When someone opens an account with a financial institution, they’re essentially putting their future and financial safety in their hands.

During the 2008 recession, people’s trust in banks were permanently damaged when they lost their life savings and retirement funds overnight. Banks are now fighting an uphill battle to regain the trust of the American people.

So then, what’s the alternative? Stuff your money under your mattress? Instead, many people have turned to credit unions as an alternative place to store their hard-earned money. Credit unions are growing at five times the rate of population growth year-over-year in the United States.

How can your credit union capitalize on that growth? A good way to start is with your web presence. It’s highly likely that anyone wishing to join your credit union will be searching for you online before opening an account to read reviews and compare you to your competitors.

Opening an account with an institution is a decision that requires a fair amount of trust. When they open an account, your members are entrusting that you won’t misuse their hard earned savings. 

Hosting your credit union website on a .creditunion domain is a good way to stand out from the crowd and indicate to any potential members that they can trust you as a bona fide credit union.

What is a credit union?

A credit is a non-profit financial institution. They offer many of the same financial services as banks such as loans and checking and savings accounts, but they differ on an important principle. Credit unions are owned by their members, unlike commercial banks which are owned by their stakeholders.

Credit unions are cooperatives that operate on the principle of  “people helping people.”

Credit unions are cooperatives. They work according to the principles of volunteerism, mutual aid, and democracy. Each member has an equal say in how the credit union is run based on the Seven Cooperative Principles:

  1. Voluntary and open membership
  2. Democratic member control
  3. Member economic participation
  4. Autonomy and independence
  5. Financial education, training, and information
  6. Cooperation among cooperatives
  7. Concern for the community

What is a .creditunion domain?

.creditunion is a specialized generic top-level domain (gTLD). It’s reserved strictly for credit unions, and the businesses or organizations which support them. It’s one of a number of domains that support a secure environment for financial institution web hosting, such as widely popular .bank domain name.

The .creditunion domain is a recently-created TLD under the  new gTLD program made by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). It’s one of 1,507 TLDs in the Internet’s domain name system (DNS). It was created in 2015 and made available for use in 2017.

The process to become a .creditunion domain name registrar requires an emphasized level of security.  There are only sixteen certified .creditunion domain registrars in the world, of which EnCirca is one.

The .creditunion domain is financially supported by the CUNA Mutual Group and Co-Op Financial Services.

CUNA is the main trade organization serving America’s credit unions. It provides products and services to 7,300 state and federally chartered credit unions nationwide.

The benefits of hosting your credit union website on a .creditunion domain?

Hosting your credit union website on a .com or a .org is what most people would generally expect. However, having a .creditunion domain gives your credit union several noteworthy advantages.

  • Branding: Anyone considering opening an account at your credit union can look at your website and instantly identify you as such. It signals that you uphold the values of a credit union, and that you serve your members, not corporate stakeholders.
  • Security: Because of the rigid eligibility requirements for .creditunion domains, your website is granted an extra layer of security as a defense against cyber attacks, phishing scams. Your members will be reassured that your credit union website is secure.
  • Legitimacy: Credit unions, or affiliations of credit unions, are the only entities allowed to use the .creditunion domain. People who are searching for your credit union will know that they can trust the website they’re visiting.

Can my credit union website be hosted on a .creditunion domain?

Only select forms of institutions are eligible for a .creditunion domain, but thankfully the actual verification process is relatively straightforward.

To register for a .creditunion domain, you have to prove that your institution is a credit union with a physical office in the United States. You also have to maintain your status as a credit union throughout the time you have a .creditunion domain registered.

To begin the verification process, fill out this form available on the CUNA website. You then have to provide:

  • The legal name of your credit union
  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your email address
  • Your phone number
  • Your CUID or charter number

Register your .CREDITUNION domain at EnCirca

EnCirca is one of the select few domain name registrars worldwide that is certified to handle .creditunion domains. When you host your credit union website on EnCirca, you solidify your credit union’s online brand and will have access to a suite of credit union web design and security tools. Your members can do business with confidence that their savings are safe and secure.

Credit union domains at EnCirca are open for registration on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can register or renew your .creditunion website for $150 per year.

Your credit union also has access to a number of secure web hosting solutions. EnCirca’s hosting solutions have been customized to support the needs of high security institutions and their domains such as .creditunion, .bank and .insurance TLDs.

Host your credit union website with EnCirca today, and give your credit union the best chance of success.