ISIS terror group leads Isis mobile wallet to change its name, to Softcard


To avoid confusion with ISIS, the group behind terrorist acts in Iraq and Syria, New York-based mobile payments firm Isis Wallet has changed its name to Softcard.

The chief executive of Isis mobile payments, Michael Abbott, announced the change in a blog post today. “However coincidental, we have no desire to share a name with this group,” he wrote.

The company—a competitor to PayPal’s mobile payments, Google Wallet, and Boston’s LevelUp—offers an app that lets users to pay for items with their mobile phones and earn loyalty rewards at accepting merchants. It’s backed by mobile giants AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, but was ranked as the least-used mobile payments option in a Yankee Group report earlier this year.

As I reported last month, Yankee Group senior analyst Jordan McKee believes the service’s “days will be numbered” if it doesn’t have a new strategy to go with its new brand. “It really should be using this unfortunate branding blunder as the opportune time to reconsider its approach to the market,” McKee said.

In a recent post (paywall), McKee noted that the Isis Wallet has struggled to catch on—and clearly faces bigger issues than its name. The Isis system ideally runs using special terminals that must be bought by merchants, which hasn’t been popular, and just a few card issuers have signed on, according to the Yankee Group report.

Kyle Alspach has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since 2005 and was one of the original staff writers at BetaBoston.
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