June 01, 2012

The American Bankers Association and The Financial Services Roundtable announced they have applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the right to operate two new Web domains, .bank and .insurance, on behalf of the financial services industry.

The groups said its goals are to provide unparalleled online security and to safeguard consumers against imposter websites, thereby reducing malicious behavior and fraud. The new .bank and .insurance domains will adhere to the 31 security standards the Roundtable and ABA submitted to ICANN in December 2011, with the request that any new financially-oriented domain be required to provide heightened security.

To further enhance security and confidence in .bank and .insurance, all financial institution registrants must be chartered by their home country financial regulators, and any other financial entities will be vetted to ensure compliance with strict registration requirements.

"Consumers need to feel confident that when they go to a .bank or .insurance site, that a trusted third-party has vetted these domains names," said Doug Johnson, ABA vice president of risk management. "New financial domains will be a detriment – rather than asset – if they cannot be trusted. That's why our groups are leading this effort."

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...