How Apple Shattered this Startup’s Plans

Over a year ago the web was abuzz with talk of a new mobile payments player Clinkle which was to have a different take on payments. One of the company’s innovations was to allow the transfer of money via high frequency sound. Something I questioned the feasibility of in fact.


Well, it seems, this feature has been put on the shelf and moreover, Clinkle is now focusing on being a debit card gamification company for college students. In fact, the more you spend, the more “treats” you accumulate. These treats will be social allowing sharing and engagement.

Obviously having Apple decide it wants to become a mobile payments company has forced the company to reconsider its market segment. Will this new strategy work? Perhaps… Facebook started out on college campuses so there is precedent.

After Apple announced its mobile payments system, Apple Pay, Clinkle told Business Insider that it’s no longer focusing on its original plans: “Last year, we made the decision to focus our product around consumer engagement, not the hardware layer of storing payment instruments, so we are excited that this will give customers yet another way to use their Clinkle card,” founder Lucas Duplan told Business Insider in an email after the recent Apple event. “We look forward to working with Apple and others that will likely enter the space.”


Whether this is a founder making lemonade out of lemons as I imply in the headline or a brilliant shift in strategy remains to be seen.

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