BMO receives 2022 BAI Global Innovation’s “Honorable Mention” for Innovation in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for True Name™
BAI (Bank Administration Institute) has recognized BMO in its 2022 BAI Global Innovation Awards for an Honorable Mention – Innovation in Diversity Equity and Inclusion for the bank’s True Name partnership with Mastercard. The initiative enabled transgender and non-binary individuals to use their chosen first name across all BMO consumer and small business credit cards without the requirement of a legal first name change.
BMO was the first financial institution to partner with Mastercard and issue the cards in the United States in 2019. Earlier this year, BMO expanded True Name to Canada – also a first for a financial institution in the country. Mastercard developed the True Name feature in response to a need for banking cards that reflect the true identities of many in the transgender and non-binary communities. Research from the National Center for Transgender Equality shows individuals who have IDs with a first name or gender that does not match their presentation experience discrimination and harassment.
“BMO is committed to removing barriers to inclusion to provide safe, accessible banking for our customers, which is inspired by our Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life,” said Jennifer Douglas, Head, North American Retail & Small Business Payments, BMO. “The True Name feature by Mastercard helps relieve any negative experience and misrepresentation. We are thrilled that BAI recognized how critical this program is for both alleviating anxiety for transgender and non-binary customers and to help them make real financial progress.”
At any time, existing BMO customers can request a new card, which displays their chosen first name – their true first name. Customers can call the number on the back of their credit card or visit a BMO branch to request a replacement card.
“At Mastercard, we’re focused on bringing the best possible experiences to our cardholders and being able to use a name that reflects how you truly identify makes every payment experience better,” said Cheryl Guerin, EVP, Global Brand Innovation and Strategy, Mastercard. “We’re proud to be partnering with BMO to bring Mastercard True Name to their cardholders both in the U.S. and Canada and for the recognition of the impact we’re making on consumers daily lives.”
Being the first bank to launch the True Name feature by Mastercard is just one example of how BMO creates a culture of inclusion for its employees and customers, as well as ongoing support for the LGBTQIA+ community:
- In June of this year, BMO launched its “Rainbow Deposits” campaign, which invited Canadians and Americans to “deposit” pictures of rainbows using the BMO Rainbow Deposits web app at www.BMORainbowDeposits.com and share on social media using the hashtag #BMOPride. For every rainbow deposited between June 1 and August 31, BMO donated $1 to Rainbow Railroad, up to $50,000. Rainbow Railroad is a non-profit organization committed to helping persecuted lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex individuals find safety around the world.
- For the fifth consecutive year, BMO was recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as an industry leader in LGBTQ+ workplace equality – receiving a score of 100 on the 2022 Corporate Equality Index (CEI).
- BMO is proud to have a long history of sponsoring Pride-related events in communities across North America – including the pride & remembrance run in Toronto which BMO has sponsored for 26 years. The run raises funds to support 2SLGBTQ+ organizations and fosters community spirit, goodwill, volunteerism and sportsmanship in the Canadian 2SLGBTQ+ community.
- Underpinning the bank’s efforts as an organization is BMO Pride. BMO Pride is an enterprise-wide group of Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning (2SLGBTQ+) and ally employees committed to promoting an equitable and inclusive environment for all.
- BMO Road to Allyship training program was created for BMO employees who want to be supportive of their 2SLGBTQ+ colleagues. The course offers steps and resources that will help to strengthen their ability to stand up for others.