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Mastercard extends inclusive card options across Europe

The payments giant is taking another step towards everyone being able to use their true name on their cards.

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Mastercard is extending its inclusive card offerings with two new European partnerships: bpost and Nickel.

The main feature that the payments giant is expanding is “True Name” which allows customers to personalise the name on their bank cards.

This is particularly important for trans and non-binary people whose names might not match their legal birth name or the name they have listed on government documents.

Mastercard first launched the feature in the US in 2019, in Europe the following year, and in Canada earlier this year. 

Now, partnering with postal operator bpost will bring the name functionality to Belgium for the first time.

“Everyone deserves financial products that reflect their true identity,” Mastercard's senior VP of marketing Europe Jeannette Liendo said.

“This launch should provide the transgender and non-binary community with daily relief to be able to use their real name safely, simply and with pride when making purchases.”

In a first not just for Belgium, but for anywhere in the world, bpost will combine “True Name” with Mastercard’s “Touch Card” feature, which makes it easier for visually-impaired customers to distinguish between their cards.

On each card – debit, credit and prepaid – there is a differently shaped notch at the top of the card to indicate which type of card a customer is using.

“We believe that this new card project should change the daily lives of thousands of people in Belgium,” bpost retail business development program manager Nathalie Deck said. 

The new partnerships follow on from Amsterdam-based Bunq becoming the first European fintech to adopt the feature in 2021.

Bunq launched “True Name” cards in 30 countries, including the UK, and alternative banking service Nickel is now offering the feature to its customers in Spain and France from January before offering it to its Belgian and Portugues customers by the second quarter of next year.

“Since its inception in 2014, Nickel is: “a bank account for all” and inclusion is our company’s purpose,” Nickel deputy CEO Marie Degrand-Guillaud said.

“Beyond financial and economic inclusion, we believe it is essential to address gender inclusion to ensure that our transgender and/or non-binary customers feel accepted and included.”

Hopefully both features are seen more widely across not only Europe, but the rest of the world, and across all card companies, very soon.

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