Stripe VS Braintree: Which Processor & Gateway Is Better For Online Business?
Stripe and Braintree have a lot of features and capabilities in common. But there’s a clear winner for the vast majority of businesses: Stripe. Find out why.
|Online Transaction Pricing||
When looking at Braintree vs. Stripe, both should make it onto your shortlist of potential processors if you need tech-driven software to power payments for your business. In addition to powerful developer tools with support for multiple programming languages, both companies are global services that can reach customers all over the world. But which one comes out on top?
Before committing to either of these platforms, it’s important to understand that you’ll need a developer or someone on your team with decent coding ability. While integrations can get you around this, you’d still end up missing out on a large portion of what these services offer.
Now, let’s see how Stripe vs. Braintree stacks up.
Table of Contents
- Braintree VS Stripe At A Glance
- What’s The Difference Between Braintree & Stripe
- Braintree VS Stripe Fees & Rates
- Braintree & Stripe Features
- Which Is Best For My Business Needs: Stripe Or Braintree?
- Alternatives to Braintree & Stripe
- Braintree VS Stripe Comparison: The Final Verdict
- Stripe VS Braintree FAQs
Braintree VS Stripe At A Glance
In most regards, when it comes to the Braintree vs. Stripe competition, the two are very closely matched. In fact, an overwhelming majority of the services overlap, and they cater to a very similar clientele. But, as they say, the devil is in the details.
Benefits Of Braintree
- Access to the PayPal ecosystem
- Excellent developer tools
- Strong support for international commerce
- Predictable flat-rate processing
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.
Benefits Of Stripe
- Commonly used as a white-label integration
- Excellent developer tools
- Strong support for international commerce
- Predictable flat-rate processing
Stripe Payments offers second-to-none developer support. While it doesn’t necessarily excel in all areas, Stripe’s integrations and versatility make it an extremely powerful tool for those willing to dig into some code.
What’s The Difference Between Braintree & Stripe
Braintree is one of a handful of payment services that offer access to the PayPal ecosystem combined with a full merchant account. Stripe offers business efficiency tools, easy enrollment, and access to far more international payment methods.
More recently, the two also differ in terms of transaction fees and pricing models, with Stripe being cheaper for small transactions and Braintree being cheaper for large ones.
Both Stripe & Braintree Offer…
- Flat-Rate Credit Card Processing: You’ll be charged a consistent rate to process credit cards, regardless of the type of card or interchange fees. This model tends to favor lower-volume businesses.
- Mobile Wallet Support: You can process Apple Pay and Google Pay on these platforms.
- ACH Processing: ACH is the main bank-to-bank transfer system in the US and is often used for recurring billing and subscriptions.
- Third-Party Integrations: Both services are well-supported by third-party integrations, which can help close gaps in their services. While it’s not exactly “third party,” Braintree, in particular, is reliant upon PayPal integration for many of its features.
- Strong Developer Support: Both Stripe and Braintree are developer-centric services. To get the most out of them, you’ll want to have a developer on your team or be willing to contract with one.
- International Commerce: While Stripe’s range is more extensive, both services are usable by merchants based outside the US. They both also support transactions in over 135 currencies.
- Reporting Tools: Both services offer tools for analyzing and gaining insight into your transactions.
- Payouts: This is the ability to send payments to suppliers and contractors.
- Anti-Fraud Tools: If you’re worried about fraud, both companies offer tools that help reduce your exposure to malicious actors.
Only Braintree Offers…
- PayPal Integration: If Braintree can seem a little lean in some areas, remember that it can always call in the big guns: its sister service PayPal. As you might expect, the massive PayPal ecosystem plays very well with Braintree and can fill in a lot of the gaps in the primary service. It also supports Venmo payments.
- Independent Payment Gateway: Stripe’s payment gateway can’t be separated from its payment processing services. It’s all or nothing. Braintree allows you to do this, albeit at an inefficient cost.
- Merchant Account: Each Braintree business customer gets its own merchant account, in contrast to Stripe and PayPal. This translates to a slower onboarding process but better account stability.
- Interchange-Plus Pricing: Though only available at the “custom” level, high-volume businesses can potentially get interchange-plus pricing through Braintree.
Only Stripe Offers…
- Regional Payment Method Support: Stripe doesn’t just allow foreign businesses to process credit cards; it also supports region-specific payment methods, such as Alipay, Interac, and SEPA.
- Business Loans: Stripe Capital allows qualified Stripe customers to borrow against revenue coming to them through Stripe’s infrastructure. While you can get loans through PayPal, Braintree itself doesn’t offer that service.
- Invoicing: Here again, Stripe offers invoicing as a bundled service, whereas with Braintree, you’ll have to rely on integrations.
- Fast Onboarding: As a third-party processor, Stripe can get businesses up and running quickly. This comes with some trade-offs in terms of account stability.
Braintree VS Stripe Fees & Rates
|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|
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 & Stripe Features
|Credit Card Processing|
|Developer Tools||(Documentation, code samples, quickstart, APIs)||(Documentation, code samples, quickstart, APIs)|
|Supported Payment Types||
|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.
Which Is Best For My Business Needs: Stripe Or Braintree?
Payment processing isn’t one-size-fits-all. Ultimately, you’re looking for the best payment service for your particular business.
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
Alternatives to Braintree & Stripe
Stripe and Braintree are both quality payment processors, but they’re not the only games in town. If neither service sounds ideal for your business, consider some alternatives.
For more alternatives, consult our guides:
Braintree VS Stripe Comparison: The Final Verdict
When two options are as similar in appearance as Stripe Payments 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.