It was 2011, and everyone hated big banks 😤
The co-founders of Clinkle were then all students at Stanford University, in the heart of the Valley. We had the same questions as everyone else: where were the cool contactless payments we craved? why was it so hard to pay each other back for small things? and, the more we thought about it:
Why isn't your wallet on your phone?
the app paid stores using ultrasound ✨
Every store had an iPad, which received payments from any Clinkle wallet. The iPad broadcast the store ID through ultrasonic noise pulses. The wallet app picked up the signal and checked the server to fetch the latest open ticket.
but ultrasound, it turned out, wasn't our future 😪
While our ultrasound tech worked well, getting merchants to install the iPad was too difficult at scale. We learned small businesses are loath to change up their payment systems more than once a decade. We needed to marry our peer-to-peer payments with a scalable in-store payment system.
doesn't it feel good to treat a friend? 🎁
We re-branded as a new type of debit card. With the Treats app you can surprise your friends with a Treat that may pay for their purchase. Users make everyday purchases with their Treats Card to create gifts called Treats. Give a Treat to a friend, and it may pay for their purchase. Get a Treat from a friend, and it may pay for yours.