The financial institution Mastercard will allow people to put whatever name they desire on their credit cards.
In an announcement on Monday, the company said that a person’s credit card should reflect their true identity, not just their legal or biological identity, declaring their commitment to the principle that all members of the LGBTQ community should feel affirmed, even when paying for groceries. To remedy this injustice, Mastercard will now offer the True Name™ card.
“For many in the LGBTQIA+ community, the name on their credit, debit or prepaid card does not reflect their true identity,” the announcement began. “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,” the announcement 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.”
The company then expresses hope that other companies in the financial world will follow suit in their quest for equality on credit cards, claiming that it will contribute to the well-being of transgenders and non-binary identifying people.
“Overall, nearly 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,” Mastercard claims. “As such, many transgender individuals choose to forego the cost, complexity and anxiety associated with official name and gender changes. Until now, this discrimination has carried through to their cards and payment mechanisms.”
Randall Tucker, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Mastercard, said in a panel discussion with the New York City Commission on Human Rights that the company will help to alleviate any unnecessary “pain points” in the LGBT community through the use of the True Name™ card.
“We are allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, which means if we see a need or if this community is not being served in the most inclusive way, we want to be a force for change to help address and alleviate unnecessary pain points,” said Randall Tucker. “This translates not only for our Mastercard employee community but for our cardholders and the communities in which we operate more broadly. Our vision is that every card should be for everyone.”
The move to end “deadnaming” — the practice of transgender individuals being referred to by their original names — has been the latest cause celebre among LGBT activists and their allies. Wikipedia and Biography.com do not publish names without consent of the individual being written about and Twitter also recently updated its “hateful conduct policy” to include “misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”