Braintree’s Reverse Takeover Of PayPal Has Begun


Braintree’s coders are hard at work taking over PayPal, their new parent company.

Braintree, the Chicago-based payments startup known for its appeal to mobile-app developers like Uber and HotelTonight, is making its first big move since PayPal acquired it.

It’s unveiling a new software development kit for apps and websites called V.zero, which Braintree CEO Bill Ready told me developers can “drop in” and start accepting payments within 15 minutes, without having to alter the look or feel of their creations.

PayPal Accepted Here

The most interesting aspect of v.zero, compared to previous versions, is that it has support for PayPal built in, and makes it trivially easy for developers to add PayPal as a payment method.

And, Ready said, the combined company would be emphasizing Braintree’s tools, not older ones PayPal had created, as the best way for developers to include PayPal.

See also: As Payments Go Mobile, PayPal’s Next Boss Is Obvious

“This is the absolute easiest way to get up and running with PayPal, and you’re going to get the very best PayPal buying experience,” Ready said. “We’re not sunsetting anything. We do expect that if you give people a much easier path to integrate, people will choose that.”

Older Braintree and PayPal developer tools will continue to work, Ready added: “We never break backwards compatibility. We’re not force-migrating people off the old [software-development kits].”


Ready’s words carry weight, because soon after PayPal completed its $800 million acquisition of Braintree late last year, it put all of PayPal’s developer relations under him. He’s also a leading candidate to replace former PayPal president David Marcus, who left the company last month to take a new job at Facebook.

By putting Braintree’s software front and center, PayPal is making a fresh start with developers, where it faces competition not just from startups like Stripe, which has staked its reputation on the ability to put payments into apps very quickly, but potentially from giants like Amazon and Apple. (Google, whose Google Wallet formerly seemed like a formidable challenger to PayPal, handed its e-commerce payments business to Braintree last year and added PayPal as a payments option in its Google Play app and media store.)

Where does this change leave PayPal itself? Increasingly, Braintree’s parent company will focus on its own eponymous consumer app as a way to pay for purchases in retail stores—a use it is now heavily advertising around the world.

Photo via the Braintree Braintrust blog

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