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LevelUp uses Braintree and we absolutely love it. I've looked at Stripe as well and it's also definitely a very strong product. We considered switching and chose not to. This article comes off painting braintree as almost a little stodgy which I have to say is definitely not the case in my experience. So I wanted to share my thoughts. As quick background/justification of my thoughts, LevelUp is a product from SCVNGR which I founded. I work on the engineering team and interact with braintree on a code/product basis frequently.
LevelUp processes huge amounts of money through Braintree (tens of millions of dollars across hundreds of thousands of cards) and Braintree's supported us incredibly well through our growth curve. It's true that their sign-up process is not yet instant (though I hear rumblings that they're working on that to build on top of their recent international expansion) but in my opinion that's a small time-tax to pay for what you get on the other side.
One thing that isn't covered in this article (which is a great read btw, thanks Sarah!) is the importance of reliability both in terms of up-time and support. That's where a company like Braintree, that's been around for (just) a little longer, really excels. Their technical and customer support is *insanely* great and their up-time is fantastic. They are responsive to feature requests and are constantly improving an already strong product.
It's true that they are not as sexy as Stripe and I probably wouldn't want to have any of Braintree's babies (not even one!) but just having a big (server) rack isn't all that I'm looking for in my payment gateway. I want a company that I can rely on over-time... more long-term marriage than passionate one-night stand. In terms of a company that we can rely on day-in and day-out to process millions of dollars of payments really fast, Braintree's been everything I'd ever want in a partner.
2 years ago on Exactly How Screwed Is PayPal? (Hint: Very)