Out of 10
Fees8.5Contract Length10Sales & Transparency10Support9
Braintree is the online and mobile payment provider trusted by the likes of Airbnb, Uber, GitHub and countless other startup giants. That tells you something about the calibre of services on offer here and explains why a certain PayPal snapped up the firm for a cool $800 million (£561m) in 2013.
Braintree still acts as a subsidiary under its own name, but the company has gone from strength to strength since joining the PayPal family. Braintree saw the future of mobile payments early on and that’s likely positioned it for even better things in the future.
The payment firm’s reputation speaks volumes, having earnt itself a name for quality services, competitive pricing and customer care to match. So let’s take a closer look at Braintree to see what it has to offer and find out what all the hype is about.
Products & Services
One look at the Braintree website and you’ll see the features section looks a little different from your typical payment provider. Rather than selling the usual pitch about creating the perfect business you’ll see talk about servers, APIs and the dreaded phrase: “just a few lines of code”.
This is because Braintree is geared towards programmers or firms that have code-savvy people on board. This is all part of the customisability and speedy performance that comes with Braintree payments – so don’t be afraid of it, jut be aware.
Web and mobile payments
- Payment gateway: A fully customisable payment gateway so you can choose the payment types you want to accept.
- Merchant accounts: Braintree also process payments directly meaning you don’t need to source another provider.
- Apple Pay: Braintree was among the first firms to integrate Apple Pay into its packages.
- v.zero: A cross-platform SKD that has you accepting payments quicker on iOS, Android and web applications.
- Drop-in UI: A checkout user interface designed specifically to improve the payment experience for buyers and help you close more sales.
- One Touch: Braintree’s custom one-touch mobile payment solution that has users paying with a single click. No need to re-enter usernames and passwords or you unnecessarily lose out on sales.
- Fast deposits: Means your money ends up where it should quicker.
- Global payments: Support in over 40 counties and more than 130 currencies.
- Recurring billing: Takes the repetition out of repeat payments for subscriptions, regular donations, SaaS signups and similar payments.
- Fully customisable: Alternatively, you can build your own checkout – either in the control panel or by coding your own setup.
- Sales analytics: For better insights into how your business is performing.
Security and support
- Customer support: UK-based email and phone support.
- Fraud protection: A series of protection features designed specifically for modern threats against online and mobile payments.
- Security: State of the art security keeps you and your customers’ most sensitive information safe from malicious attacks.
One thing we should point out is that there’s no POS system for in-store payments. Braintree specialises in providing a cutting-edge online payment system, but you’ll have to go elsewhere if you need to accept card payments for bricks-and-mortar businesses.
Braintree is about as transparent with its pricing as you could hope for from a payment firm. In fact, it’s the most transparent we’ve come a cross to date. The only bad news could be this isn’t the cheapest option you’ll find, but Braintree is a pretty specialist provider and, if you need cutting edge mobile and web solutions, then the prices are more than worth it.
There are some real deal sweeteners in there too – starting with free processing on your first £30,000. After that you’ll be looking at the standard 2.4% + 20p charge per transaction, which isn’t the cheapest, as we say. The good news is there are no minimum or monthly fees thrown into the mix, so you’re only paying for the transactions you process. That said, you’ll have to pay 3.4% for non-EU cards, which is something that will affect some businesses more than others.
Moving onto chargebacks, you’ll be looking at £25 per incident (as of December 2015). That pretty much sums up the fees you’ll have to pay for Braintree, but you can find out more by visiting the pricing page on its website.
Note: These prices are only applicable for businesses that process up to £50K/month and you’ll have to get in touch with the Braintree team to get a quote for higher volume processing.
As with most of the online specialists you don’t have to sign up for contracts with Braintree, which is great news in itself. Better yet, that rules out those nasty early termination fees and, without any card payment machines to worry about, you can use Braintree in absolute confidence.
The downside will be if you need to accept in-store payments, because then you’ll be looking for a secondary provider which could come with its own contracts and termination fees. That’s not exactly Braintree’s fault, but something you’ll want to consider.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
Braintree has been transparent with its pricing, sales and wider marketing techniques from day one. This hasn’t changed since it joined the PayPal family (another incredibly transparent firm) and there’s little reason to with such a simple pricing structure.
There aren’t any third-party sales agencies being used here either. Simple pricing and a soft approach to marketing prevents most of the reasons for customer complaints before you’ve even processed a single payment. And you’ll see later this is reflected in the online reputation Braintree has earnt itself.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Braintree is firmly in that small group of payment providers that’s known for keeping customers happy with first-class support. While you could say Braintree lacks a few key features many businesses need, by focusing on a more specific set of needs the firm has an easier job of looking after its customers.
Being online orientated, you would expect Braintree to have a pretty good knowledge base and it doesn’t disappoint. If you happen to run into any problems, there’s a good chance you’ll find the answer you need without calling up the customer support team in the first place.
Should you need to get in touch, you’ll find the Braintree guys are highly technical and ready to address your problems. You won’t find yourself being sent around the houses until someone deals with your queries – something all too common with payment firms. This will only be helped by the fact the team isn’t swamped with avoidable complaints about contract terms or hidden fees.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Finding positive reviews about Braintree is an absolute breeze, although you’ll need to know some programming language to understand half of them. Beyond the developer jargon you’ll get rave reviews about the company’s customer service, the platform’s integration and the documentation that comes with it. If you’re not handling the setup yourself, your developer will love it – that’s almost guaranteed.
“The whole approval process was smooth and the support team were very helpful. The best feature for us developers is their clean API and Java SDK. Also the documentation is easy to navigate – something often neglected by other providers.” – Alexander B, g2crowd review.
As for the business owner, you get to sit back and enjoy a seamless payment process that helps maximise online sales on every platform. Providing you get through the initial setup process, of course.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
This is perhaps the crux with Braintree; if you’re not a developer (or don’t have one on board) then you could have problems getting set up in the first place. Responsibility doesn’t always appear to land on the business owner either:
“I really had a bad experience with them. I signed up my company, everything was running well and smoothly. And a week later they send me a email saying: we regret to inform you that we are unable to underwrite your business.” – Tihare Jacobs, Merchant Maverick comment.
There are a few similar complaints about the Braintree setup, but things are largely positive. In fact, things are way more positive reviews than we’re used to seeing for payment firms – and that largely sums up Braintree as a company. With only two complaints in the last three years filed with the BBB (both of which were resolved to customers’ satisfaction), Braintree keeps an impressively clean profile.
All things considered, there’s little room for fault with Braintree. Sure, it’s not the most comprehensive package in terms of features, and you’ll find cheaper prices elsewhere, but the cutting-edge services on offer here – not to mention the sheer quality – make Braintree a real contender for any business that needs to process online payments.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive package that caters for both online and in-store payments, then you may have to look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you’re after a seamless yet powerful payment process for online and mobile payments, then Braintree will be one of the first providers you want to look at.