Pageonce was one of the first iPhone (s aapl) apps and built a following of more than 5 million users as a mobile financial service letting people track their bills from their smartphones. But the service has been missing one big thing until today: mobile bill pay.
Now, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Pageonce is adding the feature, helping the app fulfill its aspirations to become more of a digital wallet for users. But that comes at a price: $4.99 a month for the bill pay service on Pageonce’s iPhone and Android (s goog) apps.
With Pageonce, users will now be able to view credit card, utility, cell phone, rent and other bills and easily pay them from the app using various funding sources. Users can pay from bank accounts or credit cards, decide how much they want to pay and then get a confirmation for the transaction.
Pageonce is betting that people will be willing to pay for the convenience of settling all their bills from one app. Currently, almost half of consumers pay their bills in person or by mail and a quarter of payments are made at the individual sites of billers, said Steve Schultz, Pageonce COO. He said providing a one-stop resource should prove appealing to consumers, especially the ability to pay not just from one bank account, which many banking apps allow, but also from multiple banking accounts and credit cards. Schultz said Pageonce is also unique in that it provides a much fuller look at bills through a mobile app so users can get more information on their charges before deciding to pay.
“We think it’s time to take the app to the next level and really enable people to do their finances, not just view them from a phone,” Schultz said. “Most people think of bill pay as a chore. Here you can pay it on the fly on public transit or on your down time. The goal is to make bill pay less stressful so people can move on with rest of their lives.”
Pageonce has done a lot of work on the back end to enable mobile bill payments and has also worked on security to ensure payments are safe and meet bank requirements. Users can lock their app with a PIN, designate access from only one mobile device and block mobile access from the web if a device is stolen or lost.
I’m not sure how popular the $4.99 fee will be with users, who are already getting hit up for more fees from banks. But Schultz said Pageonce will tinker with the pricing to see what’s popular. He said 1,000 users participated in a beta and 96 percent of users surveyed said they wanted mobile bill pay. And, 34 percent said they were willing to pay $2 to $8 monthly for the service.
If Pageonce can get mobile bill pay right, it will be another sign of momentum for the service, which competes against Mint and newer competitor Manilla. The company has raised $25 million including $15 million in May led by Morgenthaler Ventures. And it will show that more mobile-centric services can thrive by providing valuable tools to mobile users.