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PageOnce is launching a new service for everyone who’s tired of logging into a bunch of different sites to access different accounts, and even worse, memorizing all those usernames and passwords. It’s also for lazy folks like me, who avoid all that memorization by just using a couple of names and passwords all across the web.
Chief executive Guy Goldstein has a big vision — he wants PageOnce to be the one site you go to for manageingevery one of your online accounts. There are plenty of services that do something similar on a narrower scale, including Mint, which links your different financial accounts, and Digsby, which brings together your email, social networks and instant messaging. There’s also the OpenID initiative, which is working to help you create a single online identity that you can use to log in to different sites. But PageOnce may be the first to bring a much broader swath of information together in a single site.
It covers six categories — finance, shopping, utilities, social, travel and email. So you can use PageOnce to pay bills, receive email, check how many minutes are left in your cell phone plan and more, all through the PageOnce site.
The service is launching tomorrow, but it already has 20,000 users with 60,000 accounts in private testing mode. To give me a sense of the range that his company offers, Goldstein showed me a list of the top 20 services that users access with PageOnce. Gmail tops the list, which also includes Facebook, Amazon, At&T Wireless and American Express.
Of course, people may have some serious misgivings about providing a small startup with access to so much essential information. But Goldstein argues that PageOnce is actually safer. Not only does it offer “military grade security” (it’s certified by TRUSTe, McAfee HackerSafe and Verisign), it also eliminates the security risk created by the common practice of using a single password for a bunch of different accounts. Now you can have a many different passwords, because PageOnce remembers them for you. Given how much personal information people give away elsewhere online, I doubt too many users will have qualms about signing up for the service; let’s hope the company takes good care of that info.
PageOnce won’t be charging for the service, either. Instead, it offers targeted promotions that different providers can make to retain or “upsell” their existing customers. A cable company, for example, could use PageOnce to offer a month of free HBO. There’s certainly value in this kind of promotion, but PageOnce isn’t the only way companies can reach their customers, so it will be interesting to see if this model pays off.
The Palo Alto, Calif. startup was founded in 2007, and raised $1.5 million in January.