updated 05:22 pm EDT, Mon July 7, 2014
Payment company has 'no interest' in sharing a name with violent group
Isis, the payment company responsible for Mobile Wallet, has decided to change its name to differentiate itself from a violent militant group. CEO Michael Abbott announced the change on the Isis site, stating that the company didn't wish to share a name, even by coincidence. While a new brand hasn't been selected, the company is working on one now.
"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," said Abbott. "As a company, we have made the decision to rebrand."
The group Abbott is referring to is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a militant group that has been in recent headlines for their violence against civilians and government forces. Even though the group recently announced that it changed its name to a shortened version, Islamic State, the comparison damage could have been done.
Even with the change, ISIS is likely to stick around as acronym that's commonly referred to when referencing the group in media. Since it has become of point of public knowledge on a global scale, there may always be confusion as to which entity is being referred to.
Abbott acknowledges that changing a brand isn't an easy thing to do at any level. The change will affect customers and partners beyond itself. Since the company is entrenched in the mobile marketplace thanks to the shared effort of wireless carriers and credit companies, it could take some time to change over. However, Isis believes the decision is the right one to make. It's currently working on a new brand.
Until a new brand is selected, Abbott says the company will continue to focus on growing mobile payments and "advancing our mobile wallet." He adds that the focus of the company hasn't changed.
While the comparison to a terror group should be taken seriously, it can also cause a point of contention for many people, depending on political stances and historical viewpoints. Isis originally refers to a goddess from Ancient Egypt that was tied to love, health and magic. It also has ties to fiction, as the name of a spy agency in the television series Archer. The name was originally chosen by the company as it was a brand that embodied the vision it had.