It looks like .BANK domain could put an end to scam bank websites once and for all

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.

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Snoopy July 18, 2019, 8:02 pm

    Is this paid advertising? How is an unpopular tld going “put an end to scam bank websites once and for all”?

    Reply
  • Campreet Z July 18, 2019, 8:41 pm

    Total Domains 2,521
    Latest Update 0
    7 Day Avg 0

    There hasnt even been one registered in a week. Hopefully its the last time we hear about .bank
    Paid advertising sir?

    Reply
    • Snoopy July 18, 2019, 10:04 pm

      Interesting Campreet.

      Looking at ntldstats is seems they got a bunch of defensive registrations on the first day and then almost nothing since, just a sharp “step down” on the anniversary each year from drops. The person verifying new sites must be rather bored. Tumbleweeds?

      Reply
      • Ethan July 19, 2019, 12:49 am

        Guys, please do yourselves a favor and read the article before you comment.

        Only people who are running real legitimate banks can register this TLD.

        Reply
  • Morgan July 19, 2019, 9:25 am

    Just to re-emphasize my point here folks – domain investors can’t even buy a .BANK, you have to be a bank to buy one. There are TONS of scammy fake bank websites, this is going to clean it up. If I were a startup that was building a new bank and I wanted to build trust quickly, this feels like a good move to me.

    As a domain investor, my advice always is – focus on .COM and .COM only, the end.

    Reply
    • Snoopy July 19, 2019, 7:32 pm

      It is not going to clean anything up Morgan, just another low grade extension with declining numbers. Endusers are dropping it!

      Reply
  • Erich July 20, 2019, 5:14 am

    have you looked at banks which are running on a .bank domain-name ?
    When a user clicks onto “Login”, then it forwards to a .com domain-name of the backend-provider (backed services-provider for the bank-company).

    How can any bank claim to have a “safe” website, because their frontend is using a “.bank”-domain, the backend however is running on a “.com”-domain.

    Funny that not even banks have a clue about technology or even about their own website.
    Claiming that a “.bank”-domain is safer than a “.com”-domain is just a marketing-gimmick.

    Reply
  • Matt August 4, 2019, 2:11 pm

    These things will not catch on overnight, but definitely understand that gTLDs can make communities safer by implementing security across the whole namespace.

    To cite registration numbers with an extremely restricted TLD like .bank is ridiculous. There should be a low number.

    Who knows what will happen with new non-.coms. Here’s another example of what’s happening:
    Visit http://www.barclays.com and you’ll end up at https://home.barclays/

    The world is becoming more aware of non-.coms and if you are sat with a big portfolio of .coms that you bought more than 5 years ago, be careful, the online world is a different place now.

    Reply

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