App lets candidates raise mobile money

Mobile payment application Square unveiled a feature on Friday to allow candidates and political organizations to accept donations through iPhones and other mobile devices.

Once campaign workers plug in Square's card reader into the headphone jack of their smartphone or tablet, they will be able to swipe people's credit cards to accept donations on the street or from campaigning door to door.

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The app, already popular in food carts, coffee shops and other stores around the country, will make it easier for campaigns to accept donations in the field, without having to deal with forms and clipboards.

Square set up special apps earlier this year for the campaigns of President Obama and Mitt Romney, but the system had not been previously available to other candidates and causes.

“Whether Republican or Democrat, running for president or local assembly, Square makes it easier than ever for candidates and their organizations to fundraise for their cause,” Dana Wagner, Square's general counsel and head of government relations, said in a statement.

The app allows the campaigns to collect information required by the Federal Election Commission (FEC), including the name, address and employer of the donor.

Square accepts major credit cards and works on iPhones, iPads and Android devices. The company keeps 2.75 percent of all payments made through the app.