I check the Finance applications in the Apple iTunes store at least once per week to see which of the companies we track has posted an app. But I missed one of the most popular finance apps, because it’s categorized under Productivity.
An iPhone application called A Personal Assistant (iTunes link) from PageOnce has been downloaded more than 200,000 times according to the publisher. The application is an account aggregation service that automatically downloads balance and transaction activity from financial, billing, and other service providers.
In an interview on FastCompany TV (here), co-founder Guy Goldstein said that 65% of users are checking financial accounts through its account aggregation app. Assuming 100,000 total active users, that would imply more than 60,000 iPhone users tracking financial accounts via the PageOnce app (see inset).
That would likely make PageOnce the third largest provider of banking info to the iPhone, trailing only BofA and Firethorn (see note 1).
During the FastCompany interview, Goldstein identified one focus to be banking and bill pay transactions, and said that plans are in place to add bill pay functionality to the app.
Palo Alto-based PageOnce opened to the public in July. The company also offers a Web-based version of the account aggregation service (screenshot below), but sees its core audience being smartphone users. The company launched a Blackberry version a few days ago (see homepage below, company post here).
Implication for Netbankers
Because mobile website navigation is relatively more difficult, the allure of having all your personal and financial info in one place is stronger for smartphone users than for website users.
However, users are still very concerned about handing their passwords to an unknown startup such as PageOnce. But convenience-minded consumers will do it if there are no viable alternatives from trusted brands such as banks, credit unions and card issuers. If you work at a financial institution, and you still have development dollars available, move the iPhone app up your priority list.
Or partner with someone that already has an app and get your brand on that precious screen. PageOnce is actively looking for partners and has already announced three, none in the financial sector.
PageOnce homepage (5 Nov. 2008)
1. Firethorn added a mobile banking app two weeks ago (post here) that has risen to fourth most popular, behind Bloomberg, Bank of America, and Check Please, a tip calculator (see previous coverage here).
2. For more info on the mobile area, see our Online Banking Report on Mobile Banking.