Text-to-donate faces problems for Obama, Romney

The emerging market of text-to-pay isn’t quite set up for presidential politics.

If you were hoping that perhaps some day you would be able to send a donation to your favorite political candidate by sending a text message, there is some unfortunate news for you.

It appears that, even though the Federal Election Commission approved this kind of mobile donation, getting major carriers to set up the technological side of things on their end is proving to be something of a lost battle. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and others have all not enabled political donation texting.

So, you may be asking, what gives? After all, when things like Hurricane Katrina happened, mobile carriers were very quick to enable a mobile donation platform that placed line-item charges on customer bills for relief efforts to places like the Red Cross.

It seems that what the carriers are concerned about is the red tape involved with tracking political donations. That is to say, carriers would be responsible for making sure you don’t exceed political contribution caps, and that foreign nationals don’t submit money to campaigns.

But then again, this problem exists with any political contribution platform. All the carriers would need to do is provide some sort of confirmation for users to say that they are abiding by campaign finance law. Per the FEC, text donations would already be capped at $10 per message and $50 per month, so the possibility of extreme fraud is already out of the window.