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The 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree is on its way to Washington D.C. Photo courtesy of US Forest Service.

When the tradition of the Capitol Christmas Tree began, the year was 1964 and there weren’t exactly iPhones going around.

But while the tree will still end up in Washington D.C. this year, technology has opened doors for new opportunities. People are now able to donate to charities associated with the tree using mobile phones, and a Seattle-based mobile payment platform has been chosen to power this year’s donations.

Seconds, located at Seattle’s SURF Incubator, allows people to text a numerical dollar amount to a phone number and then receive a link to quickly complete a payment.

The platform was appealing to non-profit ChooseOutdoors and the National Forest Service, who are raising money for the restoration of the thousands of acres destroyed during the spring wildfires in Colorado (the 2012 tree comes from Colorado).

“They were very clear they wanted it to be as smooth and quick as possible to complete, since people will be standing outside during festivities and if wanting to make a donation, they should be able to with a mobile device,” Seconds CEO Nick Hughes wrote in a blog post.

People can also go to and donate there. Seconds was founded during the fall of 2011.

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