In the high stakes world of mobile payments, there are clear leaders but no definitive winner as of yet. With such a rugged and harshly changing landscape, the end game is still up for grabs because consumers always want what they don’t yet need; and mobile payments is completely run-of-the-mill currently. Enter Clinkle, the latest addition to the dysfunctional family of competing giants to snag the consumer’s interest in mobile payments.Unlike the approach of apps like Square Register which replaces old school cash registers or Google Wallet which replaces carrying your physical cash and credit cards, Clinkle is aiming at handling payments in a way more akin to physically having your cash or credit card in hand. Though there is much speculation on the nuts and bolts of Clinkle, the general consensus is that you will be able to pay for goods and services in any type of currency in any country in the world, right from your phone. While that may not sound too impressive yet, keep in mind that there is currently no mobile payment option that automatically converts your money to a foreign currency and works regardless of what systems they have in place to accept electronic payments.
Probably the most exciting prospect that Clinkle is rumored to offer is that you can combine payments from various methods along with an unlimited amount of people. Imagine going out with some friends to your local tavern and grill to celebrate a 30th birthday party. After you are finished eating and ready to pay the bill, the waitress brings a single bill to the table and didn’t put it on separate checks. Rather than having her split, each person at the table can contribute their share via Clinkle to a single person’s phone, then that one person can pay the full bill. Best of all, this all happens in real time.
While no one knows the full capabilities that Clinkle will end up offering consumers when it is finally unveiled, but it is clear from the level of secrecy surrounding its roll out that there should be some interesting new concepts in the mix. Only time will tell if it has what it takes to go toe-to-toe with other industry giants, but it is also way too early to count them out in any way. After all, nobody thought they’d want a tablet computer until the iPad proved that it was a viable platform that would change technology as we knew it forever.