“.BANK” is a new web domain backed by the Financial Services Roundtable and other members of the financial services industry. .BANK is designed to provide a trusted, verified online location for banks and their customers to do business that contains enhanced security requirements designed to protect sensitive information and ensure that only verified members of the global banking community are using the space.
All .BANK domains are required to meet more than 30 stringent security requirements that go above and beyond most commonly-used domains. Companies that are approved to use .BANK provide a safer way for banks to do business and secure their customers’ private information.
FSR is part of a coalition of banks, insurance companies and financial services trade associations that joined together in 2011 to form fTLD Registry Services, the organization that manages the .BANK domain.
The .BANK general availability registration period launched in June 2015.
Banks interested in applying for a .BANK domain should visit www.register.bank.
Since May 2015, 2,465 banks have purchased one or more .BANK domain names— signaling their commitment to providing a trusted, verified and more secure location online for their banking services. Purchasing a .BANK domain name is available only to verified members of the global banking community, and fTLD Registry Services, alongside trusted partners, ensures it stays that way. For the financial services industry, the need to provide higher levels of security and verification in the face of mounting cybersecurity breaches and growing fraud is strong. BITS President Chris Feeney cited the whirlwind of .BANK activity earlier this summer: “In less than a week, the new .BANK web extension surpassed more than 5,000 applications from more than 2,100 institutions in the banking community.” Doug Johnson, senior vice president of payments and cybersecurity policy for the American Bankers Association recently called the banks’ actions to further curb cyber fraud “a proactive step to address an issue we know exists.” Now, fTLD Registry’s recently released infographic paints a picture of what has been happening behind the scenes during the past six months to provide a trusted and more secure location on the Internet for banks and consumers. Of the 4,907 domain names registered by banks in the U.S. (banks can register more than one domain name), five states lead the pack: Texas, Massachusetts, Missouri, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Globally, .BANK is taking hold too. Outside of the U.S., 441 .BANK domain names have been registered. Migrating an online banking platform will understandably take a considerable amount of time, which is why we’re just now seeing banks starting to use their .BANK domain names. But, as a recent Cleveland Plain Dealer article stated, “it will help customers know they are going to the real site and getting emails from a real employee at the actual bank.” And that is good news for both banks and consumers.
In less than a week, the .BANK domain has surpassed more than 5,000 applications from more than 2,100 institutions in the banking community. This is a more than 40 percent increase from the 3,000 applications we received in the first 10 minutes of the .BANK general availability registration opening. At FSR, one of the lead supporters, investors and founders of the .BANK domain, we are excited to see such strong interest in this new online bank community. It’s good news for banks and good news for consumers. Why .BANK? .BANK is designed to provide a verified, safer place for banks and their customers to do online business. The domain currently mandates 30 enhanced security requirements and a stringent verification process specially designed to create a more secure location for banking activities. By signing up for a .BANK domain, financial institutions are taking a clear step to ensure customers’ sensitive information receives an added layer of protection from cyber attacks. The award and use of a .BANK domain shows that the institution is a verified member of the banking community and upholds the strict standards of the .BANK community. These requirements go significantly further to protect consumer information than most commonly-used domains. Requirements include security extensions to ensure Internet users aren’t misdirected to fake or malicious bank websites, validation that email authentication is in place to mitigate spoofing and phishing emails that could lure customers into revealing their private bank information to unauthorized criminals, and strong encryption requirements designed to ensure the security of communication over the Internet. The domain is also overseen by the same industry that uses it – a coalition of banks, financial services trade associations and insurance companies (along with FSR). During the general availability period, which is now open to all members of the global banking community, domains are currently being awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. FSR urges banks that haven’t yet registered to learn more at www.register.bank or visit www.ftld.com. Banks that have applied for a .BANK domain or that are interested in applying can get more information by downloading “A Guide to Leveraging .BANK”. This guide provides a framework for communicating an institution’s new .BANK domain plan to employees and customers, as well as steps on how .BANK’s enhanced security requirements can benefit bank executives, technology teams and third party vendors. The guide can be downloaded here: www.register.bank/guide/
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2015
Adds to the 782 financial institution applications already in line for the more secure online banking community
Washington, DC— More than 3,000 financial institutions have applied for .BANK domain names after the general availability period for the domain names began at 8 PM, June 23, 2015. The Financial Services Roundtable (FSR), is a lead supporter, investor and founder of the .BANK domain, which is a new online bank community that uses enhanced security requirements and stringent verification standards to provide banks and their customers with a safer place to do online business.
“We are pleased to see so many financial institutions registering for .BANK – a move that clearly signifies the dedication and importance banks place on improving protections for their customers’ sensitive information from the growing threat of cyber attacks,” said Chris Feeney, President of FSR’s cybersecurity and technology policy division, BITS. “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.”
During the general availability period, domains are awarded on a first-come first-serve basis. FSR urges banks that are interested but have not yet registered to learn more about the process at www.register.bank. The general availability registration period is now open to all members of the global banking community.
The award and use of a .BANK domain signifies that the institution is a verified member of the banking community and must adhere to the strict security standards that the community requires, which go above and beyond most commonly-used domains.
Security requirements for .BANK include mandatory verification and re-verification of charters and licensures to ensure only legitimate banking community members are awarded .BANK domain names; security extensions to ensure Internet users aren’t misdirected to malicious or fake bank websites; email authentication to mitigate spoofing and phishing; and strong encryption to ensure security of communication over the Internet, among others.
In addition, the domain is managed by the same industry that uses it. A coalition of banks, insurance companies and financial services trade associations (including FSR) joined together in 2011 to form fTLD Registry Services, the organization that manages the .BANK domain. fTLD has contracted with Symantec, a leading global firm that specializes in security and verifying the authenticity of organizations, and Architelos to monitor security in the community.