If you haven’t heard of Clinkle yet then you’re about to! It’s one of the most overhyped pointless startups in a long time. It’s another startup trying to break into the mobile payments sector and recently announced that they tricked investors into giving them $25 million.
But what is Clinkle exactly, as they have kept most of it under wraps we can gather the following. It appears to be a digital app that lets you pay with your phone instead of with cards and cash. The early beta testers have mentioned that you just add your bank account number to the app, transfer money into your Clinkle account and then when enough users have Clinkle, instead of paying for your coffee with cash or a credit card you can “Clink” your devices together, or “Clink” your device onto the touch registers and transfer money directly into their account.
They are trying to save the world from credit card fees and transaction fees but they are going a bad way of doing it. The idea itself is interesting, there are more competitors in this market than you can count already. But they are still focused on creating a one app, one world ecosystem.
The problem is when you’re trying to change a market, you can’t just expect to disrupt it completely and expect everyone to switch over. They are trying this by only launching to college students first which will allow them to target a market which adopts fads very quickly, but at the same time, forgets about apps one week later.
They need to build a system that not only offers a new way to transfer money, but a way to easily use their old credit cards as well and then “train” their customers that their approach is better.
Google Wallet is a very good example of a way to do this right.
But I’m guessing the end result is this, Google already has an amazing product that’s out there, as do all of Clinkle’s competitors, but no companies want to partner with any of the larger companies for fear that they will have too much power.
Clinkle’s goal is going to be to build itself up, and whatever credit card company or large company that hasn’t already built their own digital transfer of money app, will buy them. That’s it, they won’t change the way you use money, and in a year they will be a fad that has been forgotten but the owners will have sold the app and everyone would have made lots of money.