Mastercard to Offer Cards Aimed at Transgender and Nonbinary People

Mastercard to Offer Cards Aimed at Transgender and Nonbinary People

The cost is a significant barrier, said Gillian Branstetter, a spokeswoman for the National Center for Transgender Equality. More than a third of transgender people who have not changed their legal name said it was because they could not afford it, according to the center’s survey.

About half of those who had gone through a legal name change said the cost was between $100 and $250, but in some cases was $1,000 or more, the survey found. That is steep, Ms. Branstetter said, for a group that tends to have lower incomes for a variety of reasons, including higher rates of unemployment and job and housing discrimination. About a third of the survey’s participants who had a job reported being fired, denied a promotion or being otherwise mistreated in the workplace because of their gender expression.

Here are some questions and answers about the new card name program:

How will customers get their chosen name on their cards?

Details will vary by bank. BMO Harris said it was beginning with just debit cards and would decide on the next steps after assessing how the program was working. Current customers can visit a branch or contact a call center to request a change. They don’t have to say they are transgender or give a reason, Ms. Johannson said.

Everyone applying for a new checking account by visiting a branch or using a call center will be asked what first name should appear on the debit or A.T.M. card before it is printed. The choice does not apply to the last name, a bank spokeswoman said.

Bank staff members have been given guidelines to identify potential signs of fraud, the bank said, without providing details.

The bank has, however, set some limits on the names that may be chosen. The fine print on its website states that the “true” name on the card can’t include numbers or special characters and that customers should avoid using “fictitious, humorous or profane” names.

People applying for accounts online won’t be prompted to choose a preferred name for the card, a bank spokeswoman said. They must contact the bank’s call center on their own and request to have a new card issued.

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