Isis Mobile Wallet may have developed somewhat of a bad rep around these parts because it was the carrier-approved NFC payment alternative to Google Wallet, but no matter how many negative insults a few tech geeks have lobbed at it over the past few years, nothing has shaken the company quite like what the acronym ISIS is more commonly associated with these days - the militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The force has swept across parts of both Middle Eastern countries, expanding its reach with the use of violence against civilians and government forces alike.
We tech journalist don't have to wade far into the waters of international politics to convey just how unwanted of an association this is for a mobile payments company that merely wants to help you spend money by tapping your phone against things. As potentially threatening as that may be to pre-existing forms of spending money (emphasis on "potentially" here), it's far from terrorist activity. These folks aren't out to actually hurt anyone. Heck, Isis doesn't even threaten Google Wallet quite like it used to.
The company hasn't announced a new name just yet. Be on the lookout for it to arrive in the coming months.
From our inception, our vision has been simple: Use the power of the mobile phone to help consumers find a safer and better way to shop, pay and save.
Four years ago, we went in search of a brand that could embody this vision. We wanted a name that brought to life our company and our values. Above all, we wanted a brand that captured the simplicity of our mobile wallet experience. We chose Isis.
Recently, we have observed with growing concern a militant group whose name, when translated into English, is Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – often referenced by the acronym ISIS.
The ISIS militant group has been linked to sectarian violence against civilians and government forces in Iraq and Syria.
However coincidental, we have no interest in sharing a name with a group whose name has become synonymous with violence and our hearts go out to those who are suffering. As a company, we have made the decision to rebrand.
Changing a brand is never easy, but we know this is the right decision – for our company, our partners and our customers.
We are actively working on a new brand, and I’ll share more with you as our journey progresses in the coming months.
In the meantime, we remain committed to growing the mobile payments ecosystem, and advancing our mobile wallet. Our focus on delivering a great product and platform to our customers hasn’t changed.
Please accept my sincere thanks for your support and dedication to our vision. And, I thank you in advance for your continued support and understanding as we work through this transition.
–Michael Abbott, CEO of Isis