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THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .VISA gTLD IS TO BENEFIT INTERNET USERS BY INCREASING TRUST, CONVENIENCE AND UTILITY. The .visa gTLD will be a new generation gTLD serving the interests of end users by providing an authoritative Internet space where information, services and resources... Read more
THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .VISA gTLD IS TO BENEFIT INTERNET USERS BY INCREASING TRUST, CONVENIENCE AND UTILITY.
The .visa gTLD will be a new generation gTLD serving the interests of end users by providing an authoritative Internet space where information, services and resources of .visa will be closely controlled by Visa International Service Association ("Visa International"). The majority of the anticipated domain name registrations in the .visa gTLD will be used as a communication tool. Some domain names may have the potential to be created for marketing and product-related purposes as well as for access to secure payment gateways as the full business potential of the gTLD evolves.
Visa International is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Visa Inc., (Visa Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates collectively referred to herein as "VISA") which is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, banks and governments in more than 180 countries and territories, and enables its clients and customers to use digital currency instead of cash and checks. VISA operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network with over 1.8 billion VISA cards (as of June 30, 2011) and with total volume of over USD 5.8 trillion over the four quarters ending in September 30, 2011. VISA's fundamental approach to innovation focuses on enhancing its current product platform and extending the utility of its products and services to new merchant segments and geographies. VISA's innovations enable more people in more places to enjoy the benefits of electronic payments at any time, in any location, using a multitude of devices. In this regard, consumer trust and continuous innovation are paramount considerations in all of VISA's activities.
Since the inception of the current domain name system, businesses conducted on the internet have been constantly changing and evolving with increased complexity. The volume of commercial transactions over the internet is constantly growing and bringing benefits to businesses and consumers. However, at the same time, illegal activities over the internet, including intellectual property infringement, data breach, hacking and phishing activities have also become more sophisticated resulting in the loss of consumer confidence beyond mere monetary harm. We are hopeful that the .visa gTLD will help to facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users looking to connect with VISA online.
VISA's mission and purpose for the proposed .visa gTLD are consistent with ICANN's initiatives to promote public interest. VISA is committed to contributing towards achieving initiatives in line with ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments, which include:
- Consumer Trust: the .visa gTLD registry will be operated in a secure, centralized manner with a restrictive registration policy. Initially, registration of domain names will only be available to VISA entities, which will provide added consumer trust that .visa domain names are secure and trustworthy. As .visa domain names are subject to VISA's proprietary registration standards, policies and procedures, we anticipate this will mitigate against the possibility of malicious conduct within the .visa domain space;
- Competition: the proposed new gTLD is anticipated to contribute to ICANN's initiatives to promote public interest through its operations focused on promoting consumer trust. As .visa is intended to operate as a restricted registry, it anticipates providing improved services and security, as well as assuring the authenticity of the VISA brand to end users. We are hopeful that increased trust in .visa gTLD will drive existing and new top level domain (TLD) registry operators to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust of their TLDs, thus, competition among registries to improve consumer trust will result in a more favorable user experience.
- Consumer Choice: the proposed new gTLD is anticipated to enable user-driven improvements and innovations assisting VISA's marketing efforts through its ability to create new second and third level domain names on demand. These names will provide the consumers with more choices for interacting with VISA online. As VISA has control over the registration and use of domain names under the .visa gTLD, internet users connecting with VISA online will be able to view VISA's marketing efforts while assured of the site's authenticity.
Given the restricted nature of the .visa gTLD, the projected number of registration is likely to be limited. It is anticipated that a limited number of domain names may be registered in the first year. However, in subsequent years, the number of domain name registrations may be likely to increase as VISA develops and implements new services and marketing campaigns, and in the event the popularity of new gTLDs increases.
As the .visa gTLD expands and evolves, VISA may consider offering registration of .visa domain names beyond VISA entities, at a later stage. In such endeavor, Visa International will ensure registration of such domain names will comply with applicable provisions of the registration policy (including but not limited to eligibility), all operational, technical and policy requirements, as well as maintaining consumer trust and the stability of the internet. VISA will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to the .visa gTLD, including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations as set out in Specification 8 of the Registry Agreement.
VISA intends to potentially create relevant domain names for a variety of uses including for products and services. Initially, VISA does not foresee the use of geographic names at the second level. However, if VISA wishes to utilise geographic names at a later stage, such use of geographical names will be in accordance with the registration policy and the proposed measures for protection of geographical names as outlined in response to Question 22.
VISA does not intend to utilize Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) at the second level, initially. However, as the use of the .visa gTLD evolves, it is anticipated that VISA may consider utilizing IDNs within the .visa domain space to allow internet users to engage with .visa in their native language, creating a more positive user experience.
VISA is a famous and well-known global brand with its trademarks registered in over 180 countries and territories for a broad range financial-related goods and services, including but not limited to: financial services, payment processing goods and services (Class 36), network and telecommunication services (Class 38), educational, training and consultation services (Classes 41 and 42), computer hardware and software, cards, and devices (Class 9), printed material and decals (Class 16), and incentive and loyalty programs, and advertising, promotional, sponsorship materials (Class 35). VISA proposes to use the .visa gTLD with respect to a broad range of goods and services, including the above mentioned goods and services, which is consistent with VISA's business activities and its trademark registrations.
Furthermore, VISA has an extensive portfolio of existing domain names with an exact match to its "VISA" trademark and applied-for string in:
- 10 gTLDs including visa.com, visa.biz and visa.info; and
- 226 country-code TLD (ccTLDs) domain names in 152 different countries including visa.us, visa.de, visa.jp, visa.com.au, visa.eu, visa.co.uk
VISA has also been successful in securing multiple sunrise applications for "VISA" based on existing trademark registration.×