The .visa Dot Brand
Visa Inc. is a global payments technology company which enables its clients and customers to use digital currency. Visa operates the world's largest retail electronics payments network and connects in more than 180 countries and territories. There are more than 1.8 billion Visa cards on issue.
The .visa brand domains will provide a new, authoritative and innovative space that will help connect consumers, businesses, banks and governments around the world.
This "new generation" TLD will serve the interests of end users by enhancing convenience, utility and trust. Information, services and resources will be carefully controlled by the company.
Continuous innovation is a paramount focus for Visa as it seeks to develop its product platform and extend services to new customer segments and geographies. The long-term goal is to offer electronic payment facilities to as many people in as many locations as possible, on numerous devices.
In the launch phase, users will at first be redirected to existing Visa destinations. Visa will monitor the progress of the new brand domain name system and levels of consumer awareness as it moves forward with more significant implementation.
The brand TLDs will enhance functionality and service levels. The new space will simplify interaction, be more distinctive and differentiate the company. Communication with consumers will be more direct and effective.
Domains like these will be friendly and intuitive and will improve navigation in terms of speed and relevance. Confusion will be reduced.
The successful deployment of domain strings like .visa will pressure other corporations to develop similar strategies, a scenario that will be of broad benefit to the internet as a whole.
The Applicant points out the current difficulty and expense of finding relevant domain names for initiatives under the current domain registration landscape. These problems are amplified for companies operating in countless countries and regions. The rapid expansion of mobile devices also magnifies the need for a larger pool of good names.
The .visa TLD will be operated in a centralized way with registration initially restricted to Visa entities. Consumers will quickly understand that .visa domains are trustworthy and free from malicious activities. The .visa brand will be authenticated and strengthened in this authoritative secure new space.
The brand domains will enable greater consumer choice since the company will be able to create an unlimited number of relevant and intuitive destinations referenced to its products and services, at will.
Visa will monitor the popularity and acceptance of the new brand TLDs and anticipates that an initial limited rollout of .visa domains in the first year will likely be expanded. Further down the track, the company may offer registrations beyond Visa entities. Any such external registrations would of course have to comply with strict registration policies to preserve the integrity of the space.
Visa holds registered trademarks in more than 180 countries. It owns well over 200 exact match domains in existing extensions such as Visa.com, Visa.info, Visa.de, Visa.co.uk and Visa.us.
The company may consider using Internationalized Domain Names at a later stage.
Visa will maintain robust security and anti-abuse policies to protect the integrity of its brand domain. This is critical for a financial services company such as Visa and for the general protection of the public-at-large.
These policies will deter negative activities such as fraud, phishing, defamation, intellectual property rights infringement, unlawful commerce (eg. fake pharmaceuticals), spam, pharming, malware distribution, botnet command & control, hacking and various other illegal activities. Maintaining the company's brand reputation will be a paramount objective.
A key purpose of the restricted .visa TLD is to enhance trust. As online commerce has grown in scale and complexity, so too have illegal activities. The .visa extension will be able to offer consumers a higher level of assurance and trust when connecting with the company. This approach to security will serve the wider public interest and "strengthen user confidence in the domain name system".
The Applicant will maintain a strictly controlled internal registration policy for the .visa TLD to promote its online reputation and avoid any possible abusive registrations.
The company will strongly protect privacy and confidential information in accordance with all applicable laws & regulations and in harmony with its objective of enhancing consumer trust. This will be augmented by its own robust and sophisticated policies.
Visa will work with its backend registry services provider Verisign to comply with the following international security standards: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) SAS 70 and WebTrust/SysTrust for Certification Authorities (CA).
Melbourne IT will also assist with management and oversight.
Geographic Dot Brands
Visa will not use geographic or country names in the .visa TLD until ICANN has approved their use. (These were prohibited at time of application.) The company will abide by the GAC principles restricting their use in the first instance.
However, Visa believes these GAC principles were intended to apply more to open registries rather than to the brand domains. Visa believes that its possible use of territorial names would be beneficial to internet users by providing logical and intuitive domain addresses. This would be convenient to all parties and reduce confusion. Responsible use would not be detrimental to governments.
The company is proposing various scenarios under which governments, ICANN and the GAC may come to approve the use of geographic terms in the space. For example, Visa might write to the GAC with a proposal to use a country name and offer the relevant country 90 days to raise an objection.
NOTE: cc = country code
In the event of a .visa domain name being deemed to be offensive, Visa will give priority to attempting to resolve the problem.
SPECIAL NOTE: Unlike in the cases of most other brand domain applicants, the .visa TLD could potentially cause some degree of public confusion. For example, Canada.visa on the surface might appear to be an official site for travel visas. (To counter this, the applicant being a sole registry applicant, could easily commit to making it crystal clear on every site that it is in fact about the credit card services company.) Nevertheless, the government of Canada could raise a legitimate objection.
Possible .visa Brand Domains
Brand names mentioned on this site are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective corporations. This site claims no association with or endorsement by any of these corporations and their marks are mentioned only to illustrate opinion presented in the public interest.
All quotations on this page are from the respective companies' official ICANN brand TLD applications unless otherwise stated.
Many possible theoretical dot brands are mentioned (in English). There are also countless possibilities in other languages. This has significant potential value for international navigation.
This site is focused on reporting the strategic impact of the brand domains on internet communication, competition and commerce, and some comment is speculative.
It is not a comprehensive overview of what some of the world's largest corporations have chosen to reveal about their plans for the implementation of their proprietary domain strings.
ICANN is particularly concerned with the technical, financial, security and legal issues associated with the new TLDs. These issues are beyond the scope of this website.
For a comprehensive overview of the brand domains and their impact on the web, refer to ICANN's website and the individual applications (large parts of which are publicly published).
If you have a particular interest in an individual company, the public aspects of their applications are available for download via these ICANN links: You can also search a complete list of applicants there.
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