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Endeavour Mutual Bank launches industry-first “.bank” URL


The bank's new ".bank" domain in Australia offers a higher level of cyber security than the traditional ".com" URL.

Endeavour Mutual Bank has become one of the first Australian financial institutions to launch a new website URL with ".bank" instead of the standard ".com" domain suffix. The new domain is much safer than the traditional ".com" domain, and requires a much higher level of security.

The new domain will improve customer security and privacy, and give consumers more confidence when banking online that their personal data is protected from cyber crime, hackers and fake look-a-like websites masquerading as the real bank's website.

Launching the new domain has been a six-month project between Endeavour Mutual Bank, domain operator fTLD and technology provider TAS, which provided the IT infrastructure solutions needed for the domain switch. TAS CEO Shane Baker said the move was a positive step in the right direction for Australia's banking sector.

“Australian banks and financial institutions remain at high risk of cyber-attacks, so it is encouraging to see forward-thinking activities such as this being implemented to add an extra layer of protection from online criminals and syndicates,” he said.

Not only is the new domain safer then the previous in terms of cyber security, but the ".bank" wording also serves to enhance customer trust. Consumers tend to associate the word "bank" as more secure than, for example, the term credit union, building society or mutual.

This is one of the reasons why in July last year the government announced its plans to allow smaller players to call themselves a bank by removing the obstacles to using the term bank. That is, removing the requirement for authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) to hold more than $50 million in capital before they are able to refer to themselves as a bank.

When the government announced its plans to remove the barriers for smaller players calling themselves a bank, the CEO of Business Council of Co-Operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) Melina Morrison, said: “The banks have been fighting against this change of terminology because they know that it will make a difference to how credit unions and mutuals are perceived. While for all practical purposes they are banks, this change will help consumers view member-owned banks as a more mainstream alternative."

It will be interesting to see how many banks, building societies and mutuals adopt the new ".bank" domain and how it will be perceived by Australian consumers.

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