The .BANK domain has launched and is now part-way through its Sunrise Period for Trademark owners.
.BANK is different than .COM and some of the other new domain extensions targeting banks because it was founded and is managed by members of the banking community, including leading banks and banking Associations. These Founders have a vested interest in making sure .BANK becomes the trusted internet brand for online banking.
EnCirca has helped hundreds of banks select their desired .BANK domain names and get ready for the Land Rush that is coming in June. We have conducted 10 live webinars and answered many questions from bankers about. BANK.
Here is EnCirca's list of the Top Ten .BANK Questions
[ANSWER] You should first conduct an availability search to see if your name is reserved or already registered by someone else. Many trademark owners have already registered .BANK domain names, so it's important to check first so that you don't waste time and money in a failed registration.
[ANSWER] No trademark is required for .BANK. But a registered trademark does allow you to apply during the Sunrise Period, which ends on June 17. But you need to submit the trademark to the Trademark Clearinghouse first.
[ANSWER] No. It doesn't matter if you have the matching .COM domain name. .BANK has flexible naming criteria, so it is likely that many banks will be vying for the same names. The first bank to apply for a specific .BANK domain name, from anywhere in the world, gets to reserve it for themselves.
[ANSWER] The typical pricing is $1000 per year per .BANK domain name, although pricing is often higher for non-USA Registrars. The cost includes the registration and verification. Beware of registrars that display a lower price but then later add on extra application fees. There is also a non-refundable fee if you do not complete the verification process.
[ANSWER] Yes, banks can apply for multiple names as long as each one corresponds to brand names they currently use. Examples of corresponding domain names include dropping the word "bank", acronyms, abbreviations and adding any prefix or suffix to the bank name.
[ANSWER] There are extra requirements to be a .BANK Registrar and there are currently 18 approved .BANK Registrars. EnCirca is one of five USA-based Registrars. None of the biggest .COM Registrars have become accredited for .BANK, so you will likely need to use a different registrar than you have today.
[ANSWER] Most .BANK Registrars do not require pre-payment by credit card and will allow banks to pay later by check or electronic funds transfer.
[ANSWER] Yes, there is no deadline on when you switch to your new .BANK domain name. You may also run both your .BANK and .COM websites in parallel for as long as you want to.
[ANSWER] There are extra security requirements for .BANK websites that do not exist for .COM domain names and websites. Ask your web hosting company if they are prepared to support these new .BANK requirements. EnCirca is offering a free activation service, so that banks can immediately activate their new .BANK domain names and start using them right away on an experimental basis.
[ANSWER] Banks should complete a pre-screening process so that their .BANK domains are automatically submitted when the .BANK Land Rush begins on June 23. Banks should not wait to apply after June 23 because it's possible that their first choice for a .BANK domain name will be registered by someone else.