In the world of online payments, many individuals and businesses consider PayPal king. However, the realm of sending and receiving online payments is evolving.

Braintree, a PayPal subsidiary, offers its users a range of payment options (over 130) including PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, and credit or debit cards. The company, founded in 2007, has partnerships with a variety of corporations including Uber, Airbnb, and LivingSocial to allow for quicker, easier payment methods.

Why do you need to know about Braintree? Because of its relevance to today’s online payment systems for companies. Two years ago Braintree was operating at 56.5 million clients; today that number has quadrupled to 154 million. Based on their massive success, Braintree must be doing something right.

Setting up your business Braintree account

Braintree’s setup methods are simple: set up the client, set up the server, and go live.

Setting up the client

Braintree’s newest feature is the SDK, which allows automatic shopping cart integration and supports One Touch Payments. The client and server SDKs communicate with one another in order to enable businesses to collect payment methods and to manage all requests to the Braintree gateway.

The client SDK allows for fast and efficient collection of customer payment information via a number of options: add the drop-in UI to access One Touch payments options, add more acceptable payment types by adding a PayPal button, or use credit card tokenization to save customer card information. Directions are straightforward due to Braintree’s optimized signup process, which debuted in 2012. Instructions are available on Braintree’s website.

Setting up your server

Setting up your server with Braintree is a quick and straightforward process: create a sandbox account (by signing up here), generate a client token, and receive a payment method from your customer. Once you test the transaction process, you are ready to go live.

Going Live

You can create a Braintree production account via this instant application form, get production login credentials (such as merchant ID, public and private keys), and start selling. Be sure you text different payment methods first with low-value sale transactions, and confirm that the payment is accepted and has been credited to your account.

Braintree vs. PayPal

So what’s the difference between PayPal and its subsidiary, Braintree? Is one better than the other?

Each company has its pros and cons. Looking for better rates on foreign transactions? Choose Braintree, which is well known for its international-friendly transactions. (On the other hand, PayPal is sometimes known to block some foreign transactions over $800.) PayPal seems to be the better choice for smaller transactions, while Braintree is best for large international purchases.

Seeking a straightforward process to get started, with a simple fee structure and beautiful interface? Choose PayPal. After users reach $100k in sales, PayPal’s rates drop from 2.9% + $0.30 to 1.9% + $0.30 per transaction. Braintree’s rates are 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction across the board.

Your company’s ultimate choice depends on what you’re selling and to which markets (international or domestic, higher or lower income, and so on).

Have you used both PayPal and Braintree extensively? Which works better for your company?

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