Stripe vs Braintree: the Ultimate Guide

Stripe vs Braintree

If you’re developing an app that needs to accept payments, you will likely consider Stripe and Braintree as payment providers.

They’re a new breed of full-stack payment companies that are friendly to both businesses and developers. They take care of the nitty gritty like merchant accounts and PCI compliance, and are fairly straightforward to integrate.

An unscientific review hints that Stripe is more popular among developers, with 99 StackOverflow questions in the past month, versus Braintree’s 34. Authorize.net, an older provider, had only 10, illustrating the shift toward new payment companies.

This article compares Stripe and Braintree in depth, to help developers and businesses make an informed decision. I’ve used both providers in production.

PayPal

PayPal acquired Braintree in 2013. Since then, Braintree has made it easier than ever to accept PayPal in a modern web application.

If you use Braintree to accept credit cards, there's no additional work required to accept PayPal. It's just another payment method, like Visa or MasterCard. Braintree handles all of the nuances, whether for one-time transactions or subscription payments.

Is accepting PayPal important to your business? If so, there’s a strong case for Braintree.

Stripe currently has no PayPal integration.

Winner: Braintree. It provides the smoothest PayPal integration available for most sites.

Braintree PayPal form Braintree PayPal form

Payment Forms, Front-end

Stripe and Braintree offer pre-built payment forms that you can bring onto your site:

Braintree Drop-in UI is my personal preference. It appears in-line, blending in with your UI. It can also include a PayPal button, allowing the customer to log in to PayPal without leaving your site.

In addition to pre-built forms, both Stripe and Braintree allow you to create your own.

Braintree requires your server to retrieve a one-time client token from Braintree's API before displaying a payment form, whether using its Drop-in UI or hosted fields (its custom form solution). Stripe doesn't require your server to retrieve a one-time token before the client renders the payment form, saving a step and likely cutting load time by 1–2 seconds.

Winner: Tie. Braintree provides a better universal payment UI but requires an additional server request that can delay loading by 1–2 seconds.

Braintree vs Stripe formsBraintree form vs Stripe form