Top level domain names (such as .com) are well known.  In a previous post, we discussed top level domain names and the “new frontier” that is being created by allowing a multitude of different extensions other than .com.  (see http://www.krcl.com/index.php?src=news&submenu=News&srctype=detail&category=LITIGATION%20UPDATE&refno=510 )

For Banks, the availability of the new . bank extension presents a new and exciting opportunity.  It is intended to be a trustworthy name only for qualifying financial institutions.  This will allow the public to know they are dealing with a legitimate financial institution.  “Consumers need to feel confident that when they go to a .bank … 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.” http://www.bankinfosecurity.com/4-online-security-reasons-for-bank-a-4818

Financial institutions will be able to register domain names utilizing the .bank extension, such as Hometownbank.bank.  The .bank extension is a joint enterprise between the American Banker Association and the Financial Services Roundtable. Only banks and savings association supervised by a governmental authority are eligible to utilize the domain name.

Before registration is open to the general public, financial institutions that have their trademarks registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse (a centralized depository for registered trademarks) will have an opportunity to register .bank name.  This “sunrise period” begins on Monday, May 18, and end on June 17, 2015.