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Braintree vs. Stripe: Comparing Two Online Payment Platforms

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Braintree and Stripe are two programs that are often compared because their core systems are similarly aligned. This makes it easy to draw a direct comparison since features are so closely matched. 

Both brands cater to large, innovative businesses with industry-leading tools for mobile and online commerce, global business, card payments, and subscription-based billing management. 

Before committing to either platform, it’s important to know that a company should have advanced coding knowledge to make the most out of either system. You cannot harness the full potential of either without having a team member that is tech-savvy. 

Braintree Overview

Braintree is a service provider that enables gateway services and payment processing for merchants in more than 45 countries while Stripe oversees transactions in 34 countries. 

Braintree offers support for over 130 currencies with streamlined PayPal integration. Since the brand is owned by the super popular payment system PayPal, it makes sense the two payment providers work so well in unison.

The payment service supports both iOS and Android for mobile developers as well as six coding languages. This includes:

  • Java
  • Node.js
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • .NET

You’ll also find support for major payment methods across the globe such. Payment options include:

  • Credit cards
  • PayPal
  • ACH direct debit
  • Venmo
  • Apple Pay 
  • Google Pay
  • Android Pay
  • Amex Express Checkout
  • Visa Checkout
  • UnionPay
  • Masterpass

Braintree Main Features

Braintree is a payment processor that categorizes its core offerings into four separate categories. These are:

  • Braintree Direct – This is the best solution for merchants that want to sell online. This also includes direct subscription tools to process payments.
  • Braintree Marketplace – This tool allows a business to create a website and manage sellers and payouts with Saas automation.
  • Braintree Auth – This is the integration platform for gateway solutions into third-party tools. Onboard merchants and accept native mobile payments too.
  • Braintree Extend – The appropriate platform for a business model like booking sites (think Uber, Airbnb, and Diner’s Club). It empowers merchants to sell online through shared customer data and plugins.

Additional Features

  • Analytics and reporting
  • Fraud management
  • Recurring billing
  • Multi-currency display and conversions
  • Account auto-updater
  • Subscription tools
  • PCI compliant
  • Extensive PayPal integrations

Braintree Pricing

The baseline pricing model for Braintree is fairly simple. Unlike Stripe, they do not add a cost for additional features. That’s why, when it comes to the overall savings, Braintree charges are far more affordable than Stripe.

  • Card Transactions: 2.9% + 30 cents per card transaction.
  • ACH Processing: 0.75%, capped at $5.

It should also be noted that with Braintree, you can accept PayPal Credit transactions. Those process at rates determined by your PayPal account (not your bank account). This typically runs at a rate of 2.9% + 30 cents.

Discounts and Payment Plans

  • Interchange-plus pricing: Available in Europe and to high-volume merchants (more than $80,000/month) in the United States.
  • Nonprofit Discount Rate: 2.2% + 30 cents  (American Express processed at 3.25% + 30 cents).

Additionally, since Braintree integrates with PayPal, you can take advantage of the micropayments plan offered through PP for 5% + 5 cents instead.

Stripe Overview

Stripe is available to a business in 34 countries and supports over 135 different currencies. The ADKs include support for iOS and Android and seven different programming languages, which include:

  • PHP
  • Ruby
  • Java
  • Python
  • .NET
  • Node.js
  • Go

Payment Methods

The type of payment method that is accepted depends on the merchant’s location. Stripe supports a multitude of payment types, particularly in the EU and China. Where Braintree focuses on universal payment methods, Stripe works hard to supports methods that are common in local markets. They cater more to a small business and consistently work to lower transaction fees.

The brand is currently in the process of transitioning its existing Tokens and Sources APIs to its Payment Methods API. The supported universal payment types include:

  • Masterpass
  • Visa Checkout
  • WeChat Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Alipay
  • Microsoft Pay

Local payment methods are only available in certain regions where they are the most popular. This can include (but is not limited to):

  • ACH
  • SEPA direct debit
  • EPS
  • Bancontact
  • Giropay
  • Klarna
  •  P24
  • Multibanco

Stripe Main Features

Stripe claims to offer more than 100 features but here are a few of the most important benefits to expect:

  • Payments: Stripe Checkout is a prebuilt form that can be simply dropped into a site. However, if you need something more customized, Stripe Elements can design a form that suits your needs. Payments can be built into your website or mobile app.
  • Connect: Stripe’s Marketplace allows a business to build and manage a platform that includes automated payouts to merchants. Connect also facilitates third-party integrations in the same way as Braintree Auth. 
  • Billing: This encompasses all of Stripe’s invoicing, subscription, and recurring billing tools. 
  • Sigma: Stripe’s suite of standard reporting tools in the dashboard. For advanced reporting, this is the feature you will need. For an additional monthly fee (based on volume) you can generate custom reports with SQL queries. 

Additional Features

  • Fraud protection and monitoring tools with machine learning
  • Multi-currency displays and conversions for global businesses
  • Account auto-updater for recurring transactions
  • Atlas allows international businesses incorporate in the U.S.
  • Automation toolset designed for mass payouts
  • Relay allows you to link e-commerce catalogs to an app
  • Stripe has over 300 integrations for every business task needed

Stripe Pricing

Much like Braintree, Stripe pricing is simple and fair. However, the Stripe payment gateway has begun charging for some features which means pricing is not always as transparent as it should be. 

  • Card Transactions: 2.9% + 30 cents per card transaction.
  • ACH Processing: 0.8%, capped at $5.

Both Stripe and Braintree allow a business to accept credit cards (Visa, Discover, Mastercard) from outside your home country. This does not include debit cards. Stripe charges 1% per transaction. If the transfer is processed in one currency and settled in another, another 1% in additional fees may be applied.


Stripe offers several discounts that include:

  • Volume: There is no threshold for enterprise pricing or custom discounts. There is also no indication anywhere that custom discounts include interchange-plus pricing.
  • Nonprofit: Stripe mentions that nonprofits (501(c)(3)) may be eligible for custom discounts. However, they do not disclose what those rates are. 
  • Microtransactions: The Stripe sales team works with merchants who wish to implement micropayments, but does not specify the cost.

An obvious trend here is the lack of disclosure. All of these pricing features are available but rarely mentioned. This indicates that these prices may not be consistent and could vary from one business to the next. Usually, the two biggest factors are volume and industry. Contact customer support for more exact figures. 

It should be noted, Stripe never refunds processing fees for refunded transactions. 

In Closing

When comparing Stripe vs Braintree, if everything sounds similar, that’s because these two companies are virtually equal in most regards. It all comes down to little details, like the fact that Stripe is a third-party processor while Braintree requires traditional merchant accounts. 

Additionally, Stripe has far more applicable integrations than Braintree. This can be a convenient setup for startups. They may already have some legacy systems in place and cannot afford a new replacement. 

When it comes to currency conversion, Braintree takes the upper hand where it’s available in 9 more countries than Stripe. Both brands are evenly matched in the number of currencies accepted and their multi-currency displays. 

No matter the platform you choose, the most important move you make is understanding the unique needs of your business. Then you can best align the perfect payment service provider to meet your needs.

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