With cybercrime and data breaches on the rise, a top-level .BANK domain can give your financial institution an edge in online security. Offering superior protection against phishing attacks and spoofing, the .BANK domain is now the gold standard for online banking — helping financial institutions to differentiate their services and inspire greater consumer trust.

Moving to a .BANK domain may seem daunting at first, but as many banks have discovered, the enhanced security benefits and consumer confidence can outweigh the nominal costs of registering and migration. 

To help decide if a .BANK domain is right for your organization, here’s a closer look at the security features of a .BANK domain, and how to get started with a .BANK domain registration.

What is a .BANK domain

A .BANK domain is like other top-level domains (such as .com, .net, or .gov) but only for the banking industry. Created in 2014 and operated by fTLD Registry Services, LLC, .BANK offers extra security to assist banks in creating a safer and easily recognizable space on the web. Besides being more secure, a .BANK domain is a unique marketing opportunity for banks looking to differentiate their offerings.

In order to to be eligible for a .BANK domain registration, your organization must be one of the following registered entities:

  • Retail bank
  • Savings association
  • National bank
  • Bank holding or parent company

While credit unions and credit associations cannot register a .BANK domain, they can offer their customers a secure online experience with a .CREDITUNION domain. And, for businesses that operate as cooperatives, registering a .COOP domain can help raise their online profile.

What are the advantages of registering a .BANK domain?  

Online financial services is one of the biggest targets for cybercriminals. It’s far too easy for these criminals to get .com and .net domains to create lookalike websites where they can launch phishing and spoofing attacks against customers. In an age where data breaches are costly both financially and reputation-wise, .BANK gives you security advantages that no other domain can.

The three key security advantages of registering a .BANK domain:

  1. A .BANK domain prevents spoofing. Unlike .com or .net, a .BANK domain is a verified location for your bank’s online services. The industry-regulated process required to register a .BANK domain makes it virtually impossible for an impostor to get a .BANK address and spoof a website. 
  2. A .BANK domain prevents phishing. Communications sent from .BANK domain have built-in security features to prevent phishing and spoofing. This means you can communicate with your customers with the guarantee that messages are authentically from your bank.
  3. A .BANK domain instills greater trust. The .BANK symbol is an instantly recognizable and visually reassuring “online stamp of trust.” Any time a customer visits a .BANK website, they know they’re communicating and transacting with a verified bank website, and not a scammer.

As more banks come to adopt the .BANK standard for their websites, consumers will come to expect the .BANK TLD when engaging and transacting with financial websites. Taking the steps to register a .BANK domain signals to consumers that online security is a priority for your bank.

How is a .BANK domain better than a .com domain?

Unlike .com websites, .BANK websites must meet rigorous security standards and practices, and only verified members of the banking industry can register a .BANK domain. This alone prevents cybercriminals from creating lookalike domains and launching phishing and spoofing attacks. 

Additionally, these security technologies are required for a fully compliant .BANK domain:

  • Secure DNS Service. Helps to prevent Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks, along with security tools to help fight phishing and other email-related fraud.
  • SSL Digital Certificates. With a .BANK domain you can choose the right SSL certificate for your needs, including Standard SSL Certificates, Extended Validated (EV) Certificates, Wildcard Certificates, or SAN Certificates.
  • DMARC Email Security. DMARC provides another layer of protection, helping to ensure a message is legitimately from the sender, and what to do if it isn’t.

These features and more make .BANK a protected and trusted space on the Internet, giving banks superior online security along with greater opportunities for promoting and branding their services.

Can you transfer from a .com to .BANK

Yes. Transferring a .com domain to a .BANK domain is a straightforward process. To perform a transfer, you’ll need to contact your current registrar to unlock your domain and create an authorization code. After this is done, you may initiate your transfer with your new registrar who will walk you through the process.

Can you redirect an existing domain to a .BANK domain

Yes. You can redirect traffic and emails from your .com (or other TLDs) to your .BANK domain name. This enables you to keep existing traffic and educate customers about the benefits of .BANK domain while you redirect them. To learn more about EnCirca’s streamlined process for migrating to a secure .BANK website, please see our RAMP program page.

How difficult is it to set up a .BANK domain?

To set up a .BANK domain, the bank’s systems must be able to support the technical security requirements of the domain. This includes support for secure DNS, SSL digital certificates, email authentication, Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.2 and up, as well as third-party support. For more information, please see our FAQ page or contact EnCirca directly.

What to consider when buying a .BANK domain 

When it comes to buying a .BANK domain, it’s important to choose a registrar with the track record and experience to make your transition a smooth one. To make sure you’re choosing the right registar for your bank, here are some of the top considerations when choosing a registrar for your new .BANK domain.

  • Reputation of registrar. How long has the registrar been in business and what is their reputation? Note that all registrars must be fTLD registry services approved and adhere to all fTLD Security Requirements. 
  • SOC 2 certification. Is the registrar SOC 2 certified? SOC 2 certification ensures that the registrar is engaging in best practices to secure your domain name against malicious activity such as hijacking. 
  • Post-purchase support. Does the registrar offer support for transferring from your existing domain and with redirection? Do they offer on-going customer and technical support? 
  • Partner support. Does the registrar have the know-how and teams to dive down into specialized solutions for vertical marketplaces?

For 20 years, EnCirca has been helping businesses with their hosting, registration, and cybersecurity needs. See our customer success stories to learn how several organizations successfully launched their .BANK domain with EnCirca.

Where can I register my .BANK domain name? 

You can register a .BANK domain using EnCirca’s fTLD registry services. EnCirca is an ICANN-Accredited Domain Name Registrar, supporting nearly every top-level-domain extension.

Ready to take advantage of the security benefits of a .BANK domain?

Please visit Encirca to register your own .BANK domain or to learn more about EnCirca’s cybersecurity, domain portfolio management, DNS and website hosting services.