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Mastercard True Name
Mastercard True Name

BMO Harris Bank became the first issuer to implement the Mastercard True Name feature

December 2, 2019 – Today, BMO Harris Bank became the first issuer to implement the Mastercard True Name feature, for instance enabling people to use their true first name on their personal debit and ATM cards without the requirement of a legal name change.

True Name initiative

Mastercard developed the True Name initiative as a result to a need for banking cards that reflect the true identities of many in the transgender and non-binary communities. In addition, Research from the National Center for Transgender Equality shows that individuals who have shown IDs with a name or gender that did not match their presentation experience discrimination and harassment. Besides, the introduction of the True Name feature was designed to help alleviate this negative experience and misrepresentation.

“At BMO, we focus on designing products and services that keep our customers at the center and create positive experiences. For instance, our customers use their debit cards daily, and with True Name, they can be at ease knowing that their card reflects their identity,” said Denise Press, head of retail and small business payments for BMO Harris Bank.

BMO Harris branch

Therefore, Starting today, December 2, current and new customers across the U.S. can visit a BMO Harris branch to request a True Name debit card. An ID with the applicant’s legal name is verified. In other words, customers who visit a branch will be able to leave with their new card the same day. Customers who do not live near a branch can call 1-888-340-2265 to request a True Name card.

“For the transgender and non-binary communities in particular, the card in their pocket can serve as a source of sensitivity, misrepresenting their true identity when shopping and going about daily life,” said Cheryl Guerin, EVP marketing & communications for Mastercard. “Mastercard made a commitment to address this challenge by introducing the True Name initiative, and to have BMO Harris Bank join this effort as the first issuer to implement this important feature.”

Human Rights

Joining the Mastercard True Name initiative is one way that BMO creates a culture of inclusion for its employees and customers. The company designs products, programs and procedures with inclusion in mind and has been recognized by the Human Rights CampaignThomson ReutersBloomberg and Forbes for its efforts. BMO employees are also committed to grassroots change and transformation through their BMO Pride resource group which strives to educate and support internal and external groups on LGBTQIA+ topics.

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Mia Turner


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