Online Payment System For Mobile App: Stripe vs Braintree vs Paymentwall vs PayPal

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There is a whole bunch of payment systems that claim to have the ultimate solution for your needs. Because of that, choosing right one may not always be an easy task, especially if you’re targeting a specific region.

In this article, we will briefly focus on some of the most popular Western payment systems to integrate with mobile applications intended for China, expanding on their pros and cons. This time, it’s going to be Braintree, Stripe, and Paymentwall. Code samples are also included.


Braintree website homepage

While being the youngest payment system on our list, Braintree nonetheless has proven itself as a reliable solution for both startups and mature companies. One of the biggest pros about Braintree is that it’s available in more than 190 countries thanks to being acquired by PayPal in 2013. The fact that market giants like Uber and Airbnb use Braintree says a lot. For developers, though, getting started is quite easy thanks to a well-documented SDK and a clean API that is available in six(!) programming languages. Braintree comes with a Drop-in UI that allows for fast and smooth integration with mobile apps. This is definitely a plus if you need to implement payment support within a short period of time. The downside is that the Drop-in UI is basically a ready-made component and, thus, cannot be deeply customized. However, you can still easily create a custom payment flow as there are other components to choose from.

This is how you can integrate Drop-in UI into the app:


  • Developer-friendly.
  • Great API.
  • Easy to integrate.
  • Well-documented SDK.
  • Has Drop-in UI components.
  • Supports 3DS.
  • Fast support team.
  • Secure.
  • Available in more than 190 countries.


  • It doesn’t actually have any (except that it doesn’t work in China)


Stripe website homepage

The next on our list is Stripe. Founded by Collison brothers in 2010, Stripe has quickly become the second most popular payment system in the world. The basic idea behind Stripe is that it eliminates the need for both a merchant account and gateway. Everything is handled in full auto mode, from gathering payments to sending those very payments to the bank. Same as Braintree, Stripe offers a well-documented SDK. What is different, though, is that it doesn’t have a ready UI except for the input fields for credit card numbers, etc. This means you will need to implement the whole payment UX by means of the application. In spite of this, the integration procedure is quite simple. Here is an example:


  • Developer-friendly.
  • Easy to integrate.
  • Amazing API.
  • Clear pricing.
  • Extensive documentation.
  • Comes with UI components.
  • Secure


  • 3DS isn’t supported.
  • Doesn’t work in China.
  • Support team can sometimes be a bit slow.


 Paymentwall website homepage

Finally, we have Paymentwall. Compared to both previous solutions, this one has a significant advantage. Surprisingly, but unlike Stripe or Braintree, Paymentwall does work in China right out of the box which makes it the only Western payment system The Great Firewall seems to be absolutely fine with.

For integration with mobile apps, Paymentwall provides Brick SDK. Though, in fact, it is more of a library for card tokenization that a regular SDK. Also, you won’t find any UI components that come by default which means the whole UI/UX of the payment flow has to be implemented by means of the app.

Integration Example:


  • Nice API.
  • Great support team.
  • Relatively flexible.
  • Works in China,
  • Supports 3DS.


  • Integration requires developing all the UI components on your own;
  • 3DS isn’t supported at the SDK level.


PayPal website homepage

This article would’ve been incomplete without mentioning PayPal, which has been the most popular payment system for more than a decade. In terms of making money transfers, it offers a variety of options for both regular and business users. Ever since it was acquired by eBay in 2002, PayPal has become somewhat of a synonym for the smoothest and most secure payment system. PayPal is also quite easy to integrate into a mobile app, especially iOS. It comes with great documentation and how-to examples. PayPal API provides quick checkout, direct payments, fraud management filters and a lot more.


  • Easy to set up.
  • Native implementation.
  • Clean and Simple UI.
  • Consumers trust it.
  • Quite flexible.
  • Secure.
  • Robust API.
  • Available in more than 190 countries.


  • Paypal has reputation for merchants losing disputes.
  • Accounts can be frozen anytime for almost no reason.
  • Doesn’t work in China


If you need an online payment system to implement in a Chinese app and you’re choosing from Braintree, Stripe, Paymentwall, and PayPal the choice is obvious. Go for Paymentwall. We’ve already used it in one of our recent projects and it works fine. Surely, it doesn’t have features you would normally find in other payment systems’ SDKs and the overall integration procedure isn’t perfect. Despite that, Paymentwall can fully operate in China without any workarounds. In other cases, choose whichever suits your specific needs and application requirements.