ABA Banking Journal - May/June 2016 - (Page 48)
One Year Later
A year after the sunrise period began for .bank registrations,
banks that have made the migration are seeing the benefits.
BY CRAIG SCHWARTZ
ne year ago, the .bank domain
was launched by fTLD Registry
Services and since then,
more than 2,550 domestic
banks and 250 international
banks have together registered
nearly 6,000 domain names for their
institutions. The .bank domain provides
banks not only with a higher level of
customer security, but with greater
brand power that can enhance the
effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
Navigating the transition
Small and midsize banks are finding
a sweet spot with this transition-
many have turned on their new
.bank sites within six months of
initiating the process. By partnering
with approved registrars and
applying basic project management
principles, they are already reaping
the benefits of the .bank name.
For Citizens National Bank, a $617
million institution in Paintsville, Ky.,
the transition was a straightforward
process. A small team of marketing
and IT staff spearheaded the project
with the help of the bank's CEO.
Working with their core processor-
who took on the bulk of the technical
team rolled out their new domain
name in September 2015, just four
months after the project began.
For larger banks, the process may be
more time consuming, as it typically
involves more coordination with third48
ABA BANKING JOURNAL | MAY/JUNE 2016
party service providers and higher
costs associated with collateral updates
and customer notifications, but fTLD
continues to share lessons learned
and other resources to help banks of
all sizes as they undergo the technical
aspects of the domain migration.
Enhancing customer security
Perhaps the biggest selling point
of the .bank domain is the added
security it provides. To protect the
verified members of the global banking
community, fTLD employs enhanced
consumer protection safeguards
designed to mitigate malicious
activities including cybersquatting,
spoofing and phishing. Additionally,
the .bank name lets customers know-
with certainty-that they are doing
business with a verified member of the
banking community, which elevates
the overall trust of the bank brand.
"The security related to .bank is
paramount," says Ramona Laney,
AVP and marketing officer for
Citizens National Bank. "In the
future, it will set us up to stand
out from other competitors in
branding and marketing."
Leveraging the brand
power of .bank
The .bank name has also helped
institutions like Lead Bank, a
community bank in Missouri, to boost
the power of their corporate brand.
When the bank changed its name in
2010, they struggled to find a suitable
.com name. (Leadbank.com was
already registered to a non-financial
company.) The .bank migration
provided them an opportunity to secure
the shorter, more memorable lead.bank
domain name. A cost-benefit analysis
conducted by bank leadership showed
that the benefits the institution would
reap from enhanced security and
consumer confidence far outweighed
the nominal costs of the domain
name registration and migration.
"When you're talking about small
banks with seriously limited tech
budgets-when you can make an
improvement at the core of your
operations with your clients-that is
the easiest budgetary decision you
can make," says Joshua Rowland,
Lead Bank's vice chairman.
For Citizens National Bank, the
migration to .bank has reinvigorated
the institution's branding efforts, giving
rise to a new campaign to enhance
its social media presence. Laney
adds that the customer response to
the change has been all positive.
As threats to the financial sector
continue to evolve and consumers
seek a higher level of security from
their institutions, .bank provides a
strong, more secure and trusted home
for banks in the digital space.
CRAIG SCHWARTZ is managing director of
fTLD Registry Services, which manages
the .bank and .insurance domains.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - May/June 2016
BANKS & USDA
COVER STORY A SPECIAL REPORT: BANKING ON MILLENNIALS?
BANKER ON THE RANGE
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ABA COMPLIANCE CENTER INBOX
FROM THE STATES
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
ABA Banking Journal - May/June 2016
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