Best payment gateway
for a mobile App

Stripe VS Braintree VS anything else?
Quite often our clients ask about a merchant provider to accept payments in their mobile app. That's why we here in CookieDev decided to write this article to answer all possible questions once and for all, as well as to help to choose the right option for your business.
this article is about the so-called "delayed" payments
Before you continue reading, I would like to emphasize that this article is about the so-called "delayed" payments, when you receive money from your clients to the intermediate account on the side of the merchant and receive funds to your bank account with a delay (we'll discuss how long does it take to receive money below). There are also "direct payments" when payments are getting delivered instantly (which are often handy in marketplace kind of apps, when user_1 pays for services directly to user_2), but these payments are quite more complicated and would make a whole separate article. In short, Stripe doesn't support this kind of payments while Braintree recently introduced "Braintree Marketplace" which do cover that.
The big picture is that you'll have to use one of two options for a merchant provider if your mobile app is aimed at a global market. These two options are Stripe and Braintree (PayPal's company). And it's not about the costs really, it's about the quality of service. There are a lot of local competitors which may end up even cost you more but have fewer features, worse documentation, and SDK, worse support. Other smaller providers may even offer a better price at glance, but be aware that may end up in hidden fees.

If you haven't read our article "5 cases when Stripe or Braintree are not the option for your mobile app" that's about the right time to do so before reading further.

The most popular questions we get about both merchant providers for iOS and Android mobile apps

What are the fees?
  • Fees are the same and are industry-standard 2.9% plus 30¢ per transaction (note that both offer volume discounts, but that's how it works everywhere).
  • An important detail you should consider: if you plan to accept international payments via your mobile app, both companies charge an additional 1% for a conversion fee. Stripe though may be a better solution for non-US companies, as they are more flexible with this percentage. While Braintree will charge 1% for any non-US dollar card, Stripe will charge it if your customer's card currency is different from your payout currency and that gives a lot of flexibility for Europe based companies.
  • For more details, visit their pages (Stripe and Braintree)
Do both ones really work for me?
Both work for US companies, but make sure your company is registered in one of the supported countries before you get deeper into details as this may be a show breaker.
When will you receive money to your bank account after the client paid you?
  • Braintree has an industry-standard 2-5 business days to get paid, while mostly it's 2 business days
  • Stripe will hold the first payout up to 11 business days, but all the upcoming payments will be around the same 2-5 business days. Stripe says it varies upon a country, but our clients say it's generally longer than Braintree.
How can my account get blocked? Chargebacks ratio?
What they both don't say directly, is that your account is going to be marked as "high risk" and blocked if you hit above industry-standard 1% chargeback ratio (taken from the total volume of monthly transactions generally). This value may differ from payment method to payment method but is a generally accepted standard. As a mobile app project owner where transactions are made very easily and sometimes without thinking them over much (spontaneous transactions), you need to monitor this indicator very closely and do your best to keep below 1%.
Other important details I need to know about chargebacks?
As we've started to talk about chargebacks, it's also worth mentioning that both Stripe and Braintree will take a $15 chargeback fee. If a chargeback dispute is decided into your favor - then Stripe will refund these $15, while Braintree will not.
What if I decide to change a merchant provider along the line?
Legally, there are no problems at all. There is no contract, thus no obligations. But it becomes more complicated when you start to think about your users, as when you change a merchant provider you won't be able to transfer their added payment methods. One option is to maintain a couple of merchant accounts at the same time (for example, old customers are on one merchant provider, and new customers are getting added to the second merchant). Though this may become complicated in edge cases. That's why you need to think carefully before choosing the right merchant provider.
Any other nice features you should be aware of (though you won't most likely use them)?
Both Stripe and Braintree give some unique options, that may be critical for your mobile app, so I'll mention a couple here:
  • With Braintree, you can accept Venmo (a popular way to transfer funds among US millennials), good old PayPal and even Bitcoin (which opens the door to crypto markets).
  • Stripe's list is not that big but has an option with a huge potential to accept AliPay (with its market size). Be aware that limited currencies work with Alipay (other supported currencies will have to be converted to "main" ones thus you'll pay extra 1% for that).
What do developers think?

In terms of technical documentation and SDK, as for our company, Braintree is a solid winner. Stripe seems to also have it all, but as our experience shows it was a long road to integrate Stripe for the first time (especially reoccurring payments by token, like when you pay for Uber with the phone in a pocket while you leave the taxi). With Braintree, it was just a seamless experience.
Who chooses what?
Sometimes reference is the best argument, so we've gathered a list which companies use what for payment gateways in their mobile apps
  • Braintree: Uber, Airbnb, Dropbox, Yelp, GitHub, Basecamp.
  • Stripe: Amazon, Lyft,, Slack, Glossier, SalesForce.
If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late.
Appeared to be a lot of text hehe… :)

Hopefully, that helps to make the right decision for your mobile app and our specialists at CookieDev will be glad to answer any additional questions you may have, as all the expertise we have in the subject just didn't fit into this article. Who knows, maybe that skipped recommendation was the critical one for your business.

Have a question to discuss? Reserve a call with our expert to discuss your project in more details and see how we can help: RESERVE A CALL

And remember a wise quote from Reid Hoffman (the founder of LinkedIn): "If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late."
Stepan Radiboh
CEO at CookieDev
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