Back in November, ‘carrier supported’ Isis Wallet went live, as almost a slap in the face to Google and their Google Wallet that they were trying to push – Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile all released and supported Isis Mobile Wallet. However, in what seems like a cruel – or in Google’s eyes, justified – twist of fate, Isis is being forced to change its name with the growing concern over a militant group, whose name when translated into English is Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and is most often referred to by its acronym ISIS. This group has been linked with extreme violence across Iraq and Syria aimed at both civilians and government forces.
CEO of Isis, Michael Abbott said, “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 re-brand. Changing a brand is never easy, but we know this is the right decision – for our company, our partners and our customers.”
Isis, like most other ‘wallets’ use the Near Field Technology (NFC) chip to make a transaction and not all devices have the NFC technology built-in to them, making their adoption somewhat slow. It also doesn’t help that Apple refuses to add the capability to the iPhone, thus slowing down its adoption. You can go to any carrier’s website and it will let you know which devices are compatible with Isis. The Isis Mobile Wallet is a free app that allows you to shop and make payments with the tap of your phone at the vendor’s countertop reader or sensor. It works a lot like the “Paywave” card where you just wave your debit or credit card over the reader. With these methods, you do not have to hand your card or smartphone to the cashier to complete the transaction.
Although Isis is not as popular as they were hoping, these things do take time for customers and merchants to become accustom too. Certainly re-branding is going to slow acceptance even more so while confusion rises, it is a necessary step to distance themselves from the militant Group ISIS. When I heard about them on the news the other day, I told my wife that is the same name as the Isis Mobile Wallet – I was wondering how long it would take them to make a name change…not long, and good for them for doing what is right.