Citi Introduces a New Campaign to Thrill Transgender Spenders and Credit Card Crooks

(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)


If you believe your real name is a name other than the one on your driver license, credit card company Citi is there for you.

And if you’d like to steal someone’s credit card and buy an 88″ LG ZX Series OLED 8K TV, a Marantz AV8805 13.2-Channel 4K Ultra HD receiver, a dozen or so Klipsch speakers, and two SVS PB16-Ultra subwoofers, Citi’s there for you, too.


In both cases, rejoice: Customers can now have whatever name they wish printed on their Citi cards — irrespective of the name on their ID.

So Jennifer wants a card that says “Hugo”? Done. Boris hankers for a piece of plastic donning “Daphne”? Presto Change-O.

As reported by CNBC, the company’s “True Name” initiative intends “to help members in the LGBTQ+ community, particularly trans and non-binary people, by allowing them to have financial products with their self-identified chosen first name.”

Some believe such a renovation will reduce discrimination.

It presumably will: When you go to buy that television — though you’re a 300-pound Sumo wrestler — a sales clerk aware of the campaign will presumably accept you as Jessica. Discrimination, you’re toast.

Of course, there are important things in the world other than security, and Citi’s trying to help those who don’t love their legal name.

CNBC makes clear the malady:

In fact, nearly one third (32%) of individuals who have shown IDs with a name or gender that did not match their presentation reported negative experiences, including being harassed, denied services and/or attacked, according to a report from the National Center for Transgender Equality.


As noted by The Daily Wire, the creditor issued a press release in honor of the change.

Here’s CMO Carla Hassan:

“We’re incredibly proud to launch the True Name feature, through our relationship with Mastercard, because we strongly believe that our customers should have the opportunity to be called by the name that represents who they really are.”

EVP of Marketing and Communications Cheryl Guerin said people are feeling more fantastic:

“Since introducing the True Name feature, we’ve received incredible feedback from our partners and allies within the transgender and non-binary communities on how the capability has eased a major pain point in their lives.”

Citi’s move is bold to be sure, but it’s hardly original.

As I covered in June of last year, Mastercard was the maverick that made monikers moot.

I indeed had questions:

Why don’t those in pain just change their name? Otherwise, they’re going to keep running into problems. After all — their license, which is often used to verify the card isn’t stolen, will still show their “dead name.”

Has MC thought this through?

What happened to the last 20 years or so’s outrage over identity theft?


Mastercard promoted the plan thusly:

Back to that whole theft thing, you should know that such a crime was already easy. lays it out:

In most instances, merchants are not allowed to require an ID for credit card purchases. They can ask for your ID, but they cannot refuse to accept your credit card if you don’t show your ID, as long as your credit card is signed. Here’s what each of the major processing networks says about ID requirements.

Male-identifying-as-female actor Laverne Cox told HuffPost Citi’s new normal is on point:

“When I changed my name legally 20 years ago and received my new ID with my chosen name reflected, it was so empowering. I know as a trans person, having ID documents that don’t match who we are can also be a safety issue.”

HP sees the program as a real game-changer:

If it succeeds, Citi’s True Name effort could have a major impact in addressing such concerns. A 2015 National Center for Transgender Equality report found that 68% of respondents did not have a single ID card printed with their gender identity or their chosen name.

A world in which everyone can purchase with cards bearing otherwise-unrelated names will certainly be impactful.


Personally, if I thought my name wasn’t my name, I’d rather officially change it and enjoy more protection from being thrashed by thieves.

But apparently, not everyone’s like me and Laverne.

No matter, before anyone thinks Citi’s coddling its customers, have no fear — just as I pointed out with Mastercard, it’ll still be siphoning suckers to the tune of massive amounts of monthly interest.




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