President Obama's re-election campaign is using mobile payments start-up Square to let staffers and volunteers accept card donations in a move being followed by potential Republican opponent Mitt Romney.
Square readers are being sent out to campaign offices around the country for use by staff and some volunteers, Obama campaign spokeswoman Katie Hogan told the New York Times.
The dongle works with a special app developed by Square with the President's people to make sure it meets Federal Election Commission rules requiring the collection of names, addresses, cities, states and ZIP codes, and occupations and employers of donors.
Hogan says that the next stage could see the app put on Apple's store, enabling anyone to collect donations, with the money going directly to Obama's campaign.
Obama's likely Republican opponent, Mitt Romney is also looking into using Square, running a trial during today's Florida primary ahead of a wider roll out, Zac Moffatt, the campaign's digital director told the New York Times.
Daniel Rubin, strategic partnerships manager, Square, says: "In 2008, online donations were really a game-changer for the election. With Square, mobile payments will be the game-changer for 2012."