No, not bitcoin
There’s a Quora post claiming that Clinkle is actually built on top of bitcoin.
This is all wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.
- Clinkle balances are essentially stored value cards held in escrow
- Bitcoin prices are volatile (i.e. risky) and Clinkle would have to insure these accounts and adequately inform users in the TOS about the risks.
- Nowhere in the App’s TOS or binary does it mention Bitcoin.
- Clinkle users agree to Zionsbank terms of service.
- Zionsbank has no involvement in bitcoin.
- The Clinkle app links to your credit/debit cards and bank account via ACH.
- Clinkle is subject to regulation from the 50 states, the banking industry, payment card industry, FTC (anti-money laundering laws), and more. Bitcoin is not fully compliant with current regulatory standards.
Thoughts on Skeuomorphism
Holy Skeuomorphism batman! Even the “iOS7 version” still looks like this
The lead clinkle designer has a medium post about their rationale in their design.
An excerpt is here:
Flat vs. Skeuomorphic is an idiot’s distinction
A flatter UI doesn’t constitute progress. It suggests your designers have their thumbs up their asses. Our job isn’t just to simplify the world around us into a Swiss grid: we’re the Santa Clauses of technology.
Demo Video. See how Clinkle animates and the navigation it all together.
Scott Forstall would be proud of this.
This “clinkle cash” is actually a balance held in a Zionsbank account. You transfer money to your real bank account with this ATM screen (via ACH).
This is unfortunate… The fee for credit card is 3%, and there’s a 3 day delay to transfer money via bank. It’s also very deceptive because the word “fee” is in the same typeface and color as “free”
The Clinkle app contains a fully-functional demo mode that uses a fake account to show how it works. It’s enabled when the app first runs. They may have even used it to pitch to the investors. Once you register for an account, demo mode is disabled.
Clinkle desparately wants you to maintain a “clinkle balance” known as Clinkle Cash. They (by default) force you to do this by automatically reloading a fixed amount in from a bank account. Then, when a Clinkle user pays a merchant, the transfer to the merchant is nearly free for Clinkle, but merchants are still paying a considerable fee.
Why should you give Clinkle your full 9-digit SSN?
With Clinkle, you are essentially opening a checking account with Zions Bank. The legal agreements you sign mention Zions Bank’s agreements and the “identity verification” is necessary to open an account with them.
The app also has means to take a picture of your drivers license and social security card. You know, the things you always wanted to share with a some app startup.
There’s also a notice in the binary about compliance with the Patriot Act.
From the looks of it, Clinkle is more than happy to freeze your account. :)
This is Aerolink. The app is constantly “Scanning for Register.” The Clinkle register app, which was pulled shortly after it was in the App Store, is what emits the ultrasonic sounds that the Clinkle app listens for. The ultrasonic sounds encode a store, register, and transaction identifier. It may be open to security vulnerabilities. The Clinkle Register app also handles preorders and can track (physical) cash payments.
Aerolink seems like the only important patentable intellectual property that the Clinkle app employs. This ultrasonic technology in the app may be sourced from a third party. (Clinkle also claims to patent the navigation mechanisms in the app. Namely, swipe up to pay…)