Clinkle offers Treats to Weber State community


The Clinkle machine has been a popular attraction in the Shepherd Union. (Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)
The Clinkle machine has been a popular attraction in the Shepherd Union. (Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)

Clinkle, a company based out of California, has brought their money-managing app Treats to campuses across Utah.

Treats allows students to manage their money and stay in touch with friends.

The app has previously only been pushed on California campuses like Berkeley and UCLA, until now. Although Clinkle seems to be on the campus a lot as of late, some students are unaware of the app. Students like Trini Tracy, a senior in computer science, commented that she hadn’t seen them around.

“I don’t think they’re gathering the attention that it wants,” said Shanice Schrock, sophomore in graphic design.

Although Clinkle’s attention may be slow-growing on Weber State’s Ogden campus, representatives from Clinkle say the interest and growth in the state of Utah is good.

“The growth in Utah is completely organic. There was one specific student at The University of Utah who called us on the phone and said he wanted to be a part of the experience,” said Jake Huhn, a representative of Clinkle from California.

Treats is hooked to a prepaid debit card that allows students to treat their friends. The treat is a gift that could possibly pay for your friend’s next purchase, up to $30.

“Let’s say I owe you money; you could use the payment platform and send them the money. It happens instantly and there are no fees,” said Huhn.

Another perk, according to Huhn, is the treats that users can send to their friends via the Treats app. Every seven swipes of your Treats prepaid debit card gives you a treat to send to one of your friends.

“You have the opportunity to treat your friends and have their purchase paid for,” said Huhn.

Once your friend swipes their own prepaid debit card for a purchase, a waiting treat will open and either help pay for their purchase or give them a swipe. This swipe is added to their needed prepaid debit card swipes to help them acquire more treats for their friends.

How does Clinkle’s business plan pay for all these free treats being given out at random?

“We have a partnership with Visa. They’re actually paying a nominal fee for customer acquisition,” said Huhn.

Clinkle was created by Lucas Duplan when he was 19 years old at Stanford University. Duplan came up with the idea during a trip to Europe where he reportedly wished there was an easier way to pay for things from his phone.

Clinkle is accused of being a rip-off of Venmo, which allows you to send money to other Venmo users for free. However, the one thing that seems to set Clinkle’s Treats app apart from Venmo is their ability to send and receive treats from friends.

Clinkle also suffered severe setbacks after receiving $30 million from people like Richard Branson, the CEO of Virgin Group. In early 2014, even before the app was able to launch, Clinkle underwent several rounds of layoffs.

While Clinkle’s previous setbacks may have been an issue then, students at Weber State think the app is a good idea.

“It helps you connect with people that you may not connect with any other way,” Schrock said. “It’s a good tool for students to safeguard their money.”

Students who are interested in using the Treats app can download it onto their Android and iOS device and use a fellow user’s referral code to earn them and their friend $10 each.

Note: This story was updated to correct the spelling of Jake Huhn’s name and that the maximum purchase for a friend is $30 and to clarify that the debit cards are prepaid and that treats are acquired for others. The company also notes that the use of Treat comes with some fees, that Visa does not pay an acquisition fee and that the referral code offer of $10 for friends has expired.