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Carrier Mobile Payment Service Isis Now 'SoftCard'
by Karl Bode 09:09AM Friday Sep 05 2014
AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile's Isis NFC-based mobile payment service was already struggling, with many users either simply not interested in the idea of using their smartphone as a debit card, already using other services, or simply never having heard of it. Now things are more complicated, with the service suddenly sharing its name with a violent iraqi uprising dominating the newswires (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS).

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Since the brand hadn't been resonating anyway, the company stated in a blog post it will soon be changing to "SoftCard":
quote:
In July, we announced that we would rebrand the Isis Wallet to avoid confusion and association with a violent Islamic militant group in the Middle East whose name, when translated into English, is known by the acronym, ISIS. However coincidental, we have no desire to share a name with this group and our hearts go out to those affected by this violence.

Our search for a new name has been rooted in our founding vision: to use the power of the mobile phone to help consumers find a safer and better way to shop, pay and save. But we also wanted a name and visual identity that had the power, flexibility and simplicity to define our category.
It seems safe to say that nothing horrible will happen under the SoftCard nom-de plume as T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon continue to work to encourage people to use their phones as debit card replacements.

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IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
kudos:1

1 edit

What the hell?

To think some group of people sat in a room, focus grouped this to death and paid consultants, this new name is flat out embarrassing.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

Re: What the hell?

You'd be surprised when you sit down w/ marketing people. Their brains are just different. They will have a 10 step explanation as to why they can't name the product something that makes sense. It's almost like they are justifying their existence to make things more complicated. And lots of times trademarks get in the way, but TBH that doesn't stop new companies from coming up w/ cool names.

SoftCard is just about as stupid as isis, the product, and what they are trying to shove down our throats.

The best example is Cadillac or Lexus. Gone are the names that make sense, Legend, Deville, Seville, etc... and usher in 3 letter acronyms that make no sense. I cant even tell WTF a Cadillac name is anymore these days. The all look the same anyways, just different sizes.

Or you could try and figure out what this is:) Samsung PN64F8500AFXZA - a TV

marctronixx

join:2003-09-08
Los Angeles, CA
Hahaha they should sue those cats over there for infringement!

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

Carrier Mobile Payment Service Isis

I'm thinking they probably need to pick a new name...

Plus One

@73.160.110.x

I used NFC on Sprint & found it unimpressive

I really haven't seen a significant advantage to using a cellphone instead of a debit/credit card. It isn't any quicker and security issues make it less secure. Uptake of this technology is most likely going to be very slow.

buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium

Re: I used NFC on Sprint & found it unimpressive

I agree with you plus 1 especially after all the wireless "security breaches" that have been happening lately. I for one won''t be giving up my plastic cards any time soon.

mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:12

3 recommendations

Re: I used NFC on Sprint & found it unimpressive

said by buddahbless:

I agree with you plus 1 especially after all the wireless "security breaches" that have been happening lately. I for one won''t be giving up my plastic cards any time soon.

Actually, using NFC payments is much more secure as far as data breaches go as each transaction uses a one-time code causing it to be immune to replay attacks. If someone manages to breach a companies' database and swipe the number, your bank will decline any transactions using the (now invalid) number and immediately know that it was stolen.

/M

Flyonthewall

@206.248.154.x

-2 recommendations

Why should a customer have to use their mobile service to make a payment, isn't that the customer then paying twice, once of the mobile data use and then for the debit charge (which we don't know how much that costs)? Isn't the retailer supposed to do this? And if the retailer doesn't want to pay for the privilege of taking debit, then he tells customers and they either use cash or go elsewhere.

And I agree the whole purpose of those debit chips is to prevent fraud, broadcasting payment information from a mobile phone is asking for fraud to occur.

mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:12

1 recommendation

Re: I used NFC on Sprint & found it unimpressive

said by Flyonthewall :

Why should a customer have to use their mobile service to make a payment, isn't that the customer then paying twice, once of the mobile data use and then for the debit charge (which we don't know how much that costs)? Isn't the retailer supposed to do this?

What are you talking about? ISIS/SoftCard/Google Wallet all present a credit card # to the merchant just like normal cards. The charge is then billed to the card you have on file with the service. I use Google Wallet NFC all the time and it doesn't cost me even a penny more then if I had used my plastic card, and the purchase shows up on my normal CC statement as "GOOGNFC*CVSPHARMACY #....".

/M

Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1

Re: I used NFC on Sprint & found it unimpressive

said by mackey:

said by Flyonthewall :

Why should a customer have to use their mobile service to make a payment, isn't that the customer then paying twice, once of the mobile data use and then for the debit charge (which we don't know how much that costs)? Isn't the retailer supposed to do this?

What are you talking about? ISIS/SoftCard/Google Wallet all present a credit card # to the merchant just like normal cards. The charge is then billed to the card you have on file with the service. I use Google Wallet NFC all the time and it doesn't cost me even a penny more then if I had used my plastic card, and the purchase shows up on my normal CC statement as "GOOGNFC*CVSPHARMACY #....".

/M

For me I get a "virtual Card" that gets charged then a few days later I get the email saying my card was charged
--
It's NOT Ni-kon It's NE-KON!




LG is NOT Lifes Good It's Lucky Goldstar!

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000

1 recommendation

I use NFC payments whenever possible. It saves me time and I have a digital record of the transaction. I only wish more companies accepted NFC payments.

Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: I used NFC on Sprint & found it unimpressive

said by morbo:

I use NFC payments whenever possible. It saves me time and I have a digital record of the transaction. I only wish more companies accepted NFC payments.

I agree buddy, I use it all the time at McDonalds and CVS

Isis, or Softcard is just wasting time with this.. I wonder how long they will go before they cave in.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1

I wonder if iPhone 6 will support it

I wonder if iPhone 6 will support it. I may look into NFC payment.
GLIMMER

join:2004-01-17
Fisher, IL

Re: I wonder if iPhone 6 will support it

yes apple will have something this version of the iPhone. NFC is safer than a credit or debit card what security issues are you talking about Plus One? Its easy to use and more and more places are getting the nfc terminals. Since visa and mastercard endorse virtual cards unlike the ISIS or softcard system there going to have to change it anyway. Google Wallet is the most secure NFC payment system.

dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: I wonder if iPhone 6 will support it

While the underlying technology may be technically more secure, the increased customer interaction and responsibility creates more opportunities for exploitation.

Besides, how can we expect to get a 'soft card' in the US when we cant even get the CC with RFID in them which is fundamentally the same technology!?
--
dnoyeB
"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard. " Ecclesiastes 9:16
98778011

join:2014-08-24
Charlotte, NC
The most secure payment system in the world is the one where cards are actually used and instead of a strip they use a chip in them. only able to be read by the machines and can NOT be cloned.
en103

join:2011-05-02
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: I wonder if iPhone 6 will support it

You pretty much need to be outside of the US to use Chip based credit cards (eg. Canada).
All of my Canadian cards - including debit have the chip in them. My American cards do not. I suspect that a part of this comes down to the typical point of 'who will pay for the new infrastructure - the customer of course'. Since adding a chip to an existing card would be hard to have customers pay for the upgrade - its much simpler to have a new / different system that can make money from a different approach (i.e. Carrier pay, advertising, fees).
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

Re: I wonder if iPhone 6 will support it

The funny thing most pinpads I think have Chip&Pin even in the US. I am assuming that is what the slot on the bottom is for that looks like you would slide the card into it like one does with an ATM.

The POS system just does not have it enabled though I imagine its just a tick box since POS software is fairly generic today, Custom front end icons for the cashier but I imagine the back end is off the shelf.

But just look at how a few people act here at the idea of Chip&Pin I have seen people complain about the extra 2 seconds of their life lost to entering a PIN.
--
Filan - Aurin Spellslinger - Pago - Team Legacy

OSUGoose

join:2007-12-27
Columbus, OH
Nope, Chip & PIN is coming in 2016, card issuers will start issuing new cards with it in 2015, the Target breach kicked started bringing it here sooner then was originally planned.
Eek2121

join:2002-10-12
Newton, NJ
Reviews:
·FreedomPop
said by en103:

You pretty much need to be outside of the US to use Chip based credit cards (eg. Canada).
All of my Canadian cards - including debit have the chip in them. My American cards do not. I suspect that a part of this comes down to the typical point of 'who will pay for the new infrastructure - the customer of course'. Since adding a chip to an existing card would be hard to have customers pay for the upgrade - its much simpler to have a new / different system that can make money from a different approach (i.e. Carrier pay, advertising, fees).

Not really, 3 of my cards have the chip in them. Walmart among other retailers requires the use of the chip if i want to purchase with those 3 cards. They do NOT require the pin though.
--
My beta Ruby on Rails tutorial site!

buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T DSL Service

Wont bother me, or most people..

I didn't care for it as ISIS and won't as Softcard. They will have to pry my plastic debit/ credit card with its magnetic strip out of my dead cold hands.

If and when I do change my payment type it will be back to cold hard cash.
Heck I may be a little paranoid as I've even accidentally disabled the RFID chips in all my passports just because!

jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI

1 recommendation

Another Point Of Failure?

Or two...

Let's see: If it isn't the banks getting 0wn3d, it's the payment processors. If it isn't the payment processors, it's the retailers.

What to do? What to do?

I know! Let's add another point of vulnerability: "Smart"phones and NFC communications with physically unsecured "terminals."

Furthermore: "Isis [works by storing] your credit card data on secure SIM card that you have to get from your carrier." So now my carrier has to have had some degree of access to any and all credit card info I want to use from my smartphone and, if the CC is compromised (Home Depot, Target, anybody?), they have to do it all over again.

Yeah, I'm going to jump right on that.

Jim
big_e

join:2011-03-05

Re: Another Point Of Failure?

Way too many large merchants are getting hacked and their credit card databases stolen. The most recent being Home Depot, but so far they won't disclose it. The deployment of the new EMV chipped cards which every cardholder in the USA will be receiving some time in the year 2015 and the mandatory use of EMV compliant POS terminals really needs to be sped up.
meowmeow

join:2003-07-26
Helena, MT
Contactless is far more secure actually. If you'd used Google Wallet or Isis/SoftCard at Home Depot you'd have nothing to worry about.
desarollo

join:2011-10-01
Monroe, MI

Absolutely!

Yes, I want companies with legendary histories of incorrect billing problems to act as a payment intermediary for other products and services I purchase. What can *possibly* go wrong? Who needs any form of consumer protections and established redress for fraud as found with credit cards. Because you know, the carriers will resist even the mention of such things.

jaykresge

@152.131.14.x

2 recommendations

To be clear

The militant group, ISIS, forced the carriers to change the name because the militant group didn't want to be associated with the practices of these mobile carriers. I guess even ISIS has their limits...
meowmeow

join:2003-07-26
Helena, MT

Re: To be clear

Oh knock it off. Our mobile carriers are greedy but you really are going insanely overboard to say they're worst than by far the most evil terrorist organisation the world has ever seen. One Al Qaeda cut off ties with because they are too brutal. You really are crossing a line there it isn't funny.

firephoto
We the people
Premium
join:2003-03-18
Brewster, WA

2 recommendations

They should keep the name

These carriers insisting on having their own payment platform is really it's own sort of terrorism.
--
Say no to those that ‘inadvertently make false representations’.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

Re: They should keep the name

I honestly have to agree, The mobile industry seems to have an allergy to cross platform standards.

And If I ran a store chain I would not want to invest into one or two carrier's system when likely for the same cost I could install platform neutral NFC and Chip&Pin readers and be ready for the actual future.
--
Filan - Aurin Spellslinger - Pago - Team Legacy
meowmeow

join:2003-07-26
Helena, MT

Re: They should keep the name

You do realise than both Google Wallet and SoftCard are just standard contactless credit card transactions, right? No special investment needed.
meowmeow

join:2003-07-26
Helena, MT
No no it isn't and it isn't funny to make the comparison. Plus I don't even have a problem with this payment system anymore now that Android allows multiple payment apps with HCE. I wish Isis/SoftCard would open up to everyone in the US. I'd use it over Google Wallet if I could get it. More discounts and offers plus I've had a few issues with Google Wallet. What I really wish is banks would create their own HCE apps. Remove all the middlemen where things can go wrong.

IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
kudos:1

Just a thought...

If ISIS was actually defeated, then the company wouldn't have to change its name.... But I digress.

CosmicDebri
Still looking for intelligent life

join:2001-09-01
Port Saint Lucie, FL

For me, not an issue

It's not an issue for me, and other 'Luddites' who don't have, have never had, and will never have a 'smart phone'. My LG flip phone does everything I need it to. Make phone calls, AND it even texts!

And I just learned the cards with chips in them are coming sooner than we thought yesterday when I went to Winn-Dixie and saw they had new card terminals. Cashier told me it's been changed so it can read the new cards with chips that are a-comin.

I'm not against technology, but dumb tech, or tech for tech's sake is too predominate, and too bad.....
--
Follow Your Bliss -- Joseph Cambell
I reject your Reality and substitute my own! -- Adam Savage, Mythbuster