PayPal vs Braintree in 2023: What Payment Processor is Better?

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Over 24 million merchants use PayPal as their payment processor. It’s fast, secure, and easy to use. While PayPal may be popular, is it the best option for your business?

PayPal is best suited for you – if your site is new. The PayPal stamp increases consumer trust. It has fewer customization than its competitors, but when you’re just getting started, its out-of-the-box solution is great for a quick start

Braintree can be a better solution for businesses that push high sales volumes. If you have developer bandwidth, Braintree’s customizable APIs provide better integrations and security features that give you the ability to make the checkout process your own. However, you need to be approved for an account, and Braintree is more complex than PayPal.

So, when deciding between PayPal and Braintree, which payment system should you use for your business? 

In this article, we’ll discuss how PayPal and Braintree differ. You can also check out our payment gateway comparison tool to compare a wide range of platforms.

PayPal and Braintree: Features

PayPal Overview

Many online shoppers are familiar with PayPal, as it is one of the most popular payment gateways. Customers are more likely to trust a website that accepts PayPal, even if they don’t have a PayPal account.

While PayPal has a few perceived drawbacks, with some users citing issues with cost and dispute resolution, it is very easy to use, making it a good choice for businesses that don’t have a lot of experience with online payments. 

Payments can be collected for one-off purchases as well as recurring payments. If you’re running a SaaS business, integrating your PayPal with Chargebee makes collecting recurring payments even easier. You’ll have access to better analytics, subscription management, and tools like smart dunning to combat customer churn.

Braintree Overview

Braintree is owned by PayPal but is designed for high-volume merchants. It’s a popular alternative payment gateway for those who need more control over their payment processes.

Braintree merchants can customize their checkout experience, and Braintree’s range of features makes it easy to accept payments. However, a developer is needed for it, which can make it less beginner-friendly than PayPal. For SaaS businesses using Braintree as their payment gateway, they can integrate with Chargebee. Chargebee can automate your invoicing and has no-code custom reporting, helping to save time and money.

Since both payment gateways are owned by PayPal, the one you should choose depends on your specific needs. Let’s look at the differences between the two in more detail.

What Are the Differences Between PayPal and Braintree?

Adding PayPal to your website is quick and easy and requires nothing more than a PayPal Business account. Simply sign up for an account and follow the prompts to add the gateway to your site.

Braintree is more complex to set up, as you need to go through a vetting process to be approved for an account. This can take several days, so it’s not ideal if you’re in a hurry to start collecting payments. Hiring a developer to set up Braintree may be necessary to help with coding. 

Braintree opens each merchant their own account. This makes it more secure than PayPal, as there is less risk of fraud or a freeze occurring. However, it also means that the setup process is more complex and can take longer. PayPal is a merchant aggregator, which is why it can offer a quick setup.

PayPal may own Braintree, but the two are vastly different regarding payments. Braintree can accept a wider range of payment methods, including ACH direct debits and over 130 foreign currencies. PayPal, on the other hand, only accepts 25 currencies.

PayPal and Braintree: Offerings

Source: Paypal pricing and Braintree pricing pages

Invoicing and Billing

  • PayPal: PayPal’s free invoicing tool is a fast and easy way to send professional-looking invoices to your customers. All you need is each customer’s email address. Plus, with PayPal’s integration with Excel, you can easily create and send invoices directly from Excel.
  • Braintree: Braintree can be easily integrated with various invoicing software programs, including Invoice Ninja, Invoiced, and Elorus. This makes it easy for businesses to accept payments online without worrying about manually entering payment information.

Recurring Payments

  • PayPal: PayPal can collect recurring payments using PayPal Buttons or the PayPal Payments Standard. The platform makes it easy to track and manage your transactions. You can see which payments have been processed and when they are scheduled to recur. 
  • Braintree: Braintree makes it easy to manage recurring payments. Customers can join or leave mid-month, and Braintree automatically prorates the charges. This means that your customers will never overpay or underpay for your service. In addition, customers can upgrade or downgrade their service at any time, and Braintree adjusts the charges accordingly.


  • PayPal: PayPal has the most coverage of all online payment processors and is available in more than 200 countries worldwide. However, it only accepts 25 different currencies.
  • Braintree: Braintree is limited to 46 countries but can accept more currencies than PayPal — over 130.

Chargebacks and Refunds

  • PayPal: A customer can initiate a chargeback up to 120 days after a purchase. Funds will be frozen in your account until the dispute is resolved. PayPal charges a $20 fee regardless of the outcome for every chargeback. Full or partial refunds can be issued up to 60 days after payment. 
  • Braintree: Chargebacks can be raised by a customer up to 120 days after purchase. Braintree charges a flat $15 fee for every chargeback instance. Refunds can be issued via the control panel or the API.


  • PayPal: PayPal is PCI compliant. They have certificates in the Visa Cardholder Information Security Program, the Mastercard Site Data Protection Program, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant’s Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 18 SOC 1.
  • Braintree: Braintree is Level 1 PCI Compliant and is on Mastercard’s SDP list and Visa’s Global Registry of Service Providers.

PayPal and Braintree Fee Breakdown

PayPal’s fee structure is more complicated than this table demonstrates. For a transparent look at how PayPal’s fees work, head to their merchant fees page


PayPal integrates with a range of other software to make your tech stack work seamlessly. Connect with BigCommerce, Quickbooks, Chargebee, and more.

Braintree has fewer in-house features than PayPal, but it is built for deep integration with other platforms. It lists all its approved integrations, which include Chargebee, Agile CRM, and WooCommerce.

Technical Support 

PayPal technical support can be accessed through its Merchant Technical Support Center. You will need to fill out an online form detailing the specific issue and include any relevant information. 

Braintree’s technical support can be found through its online form. Its team is on hand to help with any issues with the sandbox or your production account. 


PayPal has high levels of buyer and seller protection, which is one of the reasons it’s become such a trusted brand. The company aims to protect its customers from scams such as phishing and identity theft.

Braintree has an added layer of security against fraud through its individual merchant accounts. 

Developer Tools

PayPal offers developer tools through its Payment API, allowing developers to create and manage PayPal buttons at scale. However, there are restrictions with this API, as credit cards cannot be used with it.

Braintree effectively operates as PayPal’s solution for developers who want more control. Credit cards are not restricted when you use Braintree’s API.

API Documentation 

PayPal’s REST API documentation can be accessed through its developer website. In order to access the sandbox, you need to create a developer account.

Braintree’s GraphQL API documentation is accessible through the GraphQL website. All the documents are available with additional developer documentation, which is available in Braintree’s SDK documents.

Braintree or PayPal: Which is Better for Your Subscription and Recurring Billing Needs?

The short answer is: it depends on your business needs.

PayPal is a good option if you need a simple, easy-to-use payment gateway with no setup or monthly fees. If you need more control over your payment processes and want to use individual merchant accounts for increased security, then Braintree may be a better option for you.