Citi to offer true name card for transgender customers

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Citigroup said Monday that it is now offering transgender customers the option to use their chosen first name on branded credit cards.

Citi is now the third and largest financial institution to offer the Mastercard True Name, which allows customers to use their preferred name, rather than their legal name, on credit and debit cards. The cards were developed specifically for transgender and nonbinary people, whose gender is neither strictly male nor female. People whose gender presentation does not match the name on their payment card or ID document sometimes face harassment, discrimination or denial of services. Citi will offer the True Name feature on U.S. branded credit cards.

“We’re incredibly proud to launch the True Name feature, through our relationship with Mastercard, because we strongly believe that our customers should have the opportunity to be called by the name that represents who they really are,” Carla Hassan, Citi’s chief marketing officer, said in a press release.

Citigroup framed the new launch as part of its own broader efforts to advocate for LGBTQ equality, both within its own workforce and society more broadly. The company said it has recently signed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to prohibit workplace discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, for example.

Transgender people make up a small percentage of the overall population, but they often face outsized financial hardship because they are far likelier to be disowned by their families or face discrimination in employment. Advocates for transgender equality, as well as some bankers, say that a more inclusive banking system is one step to helping transgender people achieve greater financial stability.

Mastercard launched the True Name card last year. BMO Harris Bank in Chicago and Superbia Credit Union in Michigan were the first two financial institutions to adopt it.

Cheryl Guerin, executive vice president of marketing and communications for Mastercard, said, “By working with Citi and its significant network, we’re thrilled that we’ll be able to extend the reach and impact of the True Name initiative.”

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Consumer banking Credit cards LGBTQ Citigroup Mastercard