Mastercard customers won't have to change their legal names when they apply for the cards

By Jason Duaine Hahn
November 08, 2019 09:13 PM
MasterCard

Transgender and non-binary people will now have an important tool at their disposal when it comes to reflecting their identities.

Mastercard announced on Friday a partnership with bank BMO Harris Bank and Superbia Credit Union to offer “True Name,” an option that allows transgender and non-binary people the option of using their chosen names on their payment cards without having to change their legal name.

“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,” Scott Turner Schofield of the GLAAD Media Institute said in a statement on the Mastercard website.

According to Mastercard, 32 percent of people who have shown IDs with a name or gender that did not match their presentation reported being harassed, denied services or attacked.

“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,” Turner said. “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.”

According to the New York Daily News, Mastercard announced the initiative over the summer for the company’s LGBTQ celebration of World Pride. BMO Harris Bank will be the first to offer the feature in December.

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“Breaking down barriers to inclusion requires bold action,” Ernie Johannson, group of North American Personal and U.S. Business Banking at BMO, said in a press release. “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.”

BMO Harris Bank has 500 branches in eight states and opens accounts nationally via call centers and its website, the New York Times reported.

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Superbia Credit Union will offer “True Name” sometime next year.

“As the first, and only credit union by and for the LGBTQ to serve the national community,” Myles Meyers, Founder of Superbia Credit Union, explained, “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.”

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