Protecting Financial Services in an Evolving Internet

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is reporting that nearly 2000 applications were filed for new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) at the close of the application period on May 30. gTLDS are the letters to the right of the dot in Internet addresses, so think .com, .net and .org.

With 63 million people conducting financial activities online, Internet security is essential to the health of our economy. New financial domains that don’t meet the industry’s standards for security could harm consumers and damage trust in financial services.

On May 24, a coalition of financial services companies and associations, led by The Financial Services Roundtable and American Bankers Association (ABA), applied for .bank and .insurance on behalf of the industry. The domains will be small, exclusive spaces, providing heightened security, validating financial institution registrants are chartered by their home country financial regulators, and vetting other financial entities to ensure compliance with strict registration requirements.

The limited number of registrants (all validated), heightened security, and proactive threat monitoring, will raise online security and strengthen safeguards against imposter websites, thereby reducing malicious behavior and fraud.

The American Bankers Insurance Association, Australian Bankers’ Association, British Bankers’ Association, European Banking Federation, Financial Services – Information Sharing and Analysis Center, Independent Community Bankers of America, International Banking Federation and numerous financial services institutions have endorsed the initiative.

ICANN will announce all gTLD applicants on June 13 and new domains could be active as early as 2013. While the influx of new domain names could create a more complex environment, financial services remains committed to evolving the online environment in a safe and secure way for consumers.

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