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Presidential campaigns are embracing mobile payments in a big way, with both the Romney and Obama campaigns distributing mobile point-of-sale solutions from Square that let campaign workers accept donations by credit and debit card. And now the Obama campaign is deploying SMS text messaging to ensure that even feature phone users can give money to the cause.
Mobile payment provider payvia Inc. is powering the text-based donation effort for Obama for America, the official reelection organization for the president. The company's technology gives supporters a way to donate to the campaign using any type of mobile phone. A donation is made by sending a text message to a special short code. The charge then appears on the donor's monthly cellphone bill.
"By allowing citizens to make contributions via their mobile phone, payvia is empowering millions of Americans to make their voices heard in the electoral process," said payvia EVP Alan Sege.
According to payvia, it first presented its service, and the idea of posting political donations directly to a carrier bill, to the Federal Election Commission earlier this year. Support from commissioners was unanimous, the company said.
"These proposals have engendered widespread, bipartisan support from political campaigns and reform groups alike because they offer a new and dynamic vehicle for political engagement," said FEC member Cynthia Bauerly in a statement.
Part of m-Qube Inc., payvia has been providing direct carrier billing services to purveyors of digital goods for some time. The company has its headquarters in Los Angeles, as well as offices in Seattle and Boston.
For more stories like this, visit the direct carrier billing research center.