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7 Payment Branding Blunders

What's in a name? Many payment companies have struggled with this question, finding out too late that the name they chose sent the wrong message or was rendered unusable by situations outside the brand's control. (Image: ThinkStock)

Isis Isis

The word "Isis" has a long history, but it was current events that prompted the Isis mobile wallet to decide to change its name. The ISIS militant group proved too prominent in consumers' minds to remain valid as a branding choice. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Kardashian Kard Kardashian Kard

The Kardashians' prepaid card was meant to draw attention, and it drew the wrong kind. The celebrities attracted the ire of consumer advocates who balked at the product's costs, and the Kard was discontinued within weeks of its launch. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Debitman Debitman

The decoupled debit card provider changed its name to Tempo after determining that the "Debitman" brand was too polarizing to consumers. It was also limiting; the company wanted to branch out beyond debit cards. It eventually folded after the Durbin amendment's debit-fee caps destroyed its business model.

BillMyParents BillMyParents

This company, now called SpendSmart Networks, can't seem to settle on a name - it's rebranded four times in five years. It ditched the BillMyParents moniker after deciding that its name did not convey its intended message of financial responsibility. (Image: ShutterStock)

Bitcoin Foundation Bitcoin Foundation

The Bitcoin Foundation is a trade group, not a payments company, but its name was confusing enough to California regulators to prompt a cease-and-desist letter demanding it end any payment activities.

The Ex X Brand The Ex X Brand

X.com is a great domain name but as a brand, it just can't stick. It was originally an Internet bank that evolved into PayPal, and in recent years the company tried to revive the X.com brand as the name of its developer program. But that label was also short-lived, and the X.com domain now simply redirects to eBay's corporate homepage.

Chasing the Wrong Target Chasing the Wrong Target

When JPMorgan combined with Chase Manhattan to become JPMorgan Chase, one of its earliest brand-protecting moves was to go after the owner of "morganchase.net," a now-defunct website operated by a man named Morgan Chase. According to Mr. Chase, who told his side of the story when he was a contestant on Jeopardy! in 2005, he was allowed to keep the website after proving that he had been using the name longer.

What's in a name? Many payment companies have struggled with this question, finding out too late that the name they chose sent the wrong message or was rendered unusable by situations outside the brand's control.

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