PageOnce is a very new take on an old idea. Take your standard widget-based feed reader such as Pageflakes or Netvibes and replace its blog and RSS feed widgets with financial tracking tools to let you keep an eye on bank accounts, credit card transactions, and various bills. It promises to offer you all the things you love about accessing your private personal information, while presenting it like you're scoping out your favorite feeds about gadgets and odd news.
One of PageOnce's best features is that it's very fast, and makes it easy to get going. There's a directory of pre-existing services to choose from, and if you come across one that's not listed you can send in a request for it to be added. I very easily found my bank, phone provider, and various credit card accounts. It also let me add things such as my Facebook news feed, Netflix queue, and mileage number from my airline--something I don't really need to check on a daily basis, but why not add it, right?
Like the service's namesake would suggest, all this action takes place on one page, but you can also cycle through the six major categories (finance, shopping, e-mail, etc.) as you would using self-created tabs on other customizable start pages. The added benefit of going to each of these specialized pages is that the widgets are larger and contain their entire set of data instead of just a brief overview. This was especially useful for my cellular phone bill, which offered up a forecast of how many minutes I was on track to using by the end of the billing cycle, something my carrier doesn't even offer on its billing pages. On the other hand, you can't reorder what's on any of the pages, which is incredibly useful, and will hopefully be added in later versions.
My one reservation with using services like this, and others that deal with financial data (see Mint and Wesabe) are that they just freak me out. There's just something about giving a third party service so much of my personal financial information, that it doesn't matter how secure it is, or how much the data is anonymized on the way there. That said, PageOnce uses a variety of bank-level security measures to keep your data safe including high-level encryption, SSL, firewalls, and vulnerability tests from third party security consulting agencies.
The service is currently in private beta, although we've got 500 invites that have been made available to Webware readers. You can get yours by going here.
[Thanks to Webware reader Kyle for the tip]… Read more