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Type: Non-Profit Corporation
Founded: 1996
Country: USA
Key People
Paul Smocer, President

BITS is the technology policy division of the Financial Services Roundtable. It represents 100 of the largest financial services companies that provide insurance, investment products or banking services.[1]

It was created in 1996 by the Financial Services Roundtable to better help its members understand and collaborate on new technologies.[2]

.Bank and .Insurance Financial TLD Initiative

BITS, in partnership with the American Bankers Association, confirmed their application for the .bank and .insurance top level domain namess (TLDs) via ICANN's New gTLD Program to provide a safe and secure online space for the banking and insurance industry and its millions of consumers. Craig Schwartz, former chief gTLD registry liaison of ICANN, serves as the head of operation for the BITS and ABA Financial TLD Initiative, which is known as fTLD Registry Services, LLC.[3] The partnership formed the to handle the applications for both domain name strings and to manage its operations once approved by ICANN.[4] They chose Verisign to serve as their bank-end registry solutions provider.[5]


Before the application process was event closed, the European Banking Authority sent a warning letter to ICANN arguing that financially-oriented gTLDs are "dangerous and should be banned". [6]


The BITS and ABA's application for .bank and .insurance domain name strings are both in contention with those of Radix, a subsidiary business of the Directi Group, which applied for 31 new gTLDs.[7] Its .insurance TLD is further contested by Donuts, the largest single gTLD applicant, and Progressive Casualty Insurance Co..[8]


BITS has participated in the ICANN process since 2008 and has sent letters to ICANN following the publication of certain new gTLD program materials. BITS has sent letters to ICANN following the publication of many of the organization's new gTLD programs, including the first, second, third and fourth versions.[9][10][11][12] In late 2010, BITS threatened legal action against ICANN should it not defer the delegation of any financial TLD.[13] Since that time, BITS announced it is working with the American Bankers Association to apply for financial TLDs.

BITS has been vocal about what it deems as mandatory secuirty measure for any financially related gTLD. There are no specific measures stipulated in ICANN's Applicant Guidebook. BITS' Security Standards Working Group has made its own set of suggestions to ICANN on such requirements.[14]