bunq Becomes First European Issuer to Launch True Name™ Feature with Mastercard Across Europe Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Communities

May 17, 2021 | By Robbert Vreeburg
Available across 30 European Countries; True Name enables cardholders to leverage their preferred name on their bunq credit and debit cards

Amsterdam, May 17, 2021 – Today, on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), Mastercard is proud to announce the expansion of its True Name™ card feature across Europe. The feature enables cardholders to leverage their chosen name on their card offerings, removing a pain point for many in the LGBTQIA+ community. Mastercard unveiled the need for true names on a card in the U.S. at WorldPride in 2019. After a successful launch and rollout with major banks across the U.S., challenger bank bunq will be the first issuer to make True Name™ available across Europe in 30 countries*.

For the transgender and non-binary community, the name on their card can serve as a source of sensitivity and embarrassment, not reflecting who they truly are. In addition, pursuing a legal name change can be a long and arduous legal process. True Name™ from Mastercard has been designed to change that, enabling people to display their preferred name on their card. Effective immediately, eligible existing bunq credit and debit cardholders will be able to request a new card, which displays their chosen name.

Accessibility and enablement are vitally important to the LGBTQIA+ community. Nearly one-third (32%) of individuals who have shown IDs with a name or gender that did not match their presentation reported negative experiences, such as being harassed, denied services, and/or attacked**.

“At Mastercard, we stand for inclusion, which is why we enable cardholders to use their chosen name - everyone deserves financial products that reflect their true identity,” says Mark Barnett, President Mastercard Europe. “This will ease a major pain point in the transgender and non-binary community and allow people to use their true name securely, simply and with pride. We call on the industry to apply these standards for everyone.”

Ali Niknam, CEO of bunq: “We're so excited to be a part of history! At bunq, we believe in the power of diversity and all the colors of the rainbow and beyond. With True Name, making a small change can make a big impact: empowering people to be free and to live their life the way they want.”

Watch the True Name campaign video here.

Quote sheet

Brand Berghouwer of Transgender Netwerk Nederland and Astrid Oosenbrug of COC Netherlands: ‘We much welcome this initiative by Mastercard to recognize the true name of transgender and non-binary people. Everyone deserves to be seen and recognized for who they truly are. Our societies are colorful and diverse, and it is paramount to include people of all genders, sexual orientations, colors and backgrounds. This option of Mastercard contributes towards that goal. We encourage other companies and governments to also include all and recognize transgender, non-binary and other people for who they are.”

Elisa Koubi, Co-President of l’Inter-LGBT: “We can only be thrilled to see such an initiative come to life which shows respect and inclusion of transgender and nonbinary people. This launch follows the “Defender of Rights 2016” recommendation to French banks, to take into account the chosen first name of their clients if they request to. Therefore, it’s a respectful approach that recognizes the diversity of human beings who make up our society. We hope that this recognition will serve as an example for all banking establishments and will inspire governments, so that the diversity of genders and self-determination will finally be respected.”

Emma Kosmin, Head of Workplace Consultancy at Stonewall: “We’re pleased that Mastercard has listened to trans and non-binary people and made it easier for them to change their name on their card. We know that trans and non-binary communities face unacceptable barriers to being their authentic selves, and so initiatives like True Name™ card make a real difference to people’s lives. At Stonewall, we want to see a world where every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person is able to thrive as themselves. We’re proud to be working with Mastercard, through our Diversity Champions programme, to improve the experiences of their LGBT+ staff and customers alike.’

*The True Name™ card feature will be available for eligible new and existing bunq cardholders in 30 markets: the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. In the UK, the True Name™ card feature is available for existing bunq card holders.


- End of press release -

Note to the editors

** Source: James, S. E., Herman, J. L., Rankin, S., Keisling, M., Mottet, L., & Anafi, M. (2016). The Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality.

For more information on global inclusion and diversity at Mastercard, True Name landing page 

Photo of Robbert Vreeburg
Robbert Vreeburg, Communications Manager Mastercard Netherlands

+31 20 794 6032

About bunq

bunq was founded in 2012 by Ali Niknam (1981), who managed to get the first European banking permit in over 35 years. He set out to radically change the traditional banking industry and, as its sole investor, invested €73.8m in bunq. bunq’s latest publicly available number of user deposits reached €1 billion, based on the deposits in April 2021. The total amount of user deposits has doubled both in 2019 and 2020 and is increasing every day.

bunq is currently available in 30 European markets: the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Ireland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Iceland.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.  

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