- Nic F. Anderson
Mastercard Announces ‘True Name’ Option for Transgender and Nonbinary People
Photo via Mastercard
Last week, Mastercard announced that BMO Harris and Superbia Credit Union will be the first issuers to implement the “True Name” feature for their card offerings. This allows people to use their name on their eligible credit, debit or prepaid cards, without the requirement of a legal name change.
“We are thrilled to have the very first issuers of the True Name feature on board, allowing us to propel one of our key values, unconditional acceptance,” EVP Marketing & Communications at Mastercard Cheryl Guerin said. “At Mastercard, we strive to cultivate a culture of inclusion that extends both internally and externally. We are continuing to call on the industry to help us ensure that each and every person’s financial products can reflect their true identity.”
The True Name initiative was announced during World Pride 2019. It was created in response for the need for credit, debit and prepaid cards to reflect the “true identities of many in the transgender and non-binary communities who are misrepresented when shopping and going about daily life,” according to Mastercard. “For these communities in particular, the card in their pocket can serve as a source of sensitivity rather than an affirmation of who they are.”
BMO Harris will implement the True Name feature for personal ATM and debit cards in December. Superbia Credit Union will enable the True Name feature across their Mastercard options in 2020.
“Transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people are consistently placed at greater risk of discrimination, harassment, and overall denial of everyday services when their identification does not match their true identity,” said Scott Turner Schofield with the GLAAD Media Institute. “The implementation of Mastercard’s True Name feature is a crucial step forward in helping to reduce these risks by allowing trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people to have financial products that accurately reflect who they are. This new feature is a strong example of how companies can respond positively to customer feedback and ensure that their policies and products reflect a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and acceptance.”
Mastercard’s press release stated that researchers found that nearly 32 percent of individuals who have presented their IDs with a name or gender that did not match their presentation had negative experiences, such as being harassed, denied services or attacked.
The introduction of the True Name feature “will help ease this major pain point for the transgender and non-binary communities, enabling them to show up as who they are in their daily life,” according to Mastercard.
“Breaking down barriers to inclusion requires bold action,” group head for North American Personal and U.S. Business Banking at BMO, Ernie Johannson, said. “We are bringing True Name to BMO to embrace our cardholders’ true identities and empower them to make real financial progress without fear of discrimination.”
“The sole focus of Superbia Credit Union is to work on behalf of the LGBTQ community to build and provide access to fair, non-discriminatory products and services in banking services,” Founder of Superbia Credit Union Myles Meyers said. “This means working alongside our partner organizations like Mastercard, who share in our vision, and to bring those solutions directly to community members. Every product Superbia Credit Union brings to the community not only solves an issue but also affirms us as individuals, and as a community, reflecting our values, as we as LGBTQ determine. As the first, and only credit union by and for the LGBTQ to serve the national community, Superbia is excited to partner with Mastercard and implement the True Name feature, which supports the Superbia mission to remove any risk of intolerance and discrimination to the LBGTQ community in banking services.”