Card issuers are investing resources into LGBTQ employee recruitment and retention efforts, donating millions to LGBTQ causes, signaling support for civil rights legislation and, more recently, debuting new tools and initiatives that are designed to support their LGBTQ customers.
As this year’s Pride month draws to a close, nearly every major card issuer has signaled support for their LGBTQ customers and employees by posting Pride-themed content to their social media pages or by redesigning their brand logos with a rainbow.
However, some credit card companies are doing more than just advertise their support: They are also investing substantial resources into LGBTQ employee recruitment and retention efforts, donating millions to LGBTQ causes, signaling support for civil rights legislation and, more recently, debuting new tools and initiatives that are designed to support and make life easier for their LGBTQ customers.
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Mastercard calls for more inclusive shift in how cardholders are identified
Mastercard made the biggest splash this year when it announced it would debut new debit cards, prepaid cards and credit cards that allow consumers to use a different name from what’s shown on their birth certificates.
The cards are designed to help solve a painful problem that many transgender and nonbinary consumers come across when they want to use the names that best reflect their identities rather than the legal names they were given at birth.
Mastercard also called on other credit card companies to take similar steps and create a sensitive, private process for customers to add their “true names” to their cards.
“We are allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, which means if we see a need or if this community is not being served in the most inclusive way, we want to be a force for change to help address and alleviate unnecessary pain points,” said Mastercard’s Randall Tucker in a statement.
Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and Discover offer Pride cards
Mastercard is the first card company to publicly retool its offerings to make life easier for LGBTQ customers. However, a number of other banks have made more modest shifts in recent years, including new cards designed specifically for LGBTQ customers and their allies.
- Wells Fargo, for example, has offered a collection of Pride-themed card designs – including a card with a rainbow pin and accompanying slogan, “We are family” – since 2016.
- Discover began offering a rainbow-themed Pride design in 2015.
- Meanwhile, U.S. Bank debuted a “pride-inspired” debit card in 2017.
- Element Federal Credit Union also offers a substantial collection of rainbow-themed cards, including one that shows two rainbow-colored wedding rings.
Several banks and credit unions have also set up modest outreach pages for their LGBTQ customers in an effort to signal their support. Others have bankrolled financial education content specifically for LGBTQ families.
For example, both Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank have recently teamed up with The Advocate on sponsored personal finance content that’s written specifically for LGBTQ readers who are looking to buy a home, adopt a child or save money for retirement.
In addition, a number of banks, including Capital One, U.S. Bank and American Express, have sought to make their advertising more inclusive by representing a more diverse mix of families in promotional videos, advertisements and photos.
Others have set up year-round initiatives to show support for LGTBQ customers. For example, U.S. Bank recently updated its West Hollywood, California, branch with a permanent collection of artwork that “celebrates the LGBTQ community.”
See related: LGBT Americans are handling credit wisely, survey finds
Card issuers are also donating money and advocating on behalf of LGBTQ families
Card issuers have been especially active as philanthropists and sponsors, supporting community centers, Pride events, advocacy groups and more. Nearly every major card issuer, including Capital One, Chase, American Express, Bank of America, Citi, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank, has openly donated money in support of LGTBQ causes.
Some have also helped sponsor fundraisers for LGBTQ causes. For example, Chase recently teamed up with The Points Guy on a fundraiser for the Rainbow Railroad, which helps support LGBTQ refugees. Participants who donate at least $10 to the Rainbow Railroad will be entered into a giveaway, with the chance to win a free trip funded by up to a million Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
In addition, some banks have taken a public stand on civil rights legislation. For example, several credit card companies recently pledged support for the Equality Act, which would bar employers, landlords, educators, financial services companies and more from discriminating against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, credit card issuers that publicly support the Equality Act include American Express, Amalgamated Bank, Bank of America, Capital One, Citi, Eastern Bank, Chase, KeyBank, Mastercard, PNC Bank, RBC, TD Bank, U.S. Bank, Visa and Wells Fargo.
Several banks have also invested heavily in employee recruitment and retention efforts that are designed to attract and support LGBTQ employees. Wells Fargo, for example, offers members of its Pride Team Member Network access to mentorship and career development resources. Other banks, such as Capital One and Chase, have also set up networks and resource groups for their LGBTQ employees.
Additional initiatives are likely
Several banks have received criticism, from both the right and the left, for their initiatives. However, consumers are likely to see more pride-inspired initiatives in the future as lenders work to attract a broader base of customers and talent.
Mastercard’s latest initiative, in particular, received a ton of attention and support and, as a result, it may inspire other banks and credit card companies to think of similar ways in which they can make their LGBTQ customers feel more welcome and included.