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I don't know why we're doing this soft-launch of "true name" Mastercard again, they did this last year in June timing it all nicely with Pride month. I could recycle what I said then: Will this open up for biometric data linked to our credit? Because it sure looks like it will.
Last year they did a testimonial choddy, where the big reveal was that they could have any name they wanted on their card. This year it's a dramatic moment when the card is handed over to a cashier like it's still 1985 and the cashier - *GASP* - looks at it. When did this happen to you recently? The VO work is terrible by the way.
Again, I don't think it's a herculean task to change one's name, it literally just requires that you fill in a form and pay a small fee, you stingy people. Unlike in Sweden and Germany where there are actual laws on what people may name themselves, you can pretty much name you or your kids whatever the heck you want in the USA, and in the UK some bloke dubbed himself "Bacon Double Cheeseburger". So I'm sure you can dub yourself Ultraviolet Sprinkles or Ken Manly to your heart's content. So we know this is targeted to people who, for whatever reason, do not change their name but want a special name on their card, and that's when it all gets a bit weird.
Swiping, tapping, putting the chip in, and using the pin is all fine, nobody but you look at your card at this point - just ask all those teenagers who are out shopping with Daddy's Amex - so when is this dreaded interaction where someone checks your card supposed to happen?
It happens on occasion, in my experience when I'm using a card from another country than the one I am shopping in, and the universal pin/swipe/chip/whathaveyou isn't going to work so they need my signature. How do they check that my signature is correct? They check my ID. The one that has the same name and signature as the card. How is Mastercard going to solve this issue? And yes, I have a weird name, and yes sometimes when a teenager is working retail they will look at the name and crack a joke about it, but 99.9% of the time people don't even bat an eye.
Bonus points, my name is actually the male version, not that anyone would know since it's so uncommon. It has never, not once, turned into an assault because I'm standing there with a male name on my card and ID and am very obviously a woman. Oh, that's right, my ID card where my biometric data is on it. My concern is, if this Mastercard name-yourself-whatever idea opens up for fraud, I fear we will soon see our Mastercards linked to our biometric data to prevent such fraud. And I really don't fancy the idea of paying for my latte with my fingerprint in the future.
Although, when I pay with my phone these days, I open it with my fingerprint so I guess we're halfway there. Let's just go back to using cash. Mastercard would hate that.
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