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This is a Financial Services innovation from The 70 Best Trend-Driven Innovations of 2019.


Mastercard will begin offering its True Name cards, displaying users’ chosen names on the front, in early 2020. The card is designed for nonbinary or transgender customers, whose chosen names can differ from the ones they were legally assigned at birth. According to the company’s research, one-third of these individuals run into trouble (and may even be attacked) when they try to make purchases and the name on their card doesn’t align with their gender presentation. Mastercard found that, by law, consumers’ cards don’t need to show their legal name. True Name will be available for debit, credit and prepaid cards.

A plethora of brands are celebrating transgender and nonbinary consumers, and it’s clear mainstream support (in markets like the US) has never been higher. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to do. Just skimming the comments on the True Name video shows we have a long, long way to go. Two prompts here:

Back up the rainbow. At the same time it unveiled the True Name program, Mastercard also added rainbow street signs (representing each letter in LGBTQIA+) to the famous Gay/Christopher St. intersection in NYC. On its own, that move may have seemed like pandering, so it’s great to see Mastercard back up a visual display of support with a tangible one: a legitimately useful service that makes LGBTQIA+ consumers’ lives better. When you announce support for a marginalized group, are you truly working to tackle their unique pain points? United Airlines similarly addressed practical needs by simplifying booking for non-binary customers.

Never off the hook. We missed the cutoff to publish this innovation during Pride Month in June. But that’s our second prompt here! Don’t only consider or recognize a particular group when their month or day rolls around. You’re not off the hook for the rest of the year. The LGBTQIA+ community’s needs don’t cease to exist in July. And although Pride Month is over, it’s never too late to cater to these consumers. How can you serve their needs all year round?


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