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Why I Want a .PAYPAL New gTLD

Jean Guillon

I use Paypal, and I am quite satisfied with how it helps me with my business: it is still a little hard to use, and I don't use all functions of the tool, but it is not so expensive, it is fast and efficient, and Paypal does not send so many emails. In one word, Paypal rocks.

Is this from Paypal?

The only problem that I have with Paypal is the number of fake emails that I receive. Of course, I easily identify them as they come in and luckily, G Suite (Gmail) does an excellent job at blocking all spam and phishing.

I received an email from Paypal: a request to answer a survey with a hyperlink to click on down in the email. The problem: the domain name it pointed to was not the one I know from Paypal (paypal.com). As a person with a minimum knowledge about domain names, I always use my mouth to check the hyperlink prior to clicking on it and when I read that it is not a paypal.com domain name but a www.paypal-survey.com, I always wonder: "hey: is it an official website from Paypal or is it another trick from a squatter or a frauder?"

Brands and multiple domains
Paypal uses many different domain names: its main one (paypal.com), ccTLDs (paypal.fr) and probably some more like paypal-survey.com. These are domain names that we use to deal with Paypal and the Brand probably has a lot more registered, for the sole purpose of securing its assets.

We are in a typical case here where a Trademark could confuse its clients with too many domain names and that same question comes back again: "is this really from Paypal: how can I be sure about this?"

The .PAYPAL new gTLD

Domain names ending in ".paypal", instead of ".com" offer an incredible advantage in terms of trust: would Paypal apply and use the .PAYPAL new gTLD in the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program, it would answer one problem that I have as a client: anything belonging to Paypal could be identified behind domain names ending in ".paypal".

Old ".com" domain names can be registered by anyone so it is easy - and fast - to create a fraud based on a domain name using the "paypal" sign. Domain names registered in ".paypal" offer the advantage that they would be registered by the Paypal trademark only: no possible fraud using ".paypal" domain names here.

By Jean Guillon, New generic Top-Level Domains' specialist. More blog posts from Jean Guillon can also be read here.

Related topics: Cybersecurity, Email, Top-Level Domains


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.paypal won't help Carl Byington  –  Oct 03, 2017 4:15 PM PDT

Given that PayPal currently uses multiple domain names, is there any evidence that they would migrate all of them to names under .paypal when they have so far resisted migrating all of them to names under paypal.com?

.paypal has no real advantage to their existing paypal.com.

They are not the only ones that confuse users and dilute their brand by using multiple domain names. Banks and other financial institutions especially seem to like doing that. They are essentially training their customers to click on any link that sort of looks like the name of your bank. Just a few examples:

citizensbank.com, citizensbankonline.com

citi.com, citibank.com, citidirect.com, citigroup.com

wellsfargo.com, wf.com

One advantage Jean Guillon  –  Oct 04, 2017 12:05 AM PDT

It is true that there is no really difference technically speaking, accept that Paypal would be "at home", instead of "at .com" but there is one advantage that ".com" can't, and will never be able to, offer. It is trust: anyone can register and fool a Paypal customer using a ".com" domain name. No one will with a ".paypal".

If you look at this list of financial institutions, some are starting their migration to their own personalized domain name extension: CITIC - CREDITUNION - BNPPARIBAS - BRADESCO - BARCLAYS…

Citigroup has the .citi tld, but seems Carl Byington  –  Oct 03, 2017 4:50 PM PDT

Citigroup has the .citi tld, but seems to make no use of it.

Bank of America has the .bofa tld, but seems to make no use of it.

JPMorgan has the .chase tld, but seems to make no use of it.

Barclays has both .barclaycard and .barclays, even though the company pled guilty in 2015 to Libor manipulation, and Bloomberg reported in June 2017 that Barclays is planning to pled guilty in connection with capital raising from Qatar.

There are many other cases of companies getting their own top level domain, and then ignoring it.

CITIC has 148 domains registered ending in ".citic" Jean Guillon  –  Oct 04, 2017 12:08 AM PDT

It is true that many .BRAND applications have been applied to and few are being used but these figures are changing. On all new gTLD reports, I added a little "R" sign next to all .BRAND new gTLD applications. Figures don't lie.

Aw, come on John Levine  –  Oct 05, 2017 7:32 AM PDT

Paypal could consolidate everything under paypal,com, e.g. fr.paypal.com for their French site, if they wanted to. Other than wasting $200K, a TLD would make no difference whatsoever.

Sub-domains ? Jean Guillon  –  Oct 05, 2017 7:44 AM PDT

I agree I would not have paid so much attention to a survey.paypal.com but I find the use of subdomains old fashioned. In regard to wasting money, I'd say that the investment is worth it because .BRAND domain name registration figures are increasing and no one knows where we'll be in 10 years. Also...what's the price of trust?

A figure that I'd be interested to know is how much it cost Paypal to fight against these abuses: not only in terms of money but also, in terms of time.

It's OK John Levine  –  Oct 05, 2017 7:47 AM PDT

We understand that you want to find some reason for brand TLDs to exist. Good luck.
By the way, I go to conferences with Paypal security people. To a first approximation, all of your assumptions about why they do what they do are wrong.

Check the figures Jean Guillon  –  Oct 05, 2017 8:00 AM PDT

What else can I say.

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