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Mastercard’s True Name Adopted by European Fintechs to Support Transgender And/Or Non-Binary People

Trans Awareness Week, a one-week celebration leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th, 2022, is in full effect. In light of this, Mastercard has announced two new European organisations are going to start implementing its True Name functionality, allowing trans and non-binary people to personalise their bank card with the first name of their choice.

True Name will allow cardholders to use their chosen first name on their payment card, rather than their legal birth name, helping to ease a major pain point for the transgender and non-binary communities. Customers won’t need to provide supporting documents to make this change.

NiCKEL, first player to launch True Name in France

French alternative banking platform, NiCKEL, and Mastercard share the belief that everyone should have access to payments methods that represent their true identity, thus removing a barrier for transgender and/or non-binary people by allowing them to safely and easily use their true name for daily purchases.

All NiCKEL customers who wish to, will be able to add their chosen names on their My Nickel, Nickel Chrome and Nickel Metal cards without having to provide supporting documents, even if their original birth name remains unchanged. This option will be available online: in just a few clicks, while ordering a personal card, you can use this optional feature to add your true name on your card free of charge.

The True Name feature will be available for NiCKEL customers in France and Spain as from January 2023. NiCKEL will extend True Name to all its Belgian and Portuguese clients by 2nd quarter 2023.

Marie Degrand-Guillaud, deputy CEO of NiCKEL said: “Since its inception in 2014, NiCKEL is ‘a bank account for all’ and inclusion is our company’s purpose. Beyond financial and economic inclusion, we believe it is essential to address gender inclusion to ensure that our transgender and/or non-binary customers feel accepted and included. This starts with being able to display the name they most identify with when they make a purchase with their Mastercard cards.”

Geoffroy Seghetti, VP marketing and communications Mastercard – Western Europe added: “We are pleased to see NiCKEL answer our call in May 2021 to make True Name mainstream and allow transgender and/or non-binary people to live like everyone else, with their true identity and most importantly make their daily lives easier without fear of discrimination. We share with NICKEL the values of inclusion and the fight against all forms of discrimination.”

bpost, first player to launch True Name in Belgium

All bpost customers are to be offered Mastercard’s True Name functionality by the end of 2022. Thanks to this launch, the LGTBQIA+ community will be able to see their true identity reflected on their bank card.

According to a recent survey conducted by Mastercard, four per cent of the Belgian population identifying with this community say that they have suffered from this problem.

Especially since a legal name change can be a long and arduous legal process. In order to avoid this struggle, Mastercard has launched True Name. At the end of the year, holders of a bpaid prepaid card will be able to access this personalisation option for the first time in Belgium.

“Everyone deserves financial products that reflect their true identity,” says Jeannette Liendo, senior vice president marketing Europe. “This launch should provide the transgender and non-binary community with daily relief to be able to use their real name safely, simply and with pride when making purchases.”

Touch Card to help the growing number of visually impaired people

To make it even more inclusive, bpost has also chosen to include the ‘Touch card’ system, with a notch to make it easier to use and recognise for blind and visually impaired people.

With the combination of these two novelties, Mastercard and bpost are not only creating a precedent on a global level, but are also taking a further step in terms of inclusion at the level of the Belgian banking sector.

“This collaboration demonstrates bpost’s commitment to making the banking and financial sector more inclusive for everyone,” continued Liendo. “This is not only a first in Belgium, but also in the world, since the Touch Card functionality will be associated with that of True Name for the very first time. We also call on other industry players to apply these standards for everyone.”

Multiple levels of financial inclusion

This novelty also incorporates the reality of another minority. Indeed, the WHO considers that one person out of 1000 is blind in Belgium and one person in 100 visually impaired. As a result of population growth and an aging population, these figures are going to triple again according to the braille league by 2050.

Faced with this progress, Mastercard announced the launch of Touch Card in Belgium just a year ago. Concretely, it is a triangular notch located to the right of the card which facilitates the use of the prepaid card by people with visual impairments. This option should offer them complete autonomy for contactless payments. Bpost is the first Belgian player to apply this functionality to all new bpaid cards starting at the end of the year, subject to stocks and delivery of raw materials.

Nathalie Deck, retail business development program manager at bpost: “Bpostgroup is proud to launch the bpaid True Name and Touch Card with Mastercard. We are convinced that everyone should have the opportunity to be called by the first name that reflects their identity and to be able to be fully financially independent. We believe that this new card project should change the daily lives of thousands of people in Belgium”.

Author

  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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