Pageonce personal assistant opens for business

The Pageonce service lets users manage and monitor all of their Web accounts from a single dashboard.

Pageonce, which bills itself as a personal Internet assistant, has entered its public beta phase. (We covered its February debut here.)

The service lets users aggregate all of their Web accounts from a single dashboard. Users submit their user names and passwords for services, including finance, shopping, utilities, social networks, travel, and e-mail, into a Pageonce master account. After the accounts are activated, Pageonce can let users know how many minutes they have left on their cell phone account, and send notifications about flight itinerary changes, credit limits, friend request, bill payments, and other account activities. Pageonce also provides a proactive function, making it easy for users to monitor their accounts for fraudulent activity. A version of the Pageonce for the iPhone is also in development.

Pageonce provides a dashboard and notifications of changes in accounts.

The utility of Pageonce is obvious, but it requires a level of trust for users to give up their access information to a single Internet service. Pageonce applies military-level security, Pageonce CEO Guy Goldstein told me, with multiple security layers, including 256-bit data encryption, SSL systems, and multiple firewalls. "All the data is encrypted, and we have hired hackers to try to break into our systems," Goldstein said. Financial accounts are read-only, so from the Pageonce site a user's accounts cannot be changed. Goldstein said Pageonce is also looking into token-based security solutions to provide great security assurance to users. Even with all the assurances of security, Pageonce must overcome a trust perception hurdle to gain acceptance.

Prior to the public beta, Pageonce had 20,000 users and 60,000 accounts. The majority of the accounts cover e-mail, financial services, and social networks so far. The company plans to generate revenue from advertising, primarily via customer retention promotions, which represents about half the marketing spend at most consumer companies. Anonymized benchmarking data could also provide another revenue source.

Pageonce was founded by ex-Mercury (sold to Hewlett-Packard for $4.5 billion) executives and is planning a Series A investment round. The company was private funded with $1.5 million in May 2007.

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About the author

Dan has more than 20 years of journalism experience. He has served as editor in chief of CBSNews.com, CNET News, ZDNet, PC Week, and MacWeek.

 

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