PayPal vs Braintree

PayPal vs Braintree: Choose Your Ideal Processor

How often do you purchase goods and services through cash, cheques, and money orders?

Although traditional payment methods are still utilized today, particularly by large enterprises and older customer demographics, they are gradually being replaced by highly secure digital solutions that offer unparalleled convenience. This shift is possible due to the availability of robust payment gateways enabling secure online transactions.

If you’re looking for an online payment processing system for your business, you may be evaluating two popular options: PayPal vs Braintree. Both of these systems enable secure and convenient payments, but they also have some key differences that may make one a better fit for your business than the other. In this article, we’ll compare PayPal vs Braintree in detail to help you make an informed decision.

PayPal – The Elevator Pitch

PayPal, founded in 1998 and headquartered in San Jose, California, is one of the most popular online payment processors comprising around 60% of all payment gateway use. As of yearend 2022, PayPal had over 400 million active users in more than 200 markets around the world.

PayPal pros & cons

PayPal’s high level of security, extensive global reach, ability to integrate with numerous platforms, and wide range of payment options, including credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal balances, are the main reasons for its global popularity.

Braintree – The Elevator Pitch

Braintree is another popular payment processor, acquired by PayPal in 2013. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Braintree offers a range of payment options, including credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal balances, as well as, features like recurring billing and fraud protection at par with PayPal.

Braintree pros & cons

Braintree is especially known for being developer-friendly with easy-to-use APIs and integrations for a variety of programming languages and platforms. It is also known to be better tailored for businesses, unlike PayPal which caters to both individuals and businesses.

PayPal vs Braintree Comparison 2024

Let’s get into the nitty gritty of features offered by Braintree vs PayPal and the key differences between the two payment processors.

1. User Interface (UI)

Both PayPal and Braintree offer their users intuitive and user-friendly interfaces. Having said that, Braintree’s interface is geared more toward developers with a focus on customization and integration options.

PayPal’s dashboard provides an overview of your account balance, recent transactions, and tools to manage your account, catering best to the needs of individuals and SMEs. Braintree’s UI, more tailored toward businesses also includes a sandbox environment for developers to test their payment processing solutions before going live.

2. Payment Methods

Both PayPal and Braintree offer a range of payment options, including credit cards, debit cards, PayPal balances, and bank transfers. However, Braintree offers a more customizable payment processing solution and supports additional payment options.

PayPal offers PayPal Credit, a financing option that allows customers to pay for their purchases over time with interest. It also supports alternative payment methods such as Venmo, a platform popular among younger demographics, and PayPal Checkout i.e., a streamlined checkout experience for online shoppers.

Braintree supports a wider range of payment methods including credit/debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, and Visa Checkout. Since Braintree’s platform is designed for businesses, it also allows merchants to add their own payment methods and offers more advanced features such as recurring billing and mobile payments.

3. Fees and Pricing

There are many differences in pricing structures and additional fees across PayPal and Braintree. Let’s explore them.

Payment Processing Fees:

  • PayPal and Braintree charge a transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30 for each payment processed, which is the industry standard.
  • Non-profits and large enterprises can avail discounts and custom pricing models on both platforms.

Fraud Prevention and Recurring Billing Fees:

  • Braintree offers a free trial and provides access to powerful fraud prevention features at no additional cost.
  • PayPal charges a $10 flat fee plus an additional 0.05% transaction fee for both fraud prevention and recurring billing features. These charges are in addition to any payment processing fees.

Chargeback Fees:

  • Braintree and PayPal have chargeback fees of $15 and $20 respectively for transactions within the US. PayPal’s chargeback fee varies depending on the origin country and currency being used.

Additional Fees:

  • With Braintree, you only pay for what you need. There is no fee for PayPal deposits, and only a 0.75% fee per transaction for ACH deposits. There is an additional 1% fee associated with non-US credit cards and non-US currencies.
  • PayPal offers free signup to individuals but charges a $30 monthly fee to business accounts. PayPal also charges a 3.5% transaction fee on American Express credit cards and a fixed 4.4% fee for non-US currencies that depends on the currency of choice.

Overall, both PayPal and Braintree offer payment processing services with similar transaction fees, but Braintree offers free access to powerful fraud prevention features while PayPal charges separate fees for these features.

When it comes to fee structures, Braintree offers greater flexibility and is a more budget-friendly option!

4. Payment Security

Both PayPal and Braintree are committed to providing secure payment processing and protecting their customers’ sensitive data. They are both PCI-compliant and offer advanced fraud detection and prevention tools to safeguard against the theft of data or funds.

Braintree, as a subsidiary of PayPal, benefits from PayPal’s robust security infrastructure and expertise. Both payment gateways employ a fraud monitoring system that uses machine learning algorithms to analyze transactions in real-time and detect and prevent fraudulent activity. They also offer encryption and tokenization services to protect sensitive customer data.

Overall, both Braintree and PayPal take security seriously and have implemented similar security measures to ensure safe and secure payment processing making them equals when it comes to this feature.

5. International Payments

Both PayPal and Braintree offer international payments in a variety of currencies. Having said that, Braintree’s international payments are more seamless, with no additional fees or currency conversion required.

PayPal charges significant fees associated with international transactions and foreign currency making it an expensive choice for a business aspiring toward global expansion. This is why, in the case of international payments, Braintree takes the win!

6. Integrations and APIs

Both PayPal and Braintree offer a range of integrations and APIs for popular platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento. However, as previously mentioned, Braintree’s developer-friendly platform and easy-to-use APIs make it a more popular choice for businesses with high custom integration requirements.

7. Customer Support

Both PayPal and Braintree offer customer support through a variety of channels, including phone, email, and chat. However, there are some differences between the two in terms of the level of support and resources available to customers.

PayPal offers phone support for both personal and business accounts, as well as a help center with articles and tutorials for frequently asked questions. They also have an active community forum and dedicated support for merchants who process large volumes of payments.

Braintree also offers phone and email support, as well as, a knowledge base with articles and guides to help merchants with frequent issues. They also offer a developer center with extensive documentation for integrating their payment gateway into websites and apps.

Overall, both PayPal and Braintree offer customer support options. PayPal may have more extensive resources and dedicated support for merchants but Braintree’s support is geared more toward developers and technical integrations.


In conclusion, both PayPal and Braintree are reliable and secure payment processors that offer a variety of payment options and countless integrations. The choice between the two ultimately depends on your business’s specific needs and scale of operation.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use payment processor with a wide range of payment options, PayPal may be the better choice for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a developer-friendly platform with lower transaction fees and seamless international payments, Braintree may be the better option.