The Isis mobile wallet just got a new name: Softcard. For those of you that haven’t been keeping up with global affairs, another organization called ISIS — English shorthand for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — has been dominating the headlines, known for its acts of terror rather than smartphone payments.
Given the horrible coincidence, Isis announced in July it would rebrand. Today we’re getting a preview of that strategy.
The consortium, which is made up of carriers Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, will excise the Isis name from its app, service and all marketing (technically Isis operates under the name JVL Ventures), and in a few weeks it will replace its existing mobile wallet app in the iTunes and Google Play stores with a new Softcard-branded versions. As existing Isis customers update their wallets the Isis name will disappear from their phones.
Even before the negative connotations of its moniker began to surface, Isis was already struggling to popularize its mobile wallet in a U.S. market that just wasn’t taking to smartphone payments. The name change will help with PR, but it Softcard is facing an increasing amount of competition. Apple is expected to announce its mobile wallet offer next week for the new iPhone. And today, the MCX consortium of the top U.S. retailers announced its smartphone payments app will go live in 2015.