Stripe Winning The Election Donation Race

Stripe, the online payments platform, is already establishing itself as the “go-to” way for the major U.S. presidential candidates to raise money for the 2016 race, Forbes reported Wednesday (July 22).

The financial publication noted that roughly half of the presidential candidates in the race so far have signed on with Stripe, which has received more than $800,000 in donation processing fees from eight different campaigns as of the end of last quarter. That tally comes from campaign filings with the Federal Election Commission. Familiar names dot the landscape of those campaigns using Stripe, ranging from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Republicans including Senators Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.

And in an interview with Forbes, Stripe’s Cofounder and President John Collison noted that “campaigns get that tech and the velocity and quality of their tech teams really matter. Over the course of a campaign, you have to build sophisticated commerce, [customer relations management] and data analytics platforms that work all the time. We’re now doing part of that for them.”

Forbes noted that technology is becoming a staple of campaigns across both sides of the aisle. There have been campaign-specific sites hosted on Amazon Web Services instead of buying their own servers. Candidates have been using car-calling apps including Uber and Lyft rather than utilizing town cars. Forbes extends the example to finance, as candidates using Stripe can focus on raising money rather than building the donation platform itself.

Collison told Forbes that Stripe offers politicians the cost savings tied to eliminating the need for additional employees staffed just for donations and payments. And the process itself is streamlined. By way of example, the Clinton campaign — which has processed $20 million through Stripe — has a “simple” process that offers the ability to make recurring contributions. The platform will store credit card information and disburse the funds. Given that volume of Clinton donations, the campaign has paid Stripe more than $623,000 in fees for the quarter that ended on June 30. As Forbes noted, Stripe bills 2.9 percent of the transaction, with an additional $0.30 per charge levied through the payments platform. Other notable Stripe business came from Rand Paul’s campaign, which paid $102,000 to the startup last quarter.


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