'OurBank' domain options slim

ASB already has tabs on the MyBank name - the possible name of the new bank to be run by NZ Post - at least in the cyber-world.

ASB already has tabs on the MyBank name - the possible name of the new bank to be run by NZ Post - at least in the cyber-world.

It owns the domain mybank.co.nz, the name suggested in papers leaked to Opposition leader Jenny Shipley. If the planned bank adopts the name, it may find itself having to buy the obvious domain name from ASB.

ASB has owned the domain name since late 1999, says Greg Watson, online and e-commerce business manager at ASB. “That was before the people’s bank was more than a twinkle in Mr Anderton’s eye.” Acquisition of mybank.co.nz, says Watson, was motivated rather by the expanding population of sites like MyYahoo and MySAP, which enable the user to tailor the standard website presentation to reflect matters important to them.

Watson says ASB also acquired several banking and finance-related names beginning "my..." at the same time, but he could not supply details of these. Domains like mycash, mycheque and myfinance are either unclaimed or owned by Auckland company MyWebBrowser. Mymoney.co.nz – one that Watson can remember ASB exploring - belonged at the time, and still belongs, to publisher Wilson & Horton.

ASB has not yet done anything practical with the mybank domain, “but we intend to use it”, Watson says. He declines to give a likely timescale for the emergence of a Mybank.co.nz web page, or to speculate on possible purchase offers or threats of legal action from any new MyBank. Certainly no-one connected with the “people’s bank” has yet approached ASB on the matter, he says.

John Leppard in Jim Anderton’s office insists, however, that “no decision has been made on the name of the bank. The material leaked to Mrs Shipley was an interim document and contained an illustration of what a possible logo might look like."

NZ Post spokesman Simon Taylor confirms this, and says there was actually a paragraph in the original business-case document pointing out that MyBank would not necessarily be the name of the bank. "Branding work is yet to be done," and cannot be done until the shareholder - the government - decides whether to proceed with the plan, he said last week. The same condition is also holding up any decision on IT equipment for the bank, says Taylor.

MyBank.com is a web-based bank listing service, run by Florida-based FiTech.

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