Isis Stories April 4, 2016

Google removes Taliban app from the Play Store, alleged ISIS app remains

The BBC reports that Google has removed an Android app used by the Taliban to post propaganda.

Alemarah, an app for Android phones created by Islamist fundamentalist group the Taliban, has been removed from Google’s Play Store […]

The hardline group blamed “technical issues” for its disappearance shortly after it launched on 1 April. However the BBC understands it was taken down because it violated a Google app policy which prohibits hate speech.

However, TNW reports that a messaging app allegedly created by ISIS remains available on Google Play.

Google says that it never comments on issues relating to specific apps.

Photo: AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

Isis Stories March 21, 2016

google-syria

One of the more amazing revelations in the 30,000 Hillary Clinton emails posted on Wikileaks last week was that Google was in 2012 working on a tool to support the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Washington Examiner highlights an email originally sent by Google Idea‘s Jared Cohen to Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan, who forwarded it on to Clinton. Cohen was a former State Department staffer who subsequently became a senior Google exec.

Cohen described a tool that Google believed could help to destabilise the Assad regime, and Sullivan said to Clinton that it was ‘a pretty cool idea,’ no-one realizing at that point how things were going to unfold …

expand full story

Isis Stories October 23, 2015

Nexus5_en

Following Google’s donation-matching program, which has so far raised more than $12M to fund humanitarian aid for refugees from Syria and other war zones, the company says that it is now providing technological assistance too.

In a blog post today, Google says that it has developed an open source project called the Crisis Info Hub to provide migrants with access to the immediate information they need on arrival in Greece in a lightweight, battery-saving way. The company says that it is also helping to beef-up mobile data connectivity locally …  expand full story

Isis Stories January 16, 2015

Google reportedly in talks to acquire mobile payment app Softcard

Google is in talks to buy Softcard, the mobile payment company formerly known as Isis, according to a new report from TechCrunch. The deal may be less than $100 million, TechCrunch says. It seems Google is trying to bolster its own NFC payment options in the face of growing competition from Cupertino.

The deal still appears to be in the early stages, and it’s possible that it may not happen. In that case, several other buyers could swoop in for the acquisition, including AT&T or PayPal, both of which are rumored to have an interest in the company.

Isis Stories September 3, 2014

Isis mobile wallet rebranded as Softcard to avoid association with violent militant group

Following through with its announcement from a few months ago, Isis mobile wallet on Wednesday officially became known as Softcard as part of a rebranding move to avoid association with the violent militant group in the Middle East known as ISIS. The transition from Isis to Softcard, including an updated app, will occur over the next few weeks.

Softcard CEO Michael Abbott discussed the change in a blog post:

“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.”

The service will continue to function as it always has.

Isis Stories July 7, 2014

Isis

Isis chief executive Michael Abbott announced this afternoon that the mobile payment platform will undergo rebranding so that it does not share its name with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, often abbreviated as ISIS by the media. The militant group is often associated with violence and conflict against innocent civilians, and Isis wants to ensure that its brand has zero association with those actions.  expand full story

Isis Stories November 14, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 9.53.43 AM

ISIS, the mobile payment joint-venture backed by three of the nations largest carriers is now officially live nationwide. After numerous delays and a testing phase in just two markets, the mobile payment system is live for AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon customers.

expand full story

Isis Stories November 1, 2012

AndroidPolice just posted screenshots of a leaked version of Google Wallet, but the most notable tidbit does not concern the app at all: Google plans to launch a Google Wallet card.

The card acts and looks like a typical credit card, but it stores many credit cards into one, shiny piece of plastic. It also works practically everywhere. According to the screenshots, users order the Google Wallet card from their Google Wallet app for front-door delivery.

AndroidPolice noted the significance of a physical Google Wallet card:

The other important implication? The physical Wallet card could make carrier approval for Wallet a thing of the past unless you want to use tap payments. Google could publish a version of the Wallet app without NFC permissions that just allows you to switch between your cards, that could be installed on any phone (even iOS or Windows Phone, theoretically), and you just use the Wallet card for payments. That’s pretty cool. And could seriously reduce the chance of rival mobile payment systems of catching on. Google really does seem to have thrown a wrench in the works of the likes of ISIS and other competing systems.

As for the Google Wallet app, it will soon feature a “Wallet Balance” option for depositing or withdrawing money. Users will also have the ability to transfer money from person to person. Availability for these latest Google Wallet features only seem to hint at the Unites States, for now, but stay tuned for more.

A screenshot gallery is below.

expand full story

Isis Stories October 22, 2012

We noted last week that carrier-backed Google Wallet competitor Isis was nearing an official launch when we noticed the T-Mobile ISIS app on Google Play. Today, the app officially launches on all three of its major carrier partners in Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas. ISIS issued a press release on its website today to confirm the service would be available to nine “Isis Ready” handsets through Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. It will also land on a total of 20 devices by the end of 2012.

“Today’s launch of the Isis Mobile Wallet is a significant achievement in terms of enabling consumer adoption of mobile payments,” said Suzan Kereere, senior vice president and general manager, American Express, Global Network Business.  “Mobile commerce holds the promise of dramatically enhancing consumers’ shopping experience, and American Express’ first priority as a network is to provide choice and flexibility for all industry participants as we work together to influence the speed and growth of mobile NFC payments in the U.S.”

The service will be made available to compatible devices, which the press release failed to list, and it can be activated with a secure element SIM card at one of the partner carrier’s retail stores in Austin and Salt Lake City. We know on T-Mobile you’ll be able to use at least the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Relay 4G. You can see Verizon’s selection here. Isis also has a full list of participating merchants here.

Like T-Mobile, ISIS apps for both Verizon and AT&T are now available on Google Play.

The full press release from Isis is below: expand full story

Isis Stories October 16, 2012

ISIS, a mobile payment partnership between AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, has released its first app onto Google Play that was pushed back from the initial September plan. The app, ISIS Mobile Wallet, only works with the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Relay 4G on T-Mobile in Salt Lake City, Utah or Austin, and it requires a special SIM card courtesy of ISIS, as MobileBurn noted. T-Mobile and the ISIS have not announced anything specific about the app, but you can give it a test run over at Google Play.

There is no word if AT&T or Verizon will receive a similar app for its NFC-enabled devices. If you are wondering about the nation’s No. 3 carrier, Sprint is not apart of the ISIS. It is partnered with Google Wallet on many of its phones. Furthermore, Sprint is rumored to announce its own payment platform sometime in the future.

Yesterday, TmoNews reported that T-Mobile users would receive a $25 credit when signing up and the service will officially launch in a pilot program Oct. 22.

expand full story

Isis Stories October 15, 2012

We knew Google Wallet would not be the only mobile payment solution on the market back in December 2011 when carriers moved to block the service in anticipation of their own ISIS mobile payment project. Today, a report from TmoNews, citing an image of internal T-Mobile documents, claimed the carrier is getting ready for a pilot program of ISIS starting Oct. 22.

According to the document, the ISIS Mobile Wallet service will roll out via the Google Play store to Galaxy S III and Galaxy S Relay 4G users in Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas. It will also require an ISIS SIM card, but T-Mobile will offer $25 in ISIS cash as a special offer for activating the service:

expand full story

Isis Stories April 2, 2012

Google today revealed that it purchased mobile payments company TxVia for an undisclosed sum of money.

we’ve acquired payments technology company TxVia to complement our payments capabilities and accelerate innovation towards our full Google Wallet vision. TxVia is a technology pioneer that offers a fast, flexible and highly reliable payments platform—which we believe is one of the best in the world.

Since 2008, TxVia has supported the management of more than 100 million accounts. They’ve partnered with the industry’s best known brands, and their leadership team has played an instrumental role in defining the fast-growing prepaid card segment of emerging payments. In this time, TxVia has also certified and directly connected to the major payment networks, which establishes a solid foundation for Google Wallet and our partners to drive innovation on a global scale and in a partner friendly way.

Google Wallet has been somewhat slow in adoption due in no small part to the competing Verizon-AT&T-T-Mobile ISIS consortium. Google’s Payments team has also undergone some strife…

expand full story

Isis Stories March 21, 2012

Google’s mobile payment system, known as Google Wallet,” has not received the kind of warm welcome that the company might have hoped. First, there were issues with Verizon blocking the service on the new Galaxy Nexus as the carrier prepped its own rival service, known as “ISIS.” Wallet then had a few roadblocks with security concerns related to prepaid cards, which the company apologized for with complimentary $5 deposits to Google wallet users. Today, a report from Bloomberg citing “people with knowledge of the project” claimed, despite being “enthusiastic” about progress, Google is considering sharing revenue with carriers to get them to support the technology:

expand full story

Isis Stories August 29, 2011

According to a report from Bloomberg, three of the largest mobile carriers in the US are getting ready to make a $100 million investment in NFC enabled payment system ‘Isis’. This is seen as a move to take some of the $240 billion a year (according to Juniper Research) mobile payment market from Google and, specifically, Google Wallet.

While Isis won’t begin testing the technology until next year, they have already signed up Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Google Wallet has been up and running on Android devices since May but is only available through MasterCard and Citibank with MasterCard Paypass. Having support from Visa, the “world’s largest credit card network”, will certainly give Isis an advantage in the U.S. market. expand full story

Powered by WordPress VIP