One of the problems with obtaining a credit card is that it requires you to use your legal name, which can be a problem for transgender people who can’t afford or haven’t gone through the process for a name change but still have no desire to use their “dead” name.
That’s why it’s a relief to see Mastercard announcing a program that will allow trans and non-binary customers to use their chosen names.
The company is working with its banking partners to introduce True Name cards that will let customers use the name they want without requiring a legal name change, a process that should help transgender and non-binary cardholders in particular, the company said Monday in a statement. The network has already started talking to banks to help them implement the cards, said Raj Seshadri, president of U.S. issuers at Mastercard.
“What we’re introducing is a card that represents an individual as who they truly are,” Seshadri said in an interview. “This is something that should be accessible to everyone in the way they want it and there shouldn’t be any pain in that.”
Whether you consider this a capitalistic attempt to appeal to a specific customer base (which it undoubtedly is) or a genuinely inclusive move by Mastercard (which it could also be), it’s a welcome move: Many trans people have problems because the name on their IDs or credit cards don’t match up with the gender they present as, which can compromise their safety and their ability to just make simple purchases. GOP-led states likes Tennessee, Kansas, and Ohio even have laws prohibiting trans people from changing the name on their birth certificates, making the problem even worse.
The company says the change won’t affect security, and they presumably have ways to prevent fraud.
Still, it didn’t stop conservative critics from lashing out against the company, vowing to ditch their cards or act like they were going to change their own names just to prove some point.
I self identify as Awesome Dave Heterosexual Mayor of Realville & Master of Universe, I assume I’ll be getting a card with my preferred name.
— Michael Avenatti’s Life Coach (@Claiborne_David) June 17, 2019
Where's my scissors? Great, found them! Cutting up my card!
— Julie Anna (@julebox722) June 17, 2019
— Rock Hardcastle � his name is Owen Benjamin�� (@mr_r_hardcastle) June 17, 2019
This is stupid appeasement. Why not just welcome all customers without any mention of sexuality or "gender identity"?
— Mostest Metal (@MarkGallagher48) June 17, 2019
Wow! Guess I won’t be using MasterCard anymore. I refuse to support the delusions of the mentally ill. It is both sinful and perverse.
— Standing Strong (@Firmstance1) June 17, 2019
thanks for reminding me never to use your services.
— itsadogslife (@itsadogslife15) June 17, 2019
Of all the reasons you might want to criticize credit card companies — and there are certainly many — this isn’t one of them. Even if this is Pride month pandering, it’s the sort of corporate move more companies should follow.
(Image via Shutterstock)