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8/27/2012
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Obama, Romney: Send $$, THX!

Obama campaign will take texted donations, while Romney camp offers Square option at convention.

The presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are expanding plans to let supporters make contributions using mobile phones.

The Obama campaign announced Aug. 23 that supporters can make donations via text messages. To do so, contributors must create an account with their credit card information and phone number and certify they're at least 18 years old, are U.S. citizens or legal residents, and meet other legal requirements. Once done, they simply text the amount that they want to donate--"10" for a $10 donation, for example.

The testing capability is tied to an online donation platform called Quick Donate that also accepts funds by email and over the Web.

The Romney campaign plans to accept donations via text messages in the near future, according to Politico.

The announcement that the Obama campaign would accept texted donations follows a Federal Elections Commission opinion issued in June that texting transactions would meet the FEC's campaign reporting requirements in the same way that credit card transactions do.

[ See USDA Expands Mobile Efforts. ]

Earlier this year, both presidential campaigns issued Square's mobile payment card readers to staff for use in fundraising. Delegates to the Republican National Convention (RNC), which is scheduled to begin Monday in Tampa, will be able to use the Square devices to make donations and buy souvenirs.

RNC attendees can download the free app to their mobile phones, and the Romney campaign will provide them with the Square card reader. "We are excited to empower a national grassroots movement by providing each attendee the ability to take their Square devices back to their home state and engage with their communities," said Zac Moffatt, digital director of the Romney campaign, in a statement.

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