Nothing's worse than finding out that an unsavory celebrity shares your name, or that you're eating a candy that sounds like a terrible disease, so you can imagine how the wireless operator-led joint venture Isis felt when the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant decided to go by its initials, ISIS, as well.
The awkward coincidence and the recent rise of the violent militant group, responsible for thousands of deaths across Iraq and Syria in recent months, has caused the mobile money venture to rethink its name. Isis CEO Michael Abbott wrote in a blog post Monday that it would rebrand the company, though a new name is still in the works. "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."
It should be noted that Isis (the militant one) also rebranded to Islamic State as of June 29, but the association and negative press was still too much.
Rebranding isn't an easy process, especially since Isis (the mobile wallet one) claims to be have added 20,000 mobile wallets per day in May and is preloaded on 14 devices. But it has gotten off to a slow start, and it isn't exactly a household name yet. Raising awareness of what the mobile phone can do when it comes to payments, coupons, and loyalty programs will be an important part of getting the service off the ground. A better suited name might not be a bad place to start. (See Isis Adds 600K NFC Wallets in 30 Days and Isis Opens Its Mobile Wallet Nationwide.)
Anyone have suggestions for a new name for the mobile wallet company? Let's hear them in the comment section below.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading