The Obama presidential campaign is again pushing the bounds of technology in politics by using Square mobile payments in its fundraising efforts. Square’s mobile payment device is a secure magnetic stripe credit card reader that can be attached to the headphone jack of iPhones, iPads, and Android devices to accept payments.
The company is obviously thrilled to have the publicity, and has sanctioned a special app for the campaign to use for donations. Currently, only staff have access to the Obama Square app, but it will be released to the general public soon. This is similar to the way Square worked with the Salvation Army to build a donation system built on its platform.
This is also going to be a real cash cow for Square. It charges a 2.75% transaction fee on all payments, and that still applies to political campaigns. The Obama Campaign pulled in $42 million last quarter, and Square could see a big chink of that going forward.