“It’s important that people realize that the more transactions they engage in, the more credit card companies are making money,” said Jonathan Zucker, the co-founder of Democracy Engine and former CEO of ActBlue, the nonprofit payment-processing behemoth catering to Democratic campaigns. “While it may only be a matter of cents, those pennies pile up.”
A Newsy analysis of Federal Election Commission data found that since the start of the 2008 election cycle, federal political campaigns have paid more than $220 million to credit card-processing companies including American Express, Bank of America and PayPal, among dozens of others.
Between the 2008 and 2016 election cycles, the amount nearly doubled, from $28.2 million to $51.5 million. The 2020 cycle is on pace to shatter that record: Through October, the 2020 campaigns spent more than $23.8 million in processing fees—more than a year before the election.