As we see more online fraudulent banking scams and different phishing techniques, online safety and user trust are vital for any bank. One of the many steps banks are taking to establish online credibility with their users is by using the .bank domain extension. The .bank domain extension was created by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and managed by fTLD. fTLD was created as a joint project between the American Bankers Association and BITS, the technology policy division of the Financial Services Roundtable.
In short, the ‘.bank’ domain was created to guarantee the safety of the banking industry’s internet operations and the users personal information. Every site that has a ‘.bank’ domain extension has been vetted and verified by the organizations behind the extension. Therefore, if you’re at a ‘.bank’ website, you can trust that they’re legit. Since its launch in 2015, there are now just under 3,000 banks and financial institutions that have adopted the extension.
If you’re a bank or financial institution looking to adopt the ‘.bank’ extension, there are several requirements needed to be eligible for the extension. Just like how only government institutions are eligible for the .GOV domain, ‘.bank’ has a similar process.
One of the largest registrars selling the ‘.bank’ extension is 101domain. On their site is a detailed description of the requirements. But in short, here’s what you need to know before trying to register ‘.bank:’
Only verified members of the global banking community are eligible to register. The qualified registrants are for-profit and not-for-profit business or organizations such as:
- (3.1) State, regional and provincial banks that are chartered and supervised by a government regulatory authority;
- (3.2) Savings associations that are charted and supervised by a government regulatory authority;
- (3.3) National banks that are chartered and supervised by a government regulatory authority;
- (3.4) Associations whose members are primarily comprised of entities identified above in 3.1, 3.2 or 3.3;
- (3.5) Groups of associations whose members are primarily comprised of associations identified above in 3.4;
- (3.6) Service providers that are principally owned by or predominantly supporting regulated entities identified above in 3.1, 3.2 or 3.3. (if approved by the Registry Operator Board); and
- (3.7) Government regulators of chartered and supervised banks or savings associations or organizations whose members are primarily comprised of such government regulators (if approved by the Registry Operator Board).
Additionally, the domain name must correspond to a trademark, not be a reserved name, and not likely to deceive or cause material detriment to a significant portion of the banking, insurance and/or financial services.
Your domain submission will go through a detailed verification process to ensure that registrations are made only with organizations that meet the eligibility requirements. fTLD performs verification upon the initial registration, annually thereafter, and if any information changes about the organization.