Braintree has processed $4 billion in mobile payments in the last year, a whopping one third of the company's total annual payments processed - $12 billion. If beating other payment platforms like Stripe is a matter of scaling quickly, Braintree's trying to sprint. Its total mobile payment amount has quadrupled over the last year, after the acquisition of one-touch payment app Venmo.
The Braintree benchmark announcement comes at the heels of a recent TechCrunch story that reported here Braintree was shopping itself around for acquisition to Square and PayPal. On a phone call, Braintree CEO Bill Ready categorically denied the rumors. He said that people have shown interest in buying Braintree before, but he's never put it up for sale. He also said that such Braintree sale rumors have circulated before, but, "the Tech Crunch article was first time someone felt compelled to write about unsubstantiated rumors. I'm not sure what agenda I was being served with that article, but someone had an agenda."
Mobile is the fastest growing part of Braintree's business, which Ready credits to the fact that the company spotted the mobile payments trend two years ago. That's early days in the e-commerce on the phone space. "We provided tools that apps like Uber and Airbnb could use to build defining mobile commerce incarnations," Ready says.
For the past two years, customers who used mobile apps built with Braintree's payment tool only had to enter their bank information once into the app, and from then on would enjoy one touch purchasing. The Venmo acquisition last year took Braintree's offerings one step further, allowing customers to enter their payment information once into the Venmo app, and then it could be used for all the other apps that use Venmo. As in, even if you download a brand new app, you can still enjoy one-touch purchasing right off the bat.
Braintree rolled out Venmo Touch slowly to make sure everything worked properly and announced today that Living Social has adopted it. Ready says that many other apps that use Braintree will also be incorporating Venmo Touch in the coming months, but he could not name which ones.
Mobile may be the gate keeper for winning in the online payment processing space. If so, competitor Stripe has been criticized for being late to the mobile game. Bloomberg's Emily Chang pressed Stripe co-founder John Collison on that issue in June, and he pointed to Stripe's recent partnership with mobile app developer Parse. The partnership happened in March, giving Braintree a big head start in mobile.[Image via Thinkstock]