Fact Checked

Mastercard planning True Name cards for LGBTQIA+ community

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Imagine a quick trip to the neighborhood grocery store to grab a few essentials, or sitting down to a nice dinner with friends — but then being unable or feeling uncomfortable to pay because the name on your card doesn’t reflect who you are. Mastercard wants to help fix this problem for its LGBTQIA+ customers.

This week Mastercard unveiled plans for True Name™ cards. Working with its partners, Mastercard said it committed to developing a product designed to show customers’ chosen names on their cards without the need for a legal name change — a milestone in the industry.

The application and verification process will depend on the card issuer. Under the proposed True Name program, applicants would be able to choose the name they wanted to display on their card. This could alleviate the discomfort customers might feel when using their cards.

Want to know more?

What’s prompting this change?

For many in the LGBTQIA+ community, the name on their debit card, prepaid card or credit card may not reflect their true identity — but instead the name and gender they were assigned at birth. This can cause problems for people when they go to pay with these cards.

According to Mastercard, 32% of those who have provided an ID with a name or gender that didn’t match how they presented have had negative experiences such as being harassed or denied service. The card issuer is hoping to alleviate this problem for its customers.

What happens next?

There’s no definitive word yet on how long the process to implement True Name cards will take or when they might be issued, although an article from The Washington Post says Mastercard plans to have the program in place by 2020.

If you have concerns about how you’re being treated by financial institutions, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has resources on how to protect against credit discrimination.