The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is now making the .creditunion top-level domain to eligible credit unions based in the U.S.
The web addresses will not be automatically granted to those who apply. Each application will be subjected to a fairly rigorous evaluation and approval process, managed by CUNA. Domain names must correspond to a credit union’s name or brand in order to be obtained.
U.S.-based credit unions with federally-registered trademarks can begin the application process immediately. Everyone else will have to wait until after June 6, 2017.
Credit unions interested in registering a domain can get started at CUNA’s website.
The release of the .creditunion domain is almost certainly the credit union industry’s response to the .bank domain established by the American Banker’s Association back in September 2014.
“With any luck, .creditunion will become trusted web shorthand pointing to good sources of information for credit union members nationwide,” CUNA said on its website.
Whether that dream will actually be achieved seems questionable. After all, the .creditunion domain is 11 characters long — 8 characters more than most top-level domains like .com and .org, which are the most common choices for credit union URLs today.
Some credit unions with short names and short web addresses like Truity aren’t likely to surrender their current URL truitycu.org — which is a total of 12 characters (including the “dot”) — in favor of truity.creditunion at 18 characters. It’s more for consumers to remember, and then type into their mobile devices.
Other credit unions with names like State Employees Credit Union and those with acronyms like BECU have deliberately chosen to shorten the “Credit Union” component of their name when choosing a web address, truncating down to becu.org and ncsecu.org.
However, there may be some credit unions using acronyms who will embrace the domain. If, for instance, your name was ABC Credit Union, it’s plausible you might opt to use abc.creditunion as your website URL.
Credit unions would definitely like to get their hands on the .cu top-level domain. That would certainly appeal to a wider audience in the credit union industry, and reflect the themes of brevity and simplicity that dominate the digital world we live in today. Unfortunately, the .cu domain isn’t likely to become available any time soon. It is the official top-level domain for Cuba, and it is limited only to organizations that are based on the island.
For federally-chartered credit unions however, there could still be hope for a .fcu top-level domain registry. Maybe someday.