Braintree vs Stripe Comparison

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There is an ever-growing list of online payment processing companies for you to choose from. Finding the right one can feel like a very daunting task.  But with a little research, you’ll find that two, in particular, have started to emerge as leading contenders: Braintree and Stripe.

This is for good reason.  Both are growing massively in popularity and offer a huge amount of benefit at a fraction of the cost of more traditional payment processing companies.

Deciding between the two can be a bit more difficult, however, so we have compiled the definitive guide for you so you can understand each of their benefits and differences.

Let’s dive in:

Braintree VS Stipe – A basic overview

At first glance, the two companies are pretty closely matched and offer very similar features and fee structures.  They both have great tools for online integration and mobile commerce catering for businesses large and small the world over.

They are, however, both aimed at slightly different audiences, and the main difference is that Braintree offers individual merchant accounts while Stripe only offers third-party processing.  Let’s break this down a little more.

Braintree

Braintree operates in a similar way to PayPal, but where PayPal is designed to specifically cater to small businesses (and mass consumers), Braintree prides itself on its customization meaning it can cater to small and large businesses and scale with you.

They issue you a merchant account when you sign up, which usually comes with a price tag from other companies but is completely free with Braintree.

What this does is give you that extra bit of account security over Stripe.

It’s worth noting that if you already have a merchant account this doesn’t rule out Braintree as they do also offer payment gateway services at a cost of $49 per month plus 10 cents per transaction.

Stripe

Stipe is more orientated to being an all-in-one solution for your e-commerce needs, acting as a third-party processor that aggregates your payments and then pays them into a separate merchant account.

Not having a merchant account has Stripe lagging behind Braintree a little in our opinion as you then have the additional costs of a separate account to deal with.

Fees

Both companies are fairly comparable on fees.

Neither company charges a setup fee or any monthly fees (assuming you take the Braintree merchant account!).

Their transactional rates for credit and debit card payments are also both the same at a flat rate of 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.

Both also offer volume discounts for companies that do more than $80,000 a month in sales.  Braintree, however, will not charge a fee on your first $50,000 which can be a big saving for larger companies.

Both companies charge the standard $15 fee for chargebacks, however, Stripe will refund the fee if you can prove the fault was with the customer, which Braintree doesn’t do.

Payments

Again, both companies are well-matched with the types of payments they accept, though there are two notable differences.  They accept:

  • Credit and debit cards – Including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Diners Club, and JCB.
  • Apple Pay and Android Pay
  • Braintree Only – PayPal, Venmo, and Bitcoin (which is free for the first $1 million and then 1% after that)
  • Stripe Only – Alipay

Not accepting PayPal is a bit of a blow for Stripe in our opinion.

Also, while Stripe used to accept Bitcoin they discontinued this service in 2018.

Both companies offer recurring billing as standard and both will process refunds without any issue.

Payments are usually debited in your account in two working days, though this can be slower for American Express into your Braintree account.

The two do have minor differences in what they offer in the way of additional payment services.

Braintree lets you provide add-on products and services, which Stripe does not.  But Stripe lets you offer coupons, which Braintree doesn’t.

Foreign Currency

One of the great advantages of using either of these companies is how well they work with foreign currencies.  Both Braintree (through PayPal) and Stripe work globally across more than 45 countries and 130+ currencies.

So, if your company does a lot of international business both options are fantastic for your needs.

Integrating them into your websites

When it comes to website integration, i.e how easily and seamlessly you can incorporate their payment solutions to your e-commerce site Stripe takes a slight advantage.

Stripe pride itself on being the “developer’s choice” when it comes to their API integration, and they have a comprehensive list of tools and resources to make them incredibly customizable to meet your needs.

There are still a lot of similarities in what they offer, however, so let us have a look at a few of them:

  • Both can integrate through a variety of programming languages including Python, Java, PHP, and Ruby.  A full list of compatible languages for Braintree can be found here, and Stripe can be found here.
  • Both have excellent functioning apps for processing payments.
  • Both also offer in-store POS systems to integrate online and in-person transactions

Third-Party Integration and additional services

Braintree and Stripe both have excellent offerings when it comes to third party integration and other services they can connect with:

Braintree integrates with over 40 different apps and services including FreshBooks, Magneto, and Recurly to name a few.

Stripe on the other hand integrates with over 300 existing apps, which is great, across accounting, ordering, analytics, POS, financing, invoicing, and many many more making it very easy to manage all of your company’s finances without any issue.

Braintree Marketplace and Stripe Connect

If your business requires you to take payment from customers and pay it directly to suppliers (like eBay or Etsy) then both companies also have you covered there through their marketplace offerings.

This is a great little addition that caters to different needs but means you can still utilize both platforms.

Fraud and Compliance

These are an important consideration when looking for your payment processing company and both companies stack up very well here too, you’ll be glad to know.

Both are fully PCI compliant and have incredibly strong encryption for payments to make them safe and secure.  Both also have advanced protections too making sure that customer and merchant details are kept safe.

Customer Service

One final thing to consider is the customer service from each provider.  Sometimes things go wrong and you want to make sure there are helpful teams at the other end that can help you quickly and efficiently.

In terms of basic reviews, Braintree has long been the favored company.  Stripe, however, has been going to great lengths to increase their customer service, for which they now have more points of contact and longer contact hours than Braintree.

Conclusion

Braintree and Stripe are both undoubtedly two of the best options for you when it comes to your online payment platform.

While it would be easy to look at both and just pick one at random knowing that you will have made a great choice, hopefully, our breakdown here will help you make the right choice for your company based on your needs, rather than just a great choice of payment processor.

Taking the time to think about and list what you need from your payment processes, what you want to be able to offer your customers in terms of payment options, is key to making the right choice for you.

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Kareena Maya

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.