The details of Clinkle's new payments service appear to have been leaked in an online video, though the company says the video is not a legitimate representation of its service.
"As a general policy, we don't comment on product speculation. However, I will say that the video that was posted is a) inaccurate and b) to the best of our knowledge, produced by a Venmo [a rival social payment company] employee," said Ana Braskamp, a Clinkle spokeswoman, in an email to PaymentsSource. Venmo, a unit of Braintree (which eBay is purchasing), said the company did not have any involvement in the video.
Clinkle has attracted about $25 million in funding from a group of high-profile Silicon Valley investors, including PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. Clinkle has generated considerable buzz on San Francisco-area technology blogs, but has not revealed a great deal about its technology.
Clinkle is developing a system to allow mobile payments with a reduced reliance on hardware or cardsthe transactions will instead by executed by a mobile app used by merchants and consumers. Clinkle has not publically disclosed how it will do this, but it will reportedly rely on high-frequency sound emitted by smartphone speakers, resembling a method used by companies such as VeriFone, Alipay and shopkick. PayPal achieves a similar effect using Bluetooth in its Beacon device.
The YouTube video that purports to describe the Clinkle app includes a screen that says "Aerolink enabled," for payments in stores.