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Stripe VS Braintree: 2024 Comparison

Stripe and Braintree have a lot of features and capabilities in common. But there’s a clear winner for the vast majority of businesses. Find out which one.

    Chris Motola
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Shannon Vissers

    Shannon Vissers

    Lead Staff Writer

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

In most regards, when it comes to the Braintree vs. Stripe competition, the two are very closely matched with similar price points, services, and support. In fact, an overwhelming majority of their services overlap, and they cater to a very similar clientele: technically savvy e-commerce businesses.

The biggest difference between the two services is that Stripe is a third-party processor, meaning that rather than giving customers their own merchant accounts, it stands in as the merchant during the credit card transaction. Because of this, Stripe customers can begin processing transactions almost immediately. The trade-off is that third-party processors tend to have more account holds and freezes. Braintree, on the other hand, offers full merchant accounts, which take some time to approve but are more stable.

Another major point of consideration will be your attitude towards the PayPal ecosystem. Braintree, as a PayPal service, syncs up seamlessly with PayPal. Stripe, while it can accommodate a large number of payment methods from around the world, cannot process PayPal transactions.

Where Braintree Wins

  • Access to the PayPal ecosystem
  • Full merchant account
  • Transactions over $60

Braintree is essentially “advanced PayPal,” with a toolset oriented toward developers and use cases that the main PayPal brand doesn’t necessarily cover. If you generally like what PayPal has to offer but want to be able to bend it closer to your will with code, Braintree is the way to go.

It’s also a convenient way to get a merchant account with PayPal access without having to worry about monthly account fees. Braintree’s flat-rate pricing favors larger transactions, which makes it a good fit for online stores that have average transaction sizes over $60.

Where Braintree Falls Short

  • Customer service and resources have recently fallen behind Stripe
  • Pricing model may not be competitive for many businesses
  • Relies on PayPal integration for a lot of functionality

Braintree is designed for ecommerce with no real provisions for in-person transactions. You can work around this by using PayPal integrations to access PayPal Zettle (PayPal Zettle review), but you should be prepared to take some extra steps.

Moreover, this speaks to the general state of Braintree. As PayPal has expanded developer support for its parent brand, Braintree has started to look more and more like an afterthought. Customer service, for example, seems to have taken a big step backward, with users reporting long waits before receiving help.

Finally, there’s the matter of Braintree’s pricing model. Flat-rate processing tends to be a good fit for low-volume businesses that have a hard time justifying monthly account fees. These businesses don’t generally need a full merchant account at their volume. Add in the high cost of transactions under $60, and you’re looking at a pricing scheme that mainly works for businesses that do large but infrequent online transactions.

Where Stripe Wins

  • White-label integrations
  • Support for international payment methods and currencies
  • Faster onboarding

Stripe powers the built-in payment processing services of many eCommerce platforms (Shopify, for example), which makes it a convenient option in many cases. Stripe also has a small advantage when it comes to dealing with international payments and currencies, allowing for precise control over what currency the transactions are settled in and which bank accounts those specific transactions are routed to. This can cut down on currency exchange fees and make it easier to deal with local taxes.

Finally, as we mentioned earlier, Stripe has a faster onboarding process, allowing signups to begin taking credit card transactions almost immediately.

Where Stripe Falls Short

  • Account stability
  • Advanced features can get pricey
  • Support for non-technical users

Like Braintree, Stripe isn’t built around in-person transactions, though it is possible to take them if you have the technical know-how to get Stripe Terminal up and running. That’s generally how things work with Stripe: if you want to use more than what a pre-loaded/integrated version of Stripe has to offer, you’ll need to have a developer on your team.

Stripe’s pricing model is a little more friendly for typical low-volume businesses. Where the trouble begins is when you try to scale up your activity. Adding advanced features often adds additional per-transaction fees, which can quickly pile on costs.

And, of course, there’s the account stability issue. This is common to all third-party processors, not just Stripe. The cause of account holds and freezes, if they occur, may not be obvious. They’ll also, generally speaking, be harder to resolve. Stripe users should make sure they’re following the company’s compliance policies as closely as they can to avoid any issues.

Stripe VS Braintree Pricing Comparison

Braintree Stripe
Online Credit Card Payments 2.59% + $0.49 2.9% + $0.30
Online ACH Payments 0.75% (Max $5) 0.8% (Max $5)
PayPal Rates By PayPal account terms; Venmo: 3.49 + $0.49 N/A
Invoice Rates By PayPal or third-party integration rates 0.4% or 0.5%
Recurring Billing No additional fee 0.5% or 0.8%
In-Person Transactions 2.29% + $0.09 (with PayPal Zettle integration) 2.7% + $0.05
Refunds No additional fee, but the initial transaction fee isn’t returned No additional fee, but the initial transaction fee isn’t returned
Chargebacks $15 $15

Stripe and Braintree both default to a flat-rate pricing system that charges the same rate for each transaction type, regardless of the specific payment method. When you compare Braintree vs. Stripe fees, Stripe’s fee structure is simpler, with more inclusive pricing, whereas Braintree’s advanced features add specific costs to transactions. (Learn more about Stripe pricing and fees.)

Since you’ll probably be using PayPal if you sign up for Braintree, you’ll also want to check out PayPal’s rates and fees.

Which Is Cheaper: Braintree Or Stripe?

Nobody likes hearing “it depends” as an answer to the question of which service is cheaper, but in the case of Stripe vs. Braintree…it depends. Let’s see if we can give you a more satisfying answer, though.

In the pricing table above, you’ll notice that Stripe tends to charge a higher variable transaction fee, while Braintree charges a higher flat markup per transaction. This has the effect of making Stripe cheaper for smaller transactions and Braintree cheaper for larger transactions.

Let’s take the online credit card transaction rates, for example. For a $20 transaction, Stripe will charge you $0.88. Braintree will charge you around $1.01. For a $100 transaction, on the other hand, Stripe will charge you $3.20, while Braintree will charge you $3.08. The break-even point is around $60, so if your average eCommerce transaction falls under that, Stripe is cheaper. If it’s over that $60 threshold, Braintree is the less expensive option.

Braintree VS Stripe: Features Comparison

Braintree Stripe
Credit Card Processing
ACH Processing
Developer Tools (Documentation, code samples, quickstart, APIs) (Documentation, code samples, quickstart, APIs)
Supported Payment Types
  • Credit/debit cards
  • ACH
  • PayPal, Venmo, Pay in 4
  • Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Secure Remote Commerce
  • Bancontact, BLIK, iDeal, eps, GiroPay, MyBank, P24, Sofort, Trustly
  • Credit/debit cards
  • ACH, SEPA, UK Bank Transfer, Multibanco, Furikomi, Mexico Bank Transfer
  • Affirm Afterpay/Clearpay
  • Apple Pay, Google Pay, Secure Remote Commerce, Alipay, WeChat Pay, GrabPay
  • Bancontact, BLIK, eps, GiroPay, iDeal, P25, Sofort, FPX, PayNow, PromptPay, UPI, Netbanking
  • Konbini, OXXO, Boleto
PayPal Integration
Account Updater
Marketplace Solutions (Braintree Marketplace, included with account) (Stripe Connect, basic features included with an account, advanced features cost $2/month plus 0.25%+$0.25 per payout)
Advanced Security (3D Secure) (Stripe Radar, included with standard accounts; otherwise, $0.05 per screened transaction)

Stripe and Braintree cover very similar niches and, as you might expect, offer many of the same features. While both Braintree and Stripe offer support for European payment methods, Stripe provides more options for those doing business in or with Asia. On the other hand, as we’ve touched on earlier, Braintree uniquely offers full access to PayPal and PayPal-adjacent payment methods.

There’s far more to each of these services than we can cover in a comparison article, so please check out our full Braintree review and Stripe review. Or, you can start using Stripe Payments with no commitment.

Recurring Payments

Recurring payments are a core feature of both Stripe and Braintree, with the ability to customize the logic flow of how and when to retry charges. The main difference is that Stripe charges a small supplemental transaction fee on recurring payments.

Note that Braintree’s recurring billing is not compatible with Braintree Marketplace.

Security & Business Data

Braintree offers 3D Secure 2.0 (3DS 2.0) to all users. 3DS 2.0 is the industry standard for customer authentication, and it’s nice to see it available here. Further, Braintree uses data encryption to store information in the Braintree Vault, and Braintree is a validated Level 1 PCI DSS-compliant service provider.

Stripe’s security approach is a little more piecemeal. By default, all standard accounts get Stripe Radar, Stripe’s machine-learning anti-fraud system, for free. You can get the team version for an additional $0.07 per screened transaction if you want deeper control over settings. Advanced identity and selfie verification can be added on for $1.50 per verification. 3D Secure 2.0 is also available to Stripe users, though US merchants aren’t enrolled by default; you’ll need to contact support for that.

Like Braintree, Stripe is a certified PCI Service Provider Level 1.

Developer Tools

For many payment processors, developer tools are a perk for businesses that want to tweak their checkout processes’ default settings and presentation. For Stripe and Braintree, however, these are among the main draws for the platform. In fact, unless you get them as white-label services or pre-integrated into a sales platform, it’s assumed that you’ll need to do some coding to get Stripe or Braintree up and running.

As you might expect, both services take their developer tools very seriously. I’d give a slight edge to Stripe here, given the breadth and presentation of its documentation, along with the amount of infrastructure available for testing, cloning, and talking about code, as well as accounting for niche use cases. Braintree is close enough, however, that this could be considered more of a matter of personal taste than fact. Some developers have remarked that Braintree’s documentation is more concise and easier to parse when it comes to basic implementation, for example.

Needless to say, you’re in “best-in-class” territory with both these services.

Braintree Marketplace VS Stripe Connect

You can think of both Braintree Marketplace vs. Stripe Connect as feature sets for users who want a little bit more out of the services than just payment processing. While the typical business can manage just fine without these, they could be a deciding factor for some.

Stripe Connect includes payment timeout control, comprehensive reporting tools, 1099 tax reporting, flexible funds routing, instant payouts, and more. The basic version of Stripe Connect is free, but advanced customization options will run you $2 per active account per month for these features, plus 0.25% of your payout volume, plus $0.25 per payout for these, except for instant payouts. Instant payouts are charged 1% of your payout volume.

Braintree Marketplace allows users to split transactions, run customizable fraud checks, and pay providers through Braintree’s gateway. You can designate a service fee for each transaction. This feature is included with your Braintree account.


Both Stripe and Braintree have access to exhaustive lists of integrations. If it’s a commonly used program that has something to do with sales, someone’s probably made an integration for it. Failing that, you can use a payment gateway API to get some basic functionality worked into your setup. Ready-to-go integrations for both companies include the usual suspects, such as WooCommerce, Magento, and Salesforce.

The big elephant in the room here, however, is PayPal. As a PayPal service, Braintree can give you access to PayPal’s enormous platform of online payment tools. This effectively transforms Braintree from a fairly lean, niche product into an absolute behemoth of features and use cases. As far as integrations go, this is the main difference maker between the two platforms.

Which Is Best For My Business: Stripe Or Braintree?

Payment processing isn’t one-size-fits-all. Ultimately, you’re looking for the best credit card processing company for your particular business. When two options are as similar in appearance as Stripe and Braintree, choosing the best option for your business can be difficult. Hopefully, you now have a better sense of how these services differ.

You should make a list of must-have features and a list of “would be nice” features. If you can’t make a choice based on those criteria, have a discussion about the account stability issue and decide how much risk you’re willing to tolerate. Also, consider the customer support each company offers and the fact that you may have to pay more for using some of Stripe’s best features.

Choose Braintree If…

  • You want your own dedicated, stable merchant account
  • You want to use the gateway independently of other payment services
  • You want access to PayPal’s infrastructure
  • You don’t mind relying on integrations for some functionality
  • You’re looking for a lightweight platform that covers the basics
  • Your average transaction is over $60

Choose Stripe If…

  • You want to get your payment services up and running as quickly as possible
  • You want to accept regional payment methods
  • A large portion of your sales are international
  • You want a less integration-dependent platform
  • You want access to a variety of best-in-class tools and don’t mind paying a little extra for them
  • Your average transaction is under $60

Neither of these companies fit your needs? Find what you’re looking for among our lists of Stripe competitors and PayPal alternatives.

Chris Motola

Chris Motola

Senior Staff Writer at Merchant Maverick
Chris has been writing about small business topics since 2003. In 2015, he joined Merchant Maverick, where he writes about business financing, payment processing, and demographic trends in entrepreneurship. Chris has been featured in Fox Business, ABC News, Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, Newsweek, BizJournals, and other publications. He has a Bachelor’s of Arts in English Writing Arts from SUNY Oswego, and a Masters of Science in Interactive Media from the University of Central Florida. He currently resides in the Hudson Valley region of New York.
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