Pageonce has succeeded in making a name for itself as a direct-to-consumer personal finance management app that has leapfrogged better-known Mint. Starting today, however, it is setting out to make a name for itself that consumers will recognize. It has rebranded itself as Check. 

The news might seem rather sudden to the startup's users, who began receiving e-mail alerts today with a heading of “Check (formerly Pageonce Updates).” But it apparently has been long in coming for executives at the Palo Alto startup who long ago grew frustrated with puzzled looks and myriad misspellings of the company name. There will be some head-scratching about the new name of Check, which will inevitably trigger mental connections with a paper-based payment system.

That could be confusing for young consumers who seldom write paper checks much and would prefer to evolve beyond that clunky experience to an on-the-go smartphone app that provides greater control over cash flow and their available balances. But Check is hoping the new name will have the advantage of being short and memorable, will have connotations of money chores, and will come to mean that users can “check” off financial chores and keep their financial headaches “in check.”

The original name of Pageonce made more sense when Guy Goldstein founded the company in 2008 with the aim of creating an app that would manage finance, shopping, utilities, social, travel, and e-mail chores through a single app with a single password. The company still aims to achieve much of that as it evolves down the path of becoming a mobile wallet. But in the meantime, executives felt the startup desperately needed a name that was more fitting for what it offers. Even as it evolves, Check offers plenty that should put it on the radar for banks and credit unions, billers, and mobile-technology vendors alike.

The company was built on the philosophy that mobile devices would create consumer demand and expectations for mobile tools. That belief heavily influences the intuitive user experience, the emphasis on removing the work from personal finance management (including financial alerts by default), and a view-plus-do approach that has enabled Check to leapfrog past Mint because users not only can monitor their aggregated accounts but also pay bills. It also has built the scaffolding for archiving that will grow in importance as consumers evolve to a digital-mostly lifestyle.

It was because of its achievements and pace of innovation that I spotlighted the startup in a pair of “Bill-Pay Innovator” reports in March 2012. In an interview for those reports, Pageonce reported it had 5.7 million registered users as of January 2012. Today, Check boasts it has more than 8 million users. Much of that recent growth has occurred since October 2012, when it launched free bill-pay services. Check reports it is processing $1.6 million in payments a day, up from the $1 million milestone it reached in January. But today’s rebranding is a sign that perhaps the hardest work is yet to come.

Building something is one thing. Making consumers aware that it exists is something else again. Changing the name only compounds that challenge.

Author

About Mark Schwanhausser

Mark strategizes how financial institutions can track and serve customers across the channels they use, and provide a consistent, integrated brand and user experience. Mark helps banks and credit unions profitably enable customers to monitor and manage their money more intelligently through technology such as online banking, mobile banking, personal financial management, financial alerts, and technologies on the horizon. 

Mark led the development of Javelin’s Digital Banking Maturity Path, a strategic framework for assessing a financial institution’s ability to deliver advice in digital channels, and the Financial Journey Model, which builds digital banking on a foundation of time-tested personal finance principles. He has also mapped out strategies to upgrade online banking, digital account opening, and financial alerts in a mobile-first era. 

Before joining Javelin, Mark was a personal finance reporter for the San Jose Mercury News. He covered money and emerging trends in financial services and payments technology.

Mark has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia and attended Antioch College.

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