Braintree Review 2021

Braintree is a global online payment solution offered by PayPal. It’s a contender for the best worldwide payments provider with Stripe as its fiercest competition. Unfortunately, Braintree seems to have a bit of a problem with negative reviews.
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  • Check
    Venmo and PayPal integration
  • Check
    Available in over 45 countries
  • X
    Poor customer reviews
  • X
    Generally fewer features than Stripe

The first thing to say is that if you can’t afford to hire a web developer or you don’t have programming skills yourself, Braintree probably isn’t for you.

Braintree is a product designed around its application programming interface (API). Its purpose is to help businesses build processing solutions into their websites and to simplify more technical processing problems like setting up a marketplace.

Another key aspect of services like Braintree is allowing businesses to conduct secure transactions across the globe.

If you’ve read our Stripe review, you may be noticing that Braintree seems to offer a lot of the same things that Stripe does. Because of that, the real question you need to answer is this: Which solution is better for my business, Stripe or Braintree? In our opinion, the nod goes to Stripe. But you should still stick around to see why Braintree may be right for you.

Braintree is best for Venmo and PayPal integration

One of the key differences between Braintree and Stripe is that Braintree is owned by PayPal. This ownership gives Braintree access to both Venmo and PayPal payment options.

There are a lot of customers online who like performing online transactions via PayPal or Venmo. Because you can give your customers these options with Braintree, they’re more likely to have a satisfying transaction experience if PayPal is their preferred online payment method.

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Braintree plans and pricing

Plan details

Plan NameStandard
Transaction cost2.9% + $0.30
Venmo transaction cost2.9% + $0.30
ACH Transaction cost0.75%
Charity transaction cost2.2% + $0.30
Non-US currency fee1%
Non-US card fee1%
Chargeback fee$15
Learn More

Braintree technically has two plans on offer: standard pricing and custom pricing. Custom pricing depends on your transaction volume. Most small businesses won’t be doing enough transaction volume to justify a custom plan as those plans are typically for enterprise clients.

Braintree doesn’t list many details for its custom plans because said plans are customized to the needs of each business applying for one.

That said, the standard pricing plan is pretty, well, standard. It’s almost identical to Stripe’s pricing model. In fact, both companies have the exact same transaction cost. Because Stripe and Braintree are well-matched on pricing, why would your business want to choose Braintree?

Pros and Cons

Pros
Pro Bullet Venmo and PayPal integration
Pro Bullet Available in over 45 countries
Cons
Con Bullet Programming skills necessary
Con Bullet Poor customer reviews

Pros explained

Braintree is a great way to accept PayPal and Venmo payments in a worldwide context. Because it’s available in over 45 countries, you’re left with a service that has a lot of payment acceptance flexibility on a large scale. This can boost your sales potential substantially.

Cons explained

The fact that you need a programmer or programming skills to integrate Braintree on your website is both a pro and a con. It’s good for customization but bad because it’s prohibitive to smaller businesses that can’t afford a programmer. Braintree also has a problem with negative reviews that’s explained in detail in a below section.

Braintree vs Stripe

Similarities

Braintree and Stripe aren’t functionally all that different. Here are a few things both services offer:

  • Online payment acceptance of all major credit cards
  • Tools for building an online marketplace
  • 3D secure
  • Report generation
  • POS solutions
  • Data security
  • Global currency acceptance

On some of these points, Braintree and Stripe differ slightly. For example, Braintree and Stripe both offer services in many foreign countries, but there is some slight variation between the countries serviced.

Also, Braintree offers PayPal POS hardware whereas Stripe offers its own terminal.

Now let’s talk about key differences.

Differences

Let’s start with a simple question: what does Braintree offer that Stripe doesn’t?

  • Venmo and PayPal integration
  • Certain add-on integrations specific to Braintree

What does Stripe offer that Braintree doesn’t?

  • Alipay integration
  • Coupon promotion tools
  • Tons of accounting integrations
  • More app integrations than Braintree
  • Better support documentation

Looking at the two lists above, Stripe gets the edge in features offered. But, if PayPal or Venmo integration is important to your customers, Braintree is a better option.

Braintree has a lot of negative user reviews online

There are many reasons why a business may have an overwhelming majority of negative reviews like Braintree. One of them is that a company may not encourage its customers to write reviews. When a company doesn’t encourage the average user to write reviews, the most common reviews tend to be negative—people are more likely to review something if they’ve had a negative experience than if they’ve had a positive one.

Braintree is one of those companies with a suspiciously negative skew. That said, those negative reviews shouldn’t be ignored or discounted. The most commonly found complaints have to do with poor customer service and difficulty using the API.

Many users agree that Stripe has an easier API to use that is better documented. So people new to programming or with minimal programming experience tend to find Braintree’s API documentation obtuse and difficult.

That said, as was mentioned earlier, Braintree is designed for web developers with considerable programming skills. So, if you have a good programmer, you should have little trouble getting the most out of this service.

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Key features

Reporting tools

You can generate a bunch of useful reports on Braintree:

  • Advanced transaction search
  • Dispute management
  • Decline analysis
  • Transaction fee report

These reports can help you ground crucial business in data and can help you diagnose the overall health of your business.

Global scaling

Braintree is available in over 45 countries across the globe and can process transactions in over 130 currencies globally. This functionality is crucial for businesses that need global payment support or for businesses that are planning a global sales expansion sometime in the near future.

Strong security features

One thing that matters a lot in the worldwide payment market is ensuring that your transactions are safe, secure, and authentic. Fraud is more prevalent in some countries, so it’s crucial to use a processor equipped with the tools to handle the special challenges associated with doing business internationally.

PayPal POS tools

Braintree allows you to add an in-person component to your online processing via PayPal’s credit card processing terminals. From mobile readers to larger terminals, PayPal has a good selection of hardware you can use to take card-present transactions should the need arise. Prices range from $24.99–$99.99.

The takeaway

Braintree is a pretty good global payments solution. It’s not as feature-rich as Stripe, but if you’re looking for a global payment gateway that accepts PayPal and Venmo transactions, then Braintree is a solid option.

If you’re not sure Braintree is the best global payment solution for your business, check out our review of Stripe.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Andrew Mosteller
Written by
Andrew Mosteller
For four years, Andrew has been writing copy to help business owners expand, manage, and advertise their unique brands. His upbringing in an entrepreneurial family nurtured a passion for small business at a young age. Andrew’s father, an equity fund manager, taught him the ins and outs of investment financing and owning and operating a successful business. Now he brings his expertise and experience to entrepreneurs as a regular contributor on Business.org.
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