The history behind the name Swish

Our previous story about how the idea of Swish came about was a great success. We have continued walking along memory lane, and now we want to share the story behind the name of the app. From a cup that overturned in the meeting room at Regeringsgatan back in 2012, to the entry on SAOL’s new word list 2015, and to today being a completely natural part of seven million Swedes’ everyday lives.

“Did you swish?” – a grammatically correct meaning today. Or to be correct, it is the “swedified” spelling form “svisch” that 2015 qualified into SAOL’s “new words list”. But the road to the decision of naming the app Swish was not straight. Do you remember the story of how the the idea of Swish was born ten years ago, in a room at Regeringsgatan? It was also right there and then that the name of the app was born – just that no one knew about it yet.

In the meeting room, the idea of ​​simple mobile payments between individuals was presented when one of the present suddenly sent his phone across the table and said: “It must go fast … Swish!” A coffee cup tilted over. Some half-hearted assents could be heard. Then far too many hours were spent on figuring out a name that could picture a simple, smooth and fast payment service before it finally landed in, yes, exactly: Swish.

A wise person once said that simplicity is the key to success, and so was true even this time. Although they turned back and forth to different names for a long period of time, such as “Qasha”, “Swapp” and “Cashmo”, they kept it simple and finally came to the conclusion that “Swish” was the most suitable name. It was short, it was simple, and it had the potential to become what “vroom” is for the car and “meow” is for the cat – a verb for the act of passing money to someone.
There is no doubt that the word has become a natural part in the everyday life of many Swedes. What we missed, on the other hand, was that the name may be easily misspelled. Every day we come across all sorts of variants: “Shish”, “Switch” and “Swiss” are just some of them. But nobody gets happier than us when our users make Swish their own. And to cite our famous Shakespeare: “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.

/Anders Edlund, business developer

August 27, 2019