It’s been quite a week for Twitter’s FinTech ambitions. First the social network used Stripe’s Relay API that allowed it to offer buying capabilities within its own app, and now it has expanded its focus on another form of money transfer – digital donations.
The company has partnered up with Square to enable people in the US to make a donation directly to a US candidate through a tweet.
As with all business deals with Square, the payment processing company will take a 1.9 per cent of each transaction.
How it works for campaigns
Candidates have to create an account Square Cash by visiting cash.me, and once a campaign has been verified by Square, it can tweet a unique URL, or $Cashtag, to request donations from supporters.
The tweet will automatically include an image with a “contribute” button, making it easy for anyone to click to donate directly through the tweet.
How it works for donors
People who see a tweet containing a candidate’s $Cashtag can hit the “contribute” button, and the tweet will enable them to select a donation amount and add debit card and FEC required information.
Even though the service only launched today, Twitter met with every major candidate before the launch and the majority of them are on board.
However, there are two notable absences in Jeb Bush and Donald Trump. So far their campaigns have not addressed the reasons why.
What does this mean?
This is a significant moment – not only in terms of Twitter starting to influence and even dictate how people part with their money, but also in the context of political campaigns.
Part of the reason Barack Obama won in 2008 was because he managed to mobilise grassroot movements to make small donations via the internet. At the time, those money transfers were fast, and because money was coming in faster, the whole machine in turn moved faster.
But this is on a whole new level. Of all the social medias out there at the moment, by nature Twitter is the most reactive on a massive scale.
It’s defining 140-character limit has created an atmosphere of celerity and now that swiftness is being shifted to cash tweets.
If a candidate has a particularly good moment on the campaign, he or she can send out this donation tweet that will instantly make an impression on tens of thousands of people.
These tweets are much faster than email lists and more likely to be naturally seen by people who may not have been associated with a particular candidate or party.
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