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Citi Joins Mastercard In Allowing Transgenders To Use Their ‘Chosen Name’ Without Legal Change
POLAND - 2020/11/04: In this photo illustration a Mastercard logo seen displayed on a smartphone.
Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Citi has joined Mastercard in the “True Name” initiative, allowing transgender individuals to have their desired name printed on their credit card even without a legal name change.

As reported by CNBC, 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.” Proponents of it claim that it will help reduce the discrimination such 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.

In a press release, Carla Hassan, CMO at Citi, said the company believes that people should be able to express who they are by way of their financial cards.

“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,” said Hassan.

Cheryl Guerin, EVP of marketing and communications at Mastercard said the transgender community has responded positively to the feature.

“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.

Mastercard launched the “True Name” initiative in 2019, lamenting the pain and sensitivity that transgender individuals feel when using a credit card that does not match their desired identity.

“For many in the LGBTQIA+ community, the name on their credit, debit or prepaid card does not reflect their true identity,” the company said of the program. “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 continued. “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.”

Transgender activist and actor Laverne Cox will be partnering with the True Name identity, telling HuffPost that 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.”

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