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Startup OneReceipt helps track receipts automatically

By Stephanie Medeiros     Dec 22, 2011 in Internet
OneReceipt wants to change how people keep track of their receipts, with a digital database that can automatically upload users receipts.
Most digital receipt services have the user manually type in printed receipts and even some digital ones that are sent via email. For most, this means a mountain of receipts to go through and searching through dozens of emails for receipts embedded to them.
However, OneReceipt wants to do receipt entry differently--making it automated and less stressful. Michael Altman, founder of OneReceipt, explains simply: "Receipts in their current form just suck."
According to Fast Company Design: "The aim is that the system should be able to understand them without manual data entry from the user," which means someone using OneReceipt gives the service permission to read through emails with receipts and paper ones are scanned in through a picture with a smartphone. Those pictures and scanned emails are then processed and neatly compiled into a database of previous purchases, making taxes a bit easier.
Much in the same vein as financial service Mint, OneReceipt helps track a user's spending and show through graphics where exactly most of their money is going. Whether it's from too many Starbucks runs or keeping track of bills, One Receipt is aiming to compete with similar services such as Shoeboxed, Expensify, and Lemon. However, OneReceipt is free to use, unlike other such services which might ask for a monthly or yearly membership fee. This makes OneReceipt perfect for younger adults and a closer competitor (or companion) to Mint.
Receipts can be categorized, with many different options being available. From donations to web hosting, OneReceipt also has a search bar function to find receipts with keywords as well as a "Timeframe" search to find them by date or searching through receipts by order total and the price of a single item. With multiple ways to search, keeping track of spending should technically be a breeze--if all receipts are accounted for.
OneReceipt screenshot.
OneReceipt screenshot.
However, there is the drawback of allowing a company keep intimate details of spending history and detailing it in highly personalized graphs to watch spending. Some might feel the need of a digital receipt library, which semi-automatically keeps it update, is somewhat intrusive while others might question the security implemented at OneReceipt. To reassure potential users, OneReceipt details many security defenses and a promise to keep everything safe.
Other online companies have made similar promises only later to have their users private data compromised. Dropbox is a recent example, when it was revealed private data could be easily seen and accessed by Dropbox employees and handed over to the police. Of course, when it comes to finances, caution should be exercised greatly online.
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