I was talking with a friend last week about a scam website that had tricked him into thinking he was signing up for a bank account, when really scammers were stealing confidential information like his social security number. He trusted the website because it was on a .COM and had a valid SSL Certificate so seemed legitimate. Now he’s going through the nightmarish process of safeguarding against identity theft.
Unfortunately this kind of thing happens all the time, and while yes, as consumers we should do our research, scammers are getting more sophisticated every day.
After hearing about this I started to do some research of my own and stumbled on .BANK which honestly I didn’t even know existed. First – it does exist, and second – it has some very interesting requirements that make it a pretty logical choice for, well, a bank.
Unlike most domain extensions, you can’t just register a .BANK, the only way to get a .BANK domain is to go through a verification process where you actually prove that you are indeed running a real legitimate bank. On top of this, companies operating on .BANK domains have mandatory security compliance means that customers accessing a site running on a .BANK domain know that any information they send will be kept secure.
Of course if you’re an existing bank running on a .COM, moving to a .BANK might seem like a crazy process…but it turns out there’s something called RAMP, which stands for Registrar Assisted Migration Program. Essentially, RAMP provides a completely streamlined solution for banks to move their web presence.
In searching around a bit more I found that popular domain registrar 101Domain offers a full suite of services to help banks get setup with a .BANK domain. They seem to cover the entire end-to-end process from Project Management all the way to Cloudflare setup and DMARC Record Configuration.
Now if you’re a domain investor, .BANK definitely isn’t for you since well, you’re not a bank. If you’re a startup in the banking space, and you’re trying to build trust with people that have never heard of you, I see .BANK as a very logical choice. Here’s a few examples of banks that have already started using the .BANK TLD:
And if you feel like doing a deeper dive, here’s a case study that does a good job of highlighting what’s involved in moving to .BANK and some of the key advantages. There’s also a handy site to see the adoption rate of .BANK domains which you can also check-out here.
After hearing about what my friend went through I’m definitely going to be a lot more cautious and now that I know about .BANK, I definitely know one way to validate if some new cool banking startup is legit or not.