Over 3,000 financial institutions applied for “.bank” domain names on June 23, the first day of general registration availability for the new global internet domain.
That comes on top of the 782 financial institutions that registered during an earlier “sunrise” phase, which was open to institutions that had previously registered their names in an international trademark directory. In the ongoing general availability phase, domains are granted on a first-come, first-served basis, assuming applicants meet requirements.
Basics of the new domain
The new “.bank” domain is operated by fTLD Registry Services, LLC, an international coalition of banks, insurance companies, and financial services trade groups. Oversight of fTLD Registry Services is provided by the American Bankers Association and the Financial Services Roundtable.
Eligibility to apply for a .bank domain name applies only to chartered banking companies, the definition of that determined by each country’s regulators. The .bank domain is a new “generic Top-Level Domain” (gTLD) under the program of domains run by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
Security fundamental for new domain
The .bank domain is much more than a labeling setup. To be eligible for a .bank internet address, institutions must meet enhanced and stricter than normal security requirements and verification standards.
“The .bank online space has more than 30 enhanced security requirements that are specially designed to create a trusted, verified, and more secure location for online banking business,” says Chris Feeney, president of BITS, the Financial Services Roundtable cyber security and technology policy division.
“An increasing number of banks recognize that a .bank domain will signify that their institution has been verified as legitimate and committed to implementing security requirements that go beyond existing standards to protect customers’ sensitive information,” says Craig Schwartz, fTLD’s managing director.
Applicants for .bank domains are subject to an upfront check by Symantec, which verifies the applicant’s status before a .bank domain is granted. Another firm, Architelos, will provide ongoing security for the .bank domain.
More .bank links