Rick Kriseman is Square

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On Thursday, I ran into Saint Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Kriseman at Kawha Coffee, where I was having a cup of joe with a colleague.  After Kriseman caught us up on the state of his campaign, I jokingly suggested that this colleague write a check to Kriseman’s campaign. Kriseman had a better suggestion — my colleague could contribute rght there and then to his campaign right there via Square. 

Square is an electronic payment service which allows users to accept credit cards through their mobile phones, either by swiping the card on the Square device or by manually entering the details on the phone.

You’ve probably seen or used Square at a boutique or a farmers’ market or some other small business whose owners are tired of paying exorbitant fees to accept credit card payments. It’s also a quicker, more efficient alternative to PayPal for online transactions (money received is deposited into the bank within 24 hours rather than PayPal’s three to five business days).

Since I first came across Square, I thought it would be perfect for political fundraisers where candidates have to collect multiple contributions in a compressed time period. Why wait for someone to write a check when they can just swipe their card (and earn a few bonus points for their contribution while they are at.)

I’m already using Square to sell ads on SaintPetersBlog, especially to political candidates and causes who need their ads up-and-running as soon as possible.

As you can probably tell, I am a big believer in Squre (there are those who argue Square is further revolutionizing social networking by allowing the smallest of small business to be part of the online commerce network) and so it was refreshing to see Candidate Kriseman embracing this most contemporary of campaign tools.

Sometimes, it’s hip to be Square.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.