March 28, 2017
Written by
James Davis
Written by James Davis
Senior Technical Writer at United Thinkers

Author of the Paylosophy blog, a veteran writer, and a stock analyst with extensive knowledge and experience in the financial services industry that allows me to cover the latest payment industry news, developments, and insights. Read more

Reviewed by
Kathrine Pensatori
Product Specialist at United Thinkers

Product specialist with more than 10 years of experience in the Payment Processing Industry. I help payment facilitators and PSPs solve their various payment processing issues. Read more

Payment Gateways for Companies Like Airbnb and Uber

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Evolution of Payment Systems in Large Online Marketplaces: Companies like Airbnb and Uber, initially using single payment processors like Braintree, have diversified their payment processing solutions as they expanded globally. This makes it challenging to pinpoint their current payment processors without insider knowledge.
  • Interest in Replicating Marketplace Payment Models: Queries about the payment systems of Airbnb and Uber often stem from a desire to develop similar payment functionalities in other platforms. The key aspect of these systems is their ability to handle online marketplace transactions, where payments are split among multiple parties.
  • Critical Role of Split Funding in Marketplace Models: The defining feature of online marketplaces like Airbnb and Uber is the need for split funding mechanisms. This allows the distribution of a single payment among various entities, including the payment facilitator, the merchant, and possibly affiliates.


People are constantly asking questions like: what is Airbnb payment system; what is Uber payment system; who is Airbnb payment processor etc. In 2010-2011 the payment service provider behind Airbnb (according to the company’s founders) was Braintree. But now the company expanded to many new geographies and utilized multiple new payment processing solutions, so it is impossible to provide accurate answers to the listed questions unless you are a manager of the company itself.

Uber and Airbnb

In fact, those, who want to know, which payment gateway software and what payment system stands behind Uber and Airbnb, usually strive to develop similar logic and build similar functionality in their own payment systems. The common feature of companies like Airbnb, Uber, and other similar businesses is that they all represent so-called online marketplaces. In the online marketplace model each payment should be split among multiple entities: the payment facilitator, the merchant, and, possibly, multiple affiliates. In order to implement this function, you need split funding mechanism. So, if you want to follow the example of Uber, Airbnb, and other similar companies, look for a payment service provider, that has smooth merchant on-boarding logic and supports split funding.

Read more about online marketplace models, similar to the ones used by Airbnb and Uber in the respective article on Paylosophy.

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