A startup that promises consumers with coding skills more control over their finances is now sending invite codes to its waiting list of potential clients.
Klutch Technologies markets itself as the only card for developers, giving cardholders access to an application programming interface (API) that allows them to build and deploy MiniApps that block transactions based on budget limits, donate their 1% cashback to charity, or an investment can return account, pay their balance immediately and much more.
“We started Klutch because we saw products come out that purported to be bespoke, but in fact fulfilled little more than a customer need,” said co-founder Rachel Ehrlich. “We realized that we can use the card rather than hardware and give the user the ability to add the functionality they want. For example, if privacy is important to you, you can install a feature that creates single-use cards to protect exposure to multiple retailers who have your data.”
Renato Steinberg co-founded and contributed to the company in 2019, originally under the name Alloy Card honest last year. The two began sending out invite codes to developers who wanted access to the Klutch credit card in May. Corresponding an SEC filingKlutch raised $840,000 in funding in June.
Steinberg had several ventures before Klutch, most recently Saferize, a parental control service, and Fashion.me, a style social network. He was Chief Technology Officer of Credit Suisse Hedging Griffothe asset management arm of the Swiss investment bank in Brazil, and Chief Technology Officer of Bento for Business, a card-based corporate spend management platform.
Before joining Klutch, Ehrlich was Head of Global Transactions for flexible workspace operator Knotel. She also worked for TD Bank Group as a credit manager, then as vice president of relationship management and as a financial analyst for Wells Fargo.
Sean Anderson, an advisor to Klutch who previously worked with Steinberg on Bento, said The project envisions “bringing automated finance to the masses” and providing a way “to make customers feel smart without having to micromanage card controls or decisions.”
The Klutch team has already created a handful of MiniApps that developers can browse and use in the Klutch Card Mobile App available for both Apple and Android mobile devices. Developers can also request access to create their own MiniApps, which will then become available on Klutch’s marketplace.
For example, the pre-built MiniApps allow users to export each transaction to a spreadsheet, block transactions for specific subscriptions, set and enforce monthly budgets by blocking transactions that exceed each budget, cash out the card’s balance on each transaction, and issue virtual burner cards.
Users can also request multiple physical cards linked to their account to give to family members or to use for travel – a feature one developer said was particularly exciting.
“One of the things I do is travel with extra copies of maps, but that only works in a few situations, like when I can trust that nobody has them to misuse them,” said a developer at the Klutch community chat. “With Klutch, I can travel with a replacement card that has a unique number. If I lose a card I can cancel it and just use the replacement card.”
Klutch provides the source code to MiniApps on GitHuba popular code repository, and API documentation on its website and gives developers instructions on how to create their own MiniApps and templates to work with.
Klutch is currently only available to US residents but can be used internationally. The company previously issued debit cards but announced in December that it would switch to credit cards.
This month, Steinberg told developers in the company’s public Slack chat room that in the coming month, Klutch plans to support paid MiniApps, which would allow developers to monetize using a revenue-sharing model similar to other app stores.
Klutch works with financial data aggregator Plaid to link users’ external financial accounts to their Klutch account. Klutch uses Synapse Financial Technologies for its backend software, which enables it to offer banking services and products through Evolve Bank and Trust. Evolve is also Klutch’s map provider.
Many of Klutch’s offerings mirror those of other financial technology companies, and developers interested in analyzing and working with their own financial data can use other apps for similar purposes.
One of the most famous examples is Plaid, which developers can access its own API and allows them to link multiple financial accounts to one app and track transactions on those accounts. Plaid also has some developers testing a feature for Processing of Transactions between accounts, and in Europe, Plaid allows developers to initiate payments and create virtual accounts.
Klutch has differentiated itself by giving developers direct programmatic control over their credit card — things like cashing out the card’s balance after each transaction, redirecting cashback, and blocking transactions.