As part of Mastercard’s so-called “True Name” initiative, Citi is now allowing transgendered people to have whatever name they choose printed on their bank card instead of their legal name. The initiative does not require individuals to have their names legally altered.
CNBC reports that the “True Name” initiative aims “to help members in the LGBTQ+ community, particularly trans and non-binary people, by allowing them to have financial products with their self-identified chosen first name.”
The initiative claims that the move will help reduce discrimination individuals face when choosing a card.
“In fact, nearly one third (32%) of individuals who have shown IDs with a name or gender that did not match their presentation reported negative experiences, including being harassed, denied services and/or attacked, according to a report from the National Center for Transgender Equality,” reported the outlet.
Carla Hassan, CMO at Citi stated in a press release that the company believes transgendered people should be able to use their credit cards as a means of personal expression.
“We’re incredibly proud to launch the True Name feature, through our relationship with Mastercard, because we strongly believe that our customers should have the opportunity to be called by the name that represents who they really are,” stated Hassan.
Cheryl Guerin, EVP of marketing and communications at Mastercard stated that feedback from the transgender community was positive.
“Since introducing the True Name feature, we’ve received incredible feedback from our partners and allies within the transgender and non-binary communities on how the capability has eased a major pain point in their lives,” said Guerin.
After launching the “True Name” initiative in 2019, Mastercard claimed that transgendered individuals feel “pain” when they use a credit card that uses their “deadname.”
“For many in the LGBTQIA+ community, the name on their credit, debit or prepaid card does not reflect their true identity,” the company stated “As a result, for the transgender and non-binary communities in particular, the card in their pocket can serve as a source of sensitivity, misrepresenting their true identity when shopping and going about daily life.”
“Today, Mastercard is making a commitment to address this challenge by introducing the True Name™ card,” it added. “We are working with partners to create a product, as well as a sensitive and private process free of personal questions, that will allow for true names, not deadnames, to appear on cards without the requirement of a legal name change. This will ease a major pain point for the transgender and non-binary community. Mastercard calls on the industry to apply these standards for everyone, ensuring a way for people’s financial products to reflect their true identity.”
Laverne Cox, a transgender activist, and actor announced she would be partnering with the True Name identity. Speaking to HuffPost, she said that other banks should follow Citi’s lead.
“When I changed my name legally 20 years ago and received my new ID with my chosen name reflected, it was so empowering,” Cox said. “I know as a trans person, having ID documents that don’t match who we are can also be a safety issue.”