Square launches election fund-raising tool on iOS

With the 2012 election campaign heating up, on Friday added a new feature to its iOS-based card-reading system:

Square CEO Jack Dorsey announced the new feature touting it as compliant with federal fundraising laws enforced by the Federal Election Commission. Using the , candidate can accept on-the-spot donation at rallies and appearancesand Squares new fund-raising feature allows campaigns to collect FEC-required information on a donors name, address, occupation, and employer.

The collected funds would be available for a campaign to spend the next day, the company said in a press release.

Campaigns can also use Squares dashboard to track contributions and manage contributor information, , while designating which staffers have access to the . It did not indicate whether Square would collect its customary 2.75 percent-per-swipe fee on transactions.

Campaigns have grown increasingly sophisticated about using online resources in recent years; Barack Obamas 2008 election campaign, for example, . The iPhone was an infant during that cycle, though, and the iPad didnt even exist. But now both Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, using Square to collect donations in this cycle.

Fridays announcement opens up Squares services to federal candidates of all stripes. Users must in order to receive the card readers, which plug into the audio jacks of iPhones and iPads. The is free, and compatible with all devices running iOS 4.0 or later.