Isis is Dead, Long Live Softcard!

by Tim Sloane 0

This article on Tech Crunch indicates that Isis, the U.S. mobile wallet platform backed by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, is changing its name to Softcard.

‘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.’

Of course, this name change comes just days before the iPhone 6 announcement, which is expected to include the announcement of an NFC chip in the phone and arrangements with American Express, MasterCard and Visa for, at the minimum, enabling an iPhone wallet.

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.

In a Payments Journal feature story on this topic, we ended with this observation:

It is likely there is more to the story not yet revealed. Apple has always been a design-forward company and has built a significant strategy around iBeacons; so anyone expecting an Isis Wallet clone is likely underestimating Apple. Indeed the much larger opportunity to link payment tokens and beacons together in a new open environment was identified by Mercator in this blog.
Apple of course is also known for making big reveals, so is the announcement on September 9 the big reveal or is it just a hint of what’s to come? While it would seem too early for Apple to have tied up all the pieces required for the big reveal, we’ll just have to wait to find out (unless reporters can dig up more!) – See more here.

Overview by Tim Sloane, Vice President, Innovation

To read the full story, go to Tech Crunch.