US – Mastercard® users who identify as transgender will now be permitted to use any name they wish to on credit and debit cards, even if the cardholder’s chosen name differs from the legal name reflected on the birth certificate or driver’s license.
“For many in the LGBTQIA+ community, the name on their credit, debit or prepaid card does not reflect their true identity,” Mastercard® declared in a statement about the initiative, which the company has dubbed True Name™. “As a result, for the transgender and non-binary community, the card in their pocket can serve as a source of sensitivity, misrepresenting their true identity when shopping and going about daily life.”
Financial institutions that issue credit or allow customers to open deposit accounts are subjected to heavy regulation by state and federal governments, which have an interest in the prevention of terrorism, money laundering – often used to cover such crimes as drug or human trafficking, market manipulation, and public corruption – and tax evasion.
Transgender rights activists have also recently declared the routine procedures of providing previous names for background checks, educational transcripts for job applications, and legal name and sex when detained by police as discriminatory.
“Handing over my card makes me feel very anxious and nervous,” says a woman with short-cropped hair in Mastercard®’s ad campaign for the program. Another describes “moments of panic” when presenting a card. “Just a total invalidation of my identity,” exclaims a man wearing multiple lip piercings and a plaid shirt.
Explaining the motivations behind the launch of True Name™, Mastercard® cited “The Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey,” which was conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, and found that “one-third (32%) of individuals who have shown IDs with a name or gender that did not match their presentation reported negative experiences, such as being harassed, denied services, and/or attacked.” Raj Seshadri, president of U.S. issuers for Mastercard®, said, “When we were alerted to this, we realized we could do something about it.”
“The Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey” did not use official statistics of criminal or discrimination complaints, and participants were not selected from a randomly chosen and cross-representative sample of the population. Rather, the survey, which was not conducted by an objective party, relies on unverified, self-reported claims by individuals who chose to respond to the survey. Based on these and other factors, the survey would not be considered valid for real-world application by established scholarly criteria.
“We’re going to be one of those forces for good within our industries,” Randall Tucker, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Mastercard®, told CNBC Make It. “It first starts with their name, that’s who they are, that’s their identity.”
Read more on this story
It’s Time to Enable People to Use Their True Name on Cards
For many in the LGBTQIA+ community, the name on their credit, debit or prepaid card does not reflect their true identity.
Mastercard launches True Name cards to make paying with credit cards easier for trans and non-binary communities
CNBC – Make It
Mastercard announced on Monday, June 17, its True Name™ card initiative, which will allow for chosen names to appear on the front of consumers’ cards.