It’s an election year, which means it is time for debates, caucuses, and campaign fundraising. This year, President Obama is going beyond the hefty check and taking donations using tech-darling Square.
“Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, running for president or local assembly, Square makes it easier than ever for candidates, organizations and volunteers to fundraise for their cause,” said a Square spokesperson.
Square allows businesses to accept credit card payments through their mobile phones. It does this through a small, square card reader, which attaches to the phone through its audio jack and connects to its iOS or Android application. Both the app and the card reader are free; Square makes its money through transaction fees. Much of Square’s adoption has been from smaller businesses that may not have the point-of-sale systems needed to accept credit cards.
Aside from taking away the necessity of check-out hardware, Square is also inherently mobile and can accept payments wherever you are. That’s what makes this so enticing for campaigns.
President Obama will travel all throughout America looking for voters and donations during this election season. Known for his townhall metting, the President will undoubtedly be headed to small cities to connect with the America outside of Washington. Having this system will help his staff quickly collect donations. Another benefit of Square’s mobility is that dedicated donation stations won’t be necessary — donation-takers could walk through the crowd and accept money on the spot.
According to a Square spokesperson, the company does not plan to have any other branding other than its card readers at Obama’s campaign events. The company assures us that it is ready to take on the increased cash flow, and says it handled over $2 billion in transactions during its first year.
President Obama will also be holding a Google+ hangout Monday at 5:30pm eastern standard time.