Clinkle finally launches its payments service (but not the one originally promised)

I guess the evolution to a full Wallet should be thought through with prevailing disparate banking systems across the globe. We have always been over-simplifying the realization of the Wallet and running into practical hurdles now and then. There will be a hybrid setup period when plastic money will co-exist with electronic wallet until there can be a full makeover – this is my personal opinion. Anyone who can come out with a roadmap and influence policies of organizations and regulators will surely do a lot of good – or perhaps like much of telecom, there is a need for an industry body with pan-global representation that helps. At-least that is the message we had got when two years back we assembled a set of speakers on this topic (Mobile Money) as part of my organization’s “i5 Talks” series.

Gigaom

After more than a year of building hype for its mobile wallet, Clinkle has finally gone public with its app and payments service – and it’s nothing like the wallet we were told to expect. What it delivered was a Visa prepaid debit card – that’s right, a piece of plastic – and an accompanying app that allows you to transfer gifts to your friends’ Clinkle cards through a system it calls “treats.”

From what we can glean from Clinkle’s updated website, treats work kind of like a loyalty program, except the rewards go to other people. After seven swipes of your card, you earn a treat, which you then gift to another Clinkle user in the form of a personalized message accompanied by a cutesy photo. That user can collect that treat on their next card swipe.

It appears that every treat doesn’t result in some kind…

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