PayPal to acquire Braintree Google Checkout clients?

BraintreeI’ve just read an interesting story in the Wall Street Journal which says “PayPal is near a deal to buy Braintree Payments Solutions, according to people familiar with the discussions”.

What makes the deal credible is that Braintree is the leader in mobile payments with $2B in annual volume and a ton of mobile-specific client libraries to make integration easy for merchants.

Normally we wouldn’t bother with rumour and speculation that PayPal was about to buy a company – PayPal, and eBay, buy a ton of companies each year so what makes this one different? Well it’s all down to Google.

If you remember Google Checkout has been scrapped and merchants won’t be able to accept payments after the 20th of November 2013. One of the three companies Google recommended as a replacement payment gateway was in fact Braintree.

It would be somewhat ironic if those merchants who were desperate to escape PayPal’s clutches, signed up for Google Checkout as an alternative and transferred Braintree ended up back as a PayPal customer.

More to the point, Braintree’s rates are pretty good at 0.9% plus €0.10 per transaction. It’s even better for those merchants that signed up from Google Checkout at 0.7% plus €0.10 which was offered as a lifetime deal. If Braintree are acquired by PayPal it’ll be interesting to see if they hold the rates forever.