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This article was published on September 24, 2014

    Digital wallet startup Clinckle finally launches — but only for college students

    Digital wallet startup Clinckle finally launches — but only for college students
    Roberto Baldwin
    Story by

    Roberto Baldwin

    Roberto Baldwin was a reporter for The Next Web in San Francisco between April 2014 and March 2015. Roberto Baldwin was a reporter for The Next Web in San Francisco between April 2014 and March 2015.

    It looks like Clinkle is finally live. The pre-paid card app is currently limited to college students and features a social aspect called “treats” which could be used to refund your last purchase.

    The iOS and Android app allows students to send cash to each other like Venmo, but also has a physical pre-paid debit card. Whenever a student swipes the card seven times, they earn a treat which they can then send to a friend with a photo and caption.

    When someone opens a treat they could win a refund on the last purchase they made. Everyone likes free stuff.

    Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 4.13.35 PM

    In other words, it’s not going to change the way we view and use currency as the company originally promised. It’s more like Google Wallet or PayPal except only for college kids. Which after three years and $30 million seems down right boring.

    Fortunately the history behind the app is anything but. It hired and lost big names like former Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy and former Twitter designer Josh Brewer. It was reportedly compromised before launch and the startup went through some layoffs.

    All that led to today’s launch — an app that works with a pre-paid debit card and is available only to students at “select colleges.”

    ➤ Clinkle [iOS, Android]

    Update: An earlier version of this article stated that passwords were compromised during a hack. Clinkle states that passwords were not compromised during the abuse of a public API.