¹ and we have eliminated PFOF from our business model. We don’t sell your trades to market makers.

… and optional tipping is now live in the app

We believe optional tipping is one of the most empowering, transparent ways for us to monetize — the decision is now in our members’ hands — and will bring us one step closer to our mission to open the stock market to everyone.

Here’s what you need to know:

Do I have to tip?
No. Tipping is fully optional and all our members will still be able to avail our $0 commission fees for standard trades. Tipping is separate from your order, so it won’t change anything about how your order is executed.

How does tipping work?
After you submit an order, you’ll be given an opportunity to tip. If you choose to tip, you’ll tap the “+” sign until you reach the tip amount you want, then submit the tip. The tip amount will be deducted against your buying power until and if the order is executed and will be returned to buying power if the order is canceled or rejected.

How much should I tip?
Whether or not you tip, and how much, is up to you. Our minimum tip varies by the dollar value of your order (the tip amount increments are set by the app), and the maximum tip we accept is 5% of your order amount.

Where do my tips go?
The tips are paid to Public. We’re turning what used to be a revenue stream (PFOF) into a cost center, and we’re optimistic that tips will offset the increased costs of executing at exchanges. The addition of a tip and the value of the tip has absolutely no bearing on how trades are executed.

Why did you launch tipping?
We think optional tipping is a better, more transparent, more aligned way to support our business than Payment for Order Flow, which is a common practice among many commission-free apps. You can read more about our decision here.

Our Help page has more information, and if you have any questions, you can always reach out at hello@public.com or on Twitter.

1|Update (10/5/21): We primarily route our customer orders to the exchanges. We also route to Alternative Trading Systems (or “ATSs”) in cases where an order will get a better price on the ATS than any lit exchange. ATSs are not market makers; ATSs match buyers and sellers much like the exchanges do, whereas market makers fill customer orders out of their own inventory (a process known as “internalization”). We don’t accept PFOF or rebates from ATSs. We always have our members’ best interests in mind, which is why we don’t accept PFOF and we’ll execute your order in the way that gets you the best pricing.

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