Clinkle, a stealth payment startup founded by Stanford graduate Lucas Duplan, raised $US30 million to make mobile payments simple.
But while Clinkle has been getting its product ready for launch, Apple has also been working on a mobile payment solution.
Today, Apple announced its new Pay product, which aims to make plastic credit cards obsolete. Add credit cards to Apple’s Passbook app in digital form, then use TouchID upon check-out at any of Apple’s 220,000 partnering stores to pay with your phone. The Apple Pay announcement also sounded like it’d make a slew of payment startups, including Clinkle, obsolete.
But Clinkle isn’t worried. Duplan tells Business Insider that his product could actually work nicely with Apple Pay. Duplan mentioned a “Clinkle card,” which sounds like something that could rival a MasterCard or Visa. In other words, Clinkle may be making a digital credit card that can be added to Passbook, too, rather than a payment platform that will rival Pay.
Early leaked screenshots of Clinkle’s app looked like a mobile wallet, so at one point Clinkle may have been building a Pay rival, then pivoted.
“The news from Apple today does not come as a surprise — we’ve been anticipating for a long time,” Duplan told Business Insider in an email. “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. We look forward to working with Apple and others that will likely enter the space.”