Isis, the U.S. mobile wallet platform backed by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, is rebranding. “In a few weeks, Isis Wallet will become Softcard. It’s a different name for the same great way to pay,” the company notes on its homepage.
The move comes about two months after Isis announced that it would change its name, to distance itself from any potential association with the hardcore Islamic militant group of the same name that has been involved in a lot of gruesomely detailed deaths of U.S. and other citizens.
“However coincidental, we have no desire to share a name with this group and our hearts go out to those affected by this violence,” Michael Abbott, the CEO of Isis, says in a note explaining the change, adding that this is only a changing of the name, nothing more.
“Your current Isis Wallet will continue to work as it always has,” he writes. “In the next few weeks, we will launch the updated Softcard app. At that point, you can update your app as you normally would and see that your Isis Wallet has become Softcard,” he writes.
There were hints of the rebrand coming up in August, when people were linking registrations of various Softcard-related names with Isis. Abbott explains that the name Softcard was chosen because the company “wanted a name and visual identity that had the power, flexibility and simplicity to define our category.”
He adds that “because we’ve chosen to move swiftly, small traces of Isis will be visible for a short time.”
The name change comes a week before what might be even bigger news in the world of mobile payments: many expect Apple will unveil details of its own mobile payment services alongside product and other announcements. It is unclear so far whether there will be any carrier, or Softcard, tie-ins to what Apple is planning but there have been reports of involvement from other players in the payment ecosystem, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express.