21 September 2014

Isis mobile wallet ditches name to avoid jihadist confusion

08 July 2014  |  4764 views  |  4 Isis

Mobile money joint venture Isis is changing its name in a bid to shed any associations with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria jihadist group.

AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless set up Isis four years ago, choosing the name - which is not an acronym - because it "brought to life our company and our values," says CEO Michael Abbott.

However, the brand has recently become associated with the very different values of a brutal jihadist group formed last April as an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq and currently fighting to create a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

Already struggling to pick up customers in a competitive market, the mobile money JV has moved to distance itself from the terrorists, with Abbott posting a blog revealing the planned rebranding. No new name has been announced.

Says Abbott: "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."

Ironically, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has also tried to rebrand, last week declaring a caliphate and change of name to Islamic State.

Comments: (4)

Elizabeth Lumley - Finextra - London | 09 July, 2014, 07:05

Hmmm, was sharing a name with a terroist group Isis' biggest problem?

A Finextra member | 09 July, 2014, 11:32

on the 29th June, a week ahead of the ISIS Mobile Joint Venture Annountment,  ISIS in Iraq changed its name to the 'Islamic Caliphate' possibly to stop any convusion with a troubled  American mobile wallet application.... possibly the brand manager in the middle east was a bit ahead of the game on this one - or there was some trademark litigation threatened? see  http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.602008  for more details

Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 09 July, 2014, 11:33

What's worse, I'm not sure if there's any way for the MNO consortium to prevent a recurrence of such a problem in future. Some degree of schadenfreude is only to be expected but let's keep in mind such a branding nightmare could happen to anyone, anytime.

A Finextra member | 09 July, 2014, 11:34

ISIS is now available for use again -  thats a relief !!!!!

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