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Iraq crisis forces mobile wallet rebrand

By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Posted: 2 pm ET

In a bizarre confluence of events, a military crisis in the Middle East is forcing mobile wallet company Isis Wallet to change its name.

mobile-blog-isis-presence-in-aleppo-district

© Daniel Leal-Olivas/Corbis

Isis Wallet CEO Michael Abbott announced this week that the company would be transitioning to a new, to-be-determined brand because of the tragic rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, often abbreviated ISIS, a blood-thirsty group of Islamic militants currently murdering and pillaging its way through western Iraq.

Isis is one of the fastest growing mobile wallet providers out there; the company said it was averaging 20,000 new "wallets" a day as of May of this year.

"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. As a company, we have made the decision to rebrand," Abbot wrote in a press release.

While the move is definitely appropriate given the seriousness of the situation in Iraq, it may be just one more bump in the road for mobile wallets in general. Long billed as the next big thing in payments, mobile wallets are growing in popularity, but still have yet to make it into the mainstream.

Recently, payments company Square pulled its unsuccessful wallet app from app stores, and LifeLock did the same following the discovery of security vulnerabilities in its systems.

Rebranding one of the biggest players in the nascent industry seems unlikely to help convince consumers that it has that most essential quality for anything involving their finances: stability.

Reached for comment, a spokeswoman for the company declined to give further details about the name change or expectations for how it would affect the company going forward.

What do you think? Was the name change warranted?

Follow me on Twitter: @claesbell.

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