A Domain You Can .Bank On? - New Zealand Thought of It First
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One of the things that ICANN considers when looking at proposals for new generic TLDs is whether the domain has the support of the community that would be using it. You may recall that this was one of the reasons it cited for rejecting the .xxx domain. Quite a few adult web site owners pre-registered .xxx domain names in case ICANN approved the new registry, but many clearly thought it was a bad idea.
At least one country might not like the .bank idea either. New Zealand bankers have requested that the Office of the Domain Name Commissioner create a second level domain just for them. In fact, they requested it three times, and have been turned down each time. If it had been accepted, New Zealand-licensed banks such as Westpac could use the domain name westpac.bank.nz, instead of wespac.co.uk (the domain it currently uses).
This isn’t necessarily an indication that New Zealand would be against the idea of a .bank generic TLD as opposed to a second level domain. In fact, one could point to the New Zealand bankers’ determination in submitting the request three times as evidence of community support. But it’s almost as likely that ICANN would cite the DNC’s rejection of the requests as a sign of lack of community support.
Indeed, when the Office of the Domain Name Commissioner opened up the submission for comments from the public, they seemed to be divided right down the middle. Some thought it was a good idea; others thought it would be confusing and wouldn’t do anything to help prevent phishing. Richard Thomas, who wrote in to disagree with the creation of .bank.nz, pointed out that “Most scammers do not bother registering domains similar to the ones being phished. They simply send those being scammed to sites that look the same as the authentic one but with a completely different URL. Most people do not even see the URL as they receive in an HTML e-mail…Banks can do more to reduce phishing simply by educating their clients that e-mail is insecure and that a bank will not send a link to them via e-mail.”
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