Mobile Wallet Picks New Name

Isis avoids confusion with Middle East unrest, changes name to Softcard

Softcard mobile wallet

NEW YORK --The mobile-wallet venture between three major phone carriers has announced it will rename itself from Isis Wallet to Softcard.

In a message to media, trading partners and customers from CEO Michael Abbott, the New York-based platform wants to distance itself from unrest in the Middle East, caused largely by a militant group commonly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS.

The company made the rebranding announcement this past July but revealed the new name in a recent statement. “However coincidental, we have no desire to share a name with this group, and our hearts go out to those affected by this violence,” Abbott’s statement said. “Our search for a new name has been rooted in our founding vision: to use the power of the mobile phone to help consumers find a safer and better way to shop, pay and save.”

The goal for the new name was to evoke “power, flexibility and simplicity.”

Abbott said he believed the name could go further, actually defining the emerging category. “That’s a bold aspiration, but one that matches the breadth of our vision,” he said.

In the next few weeks, the company will launch a Softcard app so customers can update their phones. After that, consumers can continue to use the electronic wallet as they have done in the past.

The platform uses near-field communication (NFC) technology to allow consumers to pay, redeem coupons and present loyalty cards with a tap of their smartphones. To use the mobile wallet, consumers need an NFC-enabled smartphone and a SIM-based secure element, which together make the device ready for use.

Nearly 20 million smartphones in the market currently feature NFC technology, with millions more being shipped each month by three of the nation’s leading carriers—AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US Inc. and Verizon Wireless. And 35 types of mobile devices across AT&T, T-Mobile US and Verizon currently support the wallet.

“Changing a brand is never easy, but we know this is the right decision—for our company, our partners and our customers,” Abbott said back in July when he first announced the rebrand. “Our focus on delivering a great product and platform to our customers hasn’t changed.”