The Obama campaign has always been on the cutting edge of technology. In 2008, an iPhone app was developed for the exclusive purpose of recruiting volunteers and promoting the get-out-the-vote message that ultimately won them the election. Now the tech savvy Obama campaign is back at it, with a new tool that they hope will help them keep hold of the White House – an app that makes donations to the Obama Victory Fund possible via mobile phone or tablet device. The mobile campaign donation initiative is made possible by Square, a two-year-old tech start up that enables user to accept payments (or charitable donations) via a smartphone with a small plug in card reading device known as a dongle.
According to a campaign aide, select Obama campaign staff members from field offices all over the country will be trotting out the new mobile donations system starting this month, reports ABC News.
“The idea is that if you`re at a house party or in daily interactions – at a grocery store shopping – and someone sees your Obama for America button and wants to talk to you about the campaign, you can ask for a donation and accept it right then and there,” said the aide, according to ABC News.
The convenience that Square provides of being able to accept payments and donations anywhere is appealing to many others aside from the president. The electronic payment system firm is currently engaged in processing some two billion dollars-worth of payments annually and has shipped out over 800,000 card readers.
The Girl Scouts of America have armed some of their troops with Square to assist them in making cookie sales throughout the 2012 season. Shoppers in San Francisco, New York, Dallas and Chicago who were out spending during the 2011 holiday season may have used plastic to donate money via Square to a Salvation Army Santa out ringing a bell beside their iconic red kettle.
Square was co-founded by Jack Dorsey, who also is credited with co-founding the immensely popular social networking service Twitter. He asserts that Square is much easier than any other means of digital fundraising available due to the fact that all a charitable individual need do is swipe their card and sign off on the transaction.
“Instead of training people on an entirely new behavior, an entirely new way to pay, we just use what they know. It doesn`t require them to learn anything new and it doesn`t require the merchant or organization to learn anything new,” said Dorsey to The New York Times.