Clinkle finally had a launch, bit nervous, but with $30 mn at stake?

Some are calling it a glorified and gamified Visa prepaid debit card program. Others are calling it 'how to burn $30 mn of investors money'.

Do they really need so much bad press. What have they done? where did they lose out? It has been quite a rough year for Lucas and Clinkle with layoffs and executive turnover.

This valley payment startup was the brainchild of Lucas Duplan, a student at Stanford at the time he conceived the idea. He went on to convince many Stanford students to leave the college and join him. Last year, he raised ~ $30 million from big names like Richard Branson and Andreessen Horowitz. Clinkle app finally launched on 'select college' campuses it seems (Techcrunch had some back and forth on it).

And yes the rumors of it being a bitcoin based payment mechanism were wrong.

Here is a list of claims which Clinkle highlights on its website:

- 'Swipe like your normal debit card to buy everyday stuff'

- 'The more you swipe, the more you create what we call 'Treats' '

- 'Send a Treat to a friend. When your friend swipes their card, they can open the Treat. Some Treats refund your friend’s whole purchase.'

- 'Pay any Clinkle member instantly. No fees.'

- 'Keep your stash on lockdown: we send simple alerts right to your phone. See how much money you’ve got left at a glance.'

- 'Let your phone worry about budgeting. Your app keeps track of every card swipe and payment to a friend, so it’s easy to search for your last IOU.'

- 'We keep your money safe behind 128-bit AES encryption, just like national banks. Lock your app with your secure PIN, so only you can open it.'

- 'Your card account is insured up to $250,000 through the FDIC, and you can shop worry free at millions of merchants worldwide with the Visa Zero Liability Guarantee.'

While their landing page ​says they don't like any fees, when you check the T&M its fees is on the higher side to add money to your card and withdraw it as cash.

  • $0.50 per transaction to add money via qualified debit card
  • $0.30 + 2.9% per transaction to add money via non-qualified debit card
  • $1 ATM fees
  • 3% international transaction fees