Isis, the mobile payments and commerce venture, said it will rebrand to dissociate itself from the radical Sunni Islamist militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, often known as ISIS.
Isis plans to rebrand its offering.
In a company blog post, Isis CEO Michael Abbott said that the company has "observed with growing concern" the actions of ISIS, which, as Abbott noted, "has been linked to sectarian violence against civilians and government forces in Iraq and Syria."
ISIS, the militant group, has cultivated an active social media presence to get its messaging across to as many as people as possible, both to sympathizers in the Middle East and the wider public.
Isis, the mobile venture, is backed by Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS), and was founded in November 2010. The company officially launched nationwide in November 2013.
"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," Abbott wrote. "As a company, we have made the decision to rebrand."
Abbott noted that "changing a brand is never easy, but we know this is the right decision--for our company, our partners and our customers."
Abbott said the company is actively working on a new brand, "and I'll share more with you as our journey progresses in the coming months."
In the meantime, he wrote, the company remains committed to mobile payments and advancing its mobile wallet. On May 14, the company said that on average it had activated more than 20,000 mobile wallets per day in the preceding 30 days, giving it at least 600,000 members during that period.
More than 68 mobile devices from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile support the Isis Wallet, which now comes preloaded on 14 smartphones, with more preloaded devices in the pipeline. Isis has said it is currently accepted at "hundreds of thousands" of merchant locations nationwide and at any merchant that supports contactless payments, such as McDonald's, Jamba Juice and Coca Cola vending machines.
- see this Isis post
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