Mastercard, Inc. is embracing individuality and encouraging its customers to do so, too. In honor of WorldPride, on June 17, the financial services corporation announced plans to offer a True Name card, permitting customers to hold debit and credit cards using the names they identify with, rather than the names on their ID cards. This effort is aimed at making transactions easier for members of the LGBTQIA+—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and “+”, including nonbinary, pansexual and two spirit—specifically for transgender and non-binary individuals.

Mastercard is currently working on a privacy process that is void of prying questions, to make the experience as stress-free for its clients as possible. Throughout, credit card scores will remain unchanged, as they are linked to social security numbers, not names. In development of this initiative, Mastercard conducted a study revealing more than 32 percent of people who have shown an ID with a name and/or gender that does not match their presentation have had negative experiences, including harassment, denial of service and even physical assault. And according to a 2015 study from the National Center for Transgender Equality, only 11 percent of transgender Americans have IDs that match the name and gender they prefer, and only 44 percent have updated their name on a driver license or state-issued ID. Many of these individuals have opted to avoid the costs, stress and difficulty associated with an official name and gender change, Mastercard reported, prompting the company to eliminate this bother for its customers.


Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.