The American Bankers Association (ABA) and BITS, the technology policy division of The Financial Services Roundtable, are working to prepare the financial services industry for potential new financial generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) and have teamed with VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world, to serve as their exclusive registry operator.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) new gTLD initiative could result in an unprecedented number of new consumer domains. As gTLD expansion progresses, BITS, ABA and Verisign will work together to protect the integrity of online financial services around the globe with the possible introduction of new financial services domains. ICANN has targeted June for the completion of the requirements and may begin accepting new gTLD applications by October, with the first approved gTLDs aimed for implementation in 2012.
Verisign is the global registry operator for two of the Internet's largest TLDs -- .com and .net -- which had a combined base of more than 100 million domain names at the close of 2010. In this role, Verisign has operated a proven, highly scalable and resilient Internet infrastructure for domain name resolution, with 100 percent accuracy and stability, for more than a decade. In the fourth quarter of 2010 alone, Verisign's Internet infrastructure processed an average load of 61 billion domain name system (DNS) queries every day. Verisign intends to apply this same operational excellence and infrastructure to support any new finance-related gTLDs.
"We're pleased to be part of this strong partnership on behalf of the nation's $13 trillion banking industry and its two million employees," said Jeff Plagge, president of Northwest Financial Corp. and chair of the ABA's task force reviewing the implications and opportunities surrounding the establishment of top-level, finance-related domains. "Verisign is the perfect choice to serve as the exclusive registry operator for any new gTLDs we introduce, as we continue to grow the global financial community."
"This partnership provides the industry with both agility and ready capacity as ICANN moves forward with gTLD expansion," said Leigh Williams, president of BITS. "If we decide to apply for and launch financial domains, we will already have a team in place that understands financial services' special security requirements."
"We're honored to have been chosen by BITS and ABA as their registry operator for any new gTLDs deployed to serve the financial services industry and their customers," said Pat Kane, senior vice president and general manager of Naming Services at Verisign.