Isis mobile wallet rebrands to avoid confusion with Isis terrorist group

July 7, 2014: 5:24 PM ET
Where ISIS gets its funding
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Isis, the mobile wallet service founded by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, has a branding problem.

Isis CEO Michael Abbott said Monday that the firm is changing its name to avoid association with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the terror group frequently referred to by the acronym ISIS.

"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 said in a statement.

The new name has yet to be announced.

ISIS the militant group is responsible for the conflict that's spilled over from the civil war in Syria to plunge Iraq into unrest. ISIS fighters took control of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in early June following a quick campaign that saw Iraqi security forces quickly fold under their assault.

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As for Isis the mobile wallet, a forced rebranding might not be such a bad thing.

AT&T (T, Tech30), Verizon (VZ, Tech30) and T-Mobile (TMUS) founded it in 2010 with the goal of developing a smartphone-based service to store payment cards, loyalty programs and merchant offers.

Despite gaining powerful backers like American Express (AXP) and JPMorgan (JPM), the service has failed to catch on, and it faces competition from the likes of Google Wallet, PayPal, Square, Venmo and many others.

It's not the only "Isis" that isn't enjoying the name confusion. One of the world's leading centers for physics and life sciences research is located in the U.K. and also called Isis. It hasn't announced a rebranding yet, but it has made the British press.

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