Mastercard to support transgender and blind community in Europe

Thursday 17 November 2022 09:12 CET | News

Mastercard has announced that it will support the European transgender and blind communities by expanding its True Name and Touch Card solutions to new markets.


Mastercard True Name enables trans and non-binary people to have their bank card personalised with their preferred first name, subsequently giving them the chance to have their true identity reflected on their bank card. 

One of the first markets in Europe where the True Name solution will be launched is Belgium, where Mastercard partnered with bpost to enable the latter’s customers to use the functionality and personalize their bank card with the first name of their choice, starting with the end of 2022. 

In an aim to make it more inclusive, bpost will also include the Touch Card system, looking to make it easier to use and recognise for blind and visually impaired people. Through this collaboration with Mastercard and the combination of these two new solutions, bpost is looking to take a step further when it comes to inclusion at the level of the Belgian banking sector.

The Belgian trans community and True Name

For trans and non-binary people, the name on their card can be a constant source of sensitivity and embarrassment when it does not reflect who they are. As per information provided in the press release, according to a survey that was conducted by Mastercard, 4% of the Belgian population within this community have struggled with this problem, especially since having a name change legally can be a long and difficult process. Looking to avoid this struggle, Mastercard launched the True Name solution, solution that holders of bpaid prepaid cards will be able to access for the first time in Belgium starting with the end of 2022. 

Speaking on the announcement, Mastercard officials have stated that the launch aims to provide the transgender and non-binary community with the ability to use their real name safely, simply, and proudly when making purchases, continuing to say that the collaboration showcases bpost’s commitment to making the banking and financial sector more inclusive for everyone. Furthermore, the partnership also marks the first time, not only in Belgium, but globally, when the Touch Card functionality will be associated with that of True Name.

Mastercard has announced that it will support the European transgender and blind communities by expanding its True Name and Touch Card solutions to new markets.

The Belgian blind and visually impaired community and Touch Card

The novelty incorporates the reality of a separate minority, with the WHO considering that in Belgium 1 person out of 1000 is blind, and 1 in 100 is visually impaired. However, as per the press release, according to the braille league, these figures are expected to triple by 2050 due to population growth and an aging population. Having this knowledge, Mastercard announced the launch of Touch Card in Belgium, which is, more concretely, a triangular notch located to the right of the card to facilitate the use of the prepaid card by visually impaired people. This option aims to offer complete autonomy when it comes to carrying out contactless payments and bpost will be the first Belgian player to have this functionality applied to all new bpaid cards starting with the end of 2022, subject to stocks and raw materials’ delivery.  

Bpost officials have stated that they believe everyone should be given the opportunity to be called by the name that reflects their identity and to have the ability to be fully independent from a financial perspective, stating that they believe this card project to change the lives of thousand of people in Belgium.

True Name and other European markets where it will be launched 

Within the context of Trans Awareness Week, a one-week celebration that leads up to the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, NiCKEL, a France-based company, has announced that its customers will soon be enabled access to Mastercard’s True Name feature, allowing cardholders to use their chosen first name on their payment card, instead of their legal birth name. As such, NiCKEL customers will have the option of choosing to add their preferred name on their My Nickel, Nickel Chrome and Nickel Metal cards, should they wish to, with no supporting documentation being required, even if their original birth name remains unchanged. The functionality will be available online, and customers will be able to use the optional feature to add their true name on the card free of charge when ordering a card in just a matter of a few clicks. 

France- and Spain-based customers will have the True Name feature available starting with January 2023, with it being set to be extended to NiCKEL’s Belgium- and Portugal-based costumers by the second quarter of 2023.

When referring to the launch, NiCKEL officials have stated that the company is ‘a bank account for all’ and has as its purpose inclusion beyond financial and economic, continuing to say that they believe it essential to address gender inclusion and ensure that transgender and non-binary customers feel accepted and included, starting with being given the option to display the name they identify with when making a purchase with Mastercard cards. 

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Keywords: partnership, payments , payment methods, financial inclusion, product launch, MasterCard
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: bpost, Mastercard, NiCKEL
Countries: Europe
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Payments & Commerce






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