Many corporations have taken some well-deserved heat for doing little more than swapping their icons to rainbows this Pride month, but MasterCard has stepped things up, allowing transgender and non-binary people to use their chosen name on their credit, debit, and prepaid cards, rather than forcing them to use a legal or given name they may not associate with.
“For many in the LGBTQIA+ community, the name on their credit, debit or prepaid card does not reflect their true identity,” read the press release from MasterCard. “As a result, for the transgender and nonbinary 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.”
The release continues, “Today, Mastercard is making a commitment to address this challenge by introducing the True Name™ card. 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 release included a promotional video showing the cards, and included several transgender and nonbinary people offering their feelings about using credit cards that do not match their identities.
The card was unveiled on Monday during a panel discussion with the New York City Commission on Human rights.
“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 Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Mastercard, 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 change will likely have a real effect for those who use the cards. A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in 2018 found that allowing young transgender people to use their chosen name leads to a 34 percent decrease in reported thoughts of suicide, as well as a 65 percent decrease in suicidal attempts.
Likewise, the Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that 32% of transgender and gender nonconforming people who have had to show identification cards that do not match their gender presentation have faced denial of services, harassment, and even physical attacks.
The option to use a chosen name on your MasterCard is, however, not yet fully available. The company is likely to face an uphill battle as it works to bring it to market.