Citi Sees No Slowdown in Demand for True Name Cards | Payments Source

the initial precipitation of Citi customers signing up for the True Name Mastercard program – which allows transgender and non-binary customers to use their preferred names on credit cards – has not declined.

Eight months after Citi launched the feature, more than 10,000 customers have signed up for True Name at a rate that has remained fairly stable since Citi’s 1,600 customers signed up for the program in the first few weeks after its rollout. in October 2020.

“There was a lot of adoption of True Name at launch and this level of interest has continued,” said Nikki Darden, director of global consumer marketing for Citi.

Other issuers also support the Mastercard function. BMO Harris Bank in Chicago was the first to deploy True Name in 2019, and recently Bunq in Europe launched True Name. Additionally, a 42 branch Kentucky financial institution became the first community bank to join.

Mastercard said this month that it was Real name in white label through partnerships with TSYS card processing subsidiary of Global Payments and BM Technologies, extending the concept’s reach to different markets nationwide.

Citi research suggests that a third of transgender people have reported harassment or denial of service when trying to make a purchase using a name or “gender tag” that doesn’t reflect their appearance, Darden said.

Nearly 70% of people who identify as transgender say none of their identification documents display their chosen name, according to a study by the National Center for Transgender Equality, according to Darden.

“Changing names legally can be very expensive, and many marginalized transgender clients don’t have these kinds of resources, so True Name provides them with a solution that doesn’t cost more,” she said.

More than 200,000 customers have visited the section of the Citi website describing True Name and how it works, and Citi has continued organization-wide training and marketing to ensure that transgender and non-binary customers are greeted by their preferred first name, Darden said.

The legal names of customers are still part of the account file, but Citi prioritizes using the preferred names of True Name program members for customer service.

“The True Name customer sees or hears their preferred first name used across all company touch points, from the call center to the website to the mobile app,” said Darden.

The urgency of offering transgender customers the option to use their real names appears to have intensified in recent months as awareness of transgender transmitters grows, Darden suggested.

Citi cited data last year to suggest that around 1% of the U.S. population identifies as transgender, but the real numbers may be higher now.

Overall, around 6% of the population identifies as LGBTQ +, but up to 16% of young adults in Gen Z identify as LGBTQ, according to Darden.

“It’s not a niche issue anymore, it’s what we are now,” she said.

Citi launched True Name last year with a TV commercial featuring transgender actors and a transgender director. This spot continued to air as Citi markets True Name through more media channels, according to Darden.

Periodically, Citi touts the True Name option on the company’s main website, and customers can easily access more information when they search the site, she said.

“In my opinion, giving consumers the option to use their preferred real name is the right thing to do, but it is also becoming an existential fact that many people identify themselves differently from their legal name,” said Darden.

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