Isis, the mobile payments and e-commerce service launched in November 2010 as a joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, said that it will rebrand to dissociate itself from the radical Sunni Islamist militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, often known as ISIS.
In a company blog post, Isis chief executive (CEO) Michael Abbott said that the company has “observed with growing concern” the actions of ISIS, which “has been linked to sectarian violence against civilians and government forces in Iraq and Syria.
“However coincidental, we have no interest in sharing a name with a group whose name has become synonymous with violence.
“As a company, we have made the decision to rebrand,” Abbott added. “Changing a brand is never easy, but we know this is the right decision – for our company, our partners and our customers.”
Google searches for ‘Isis’ typically return news articles related to ISIS’ recent actions in its campaign to gain religious control over Muslims, in addition to the company’s website.
Isis’ technology uses near-field communication (NFC) in smartphones that enables consumers to make payments by waving their device in front of readers in retail stores.
However, despite the backing of major carriers such as AT&T and Verizon, the technology has had only limited success – due partly due to competitors such as Google Wallet as well as the lack of readers in stores. Apple’s iPhone also currently does not support NFC.
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