Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. (“Itau” or “the Applicant”) is currently a publicly-held company which, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, operates all types of banking activities in Brazil and abroad since 1924.
Itau is the largest Latin American bank and the eighth largest bank in the world based on market value criterion (R$ 152.8 billion) (Bloomberg ranking, 31 December 2011)Itau has over 105,000 employees, 40 million clients, and activities in 19 countries and 2 territories throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. In Brazil alone, Itau has nearly 5,000 branches and 30,000 ATMs. One of every four “reais” (Brazil’s currency) circulates through Itau. Itau and its affiliates offers complete retail banking and operate as a full service bank in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. In 2011, Itau was named the world’s most sustainable bank by the Financial Times and IFC.
The Itau brand is extremely valuable in Brazil and worldwide and the value of the Itau brand has been consistently growing. For the eighth consecutive time, the Itau brand was recognized as the most valuable in Brazil by Interbrand consulting company, a pioneer in the development of the brand valuation method. The Itau brand is valued at R$ 24.3 billion, which is 18% higher than the brand’s value in 2010 and 130% higher than the brand’s value in 2008. Itau is also one of the most valuable brands in the world, with an estimated value of $ 9.6 billion (BrandZ ranking 2011,FT⁄ Millward Brown).
Itau continues to promote and construct its brand. Brand construction and promotion efforts include mass communication, internal marketing, corporate citizenship initiatives, and sponsorships (e.g. official sponsor of the Brazilian National Soccer Team and Official National Supporter of the World Cup 2014). Outside Brazil, especially in Latin America, Itau seeks to construct a globally consistent brand.
Against this background, the mission and purpose of the proposed .itau gTLD includes: securing and protecting the Itau brand as a gTLD; further promoting and shaping the Itau brand; and reflecting and operating the Itau brand at the top level of the DNS’ hierarchy.
Itau believes technology has a role in bringing accessibility to people and facilitating peopleʹs lives. Accordingly, Itau has always been on the forefront of technological developments in Latin America. The group to which Itau belongs has even a separate company, ItauTec, whose mission and purpose was to develop information technology solutions for banking business.
Itau and its affiliates developed the following customer accessibility technologies:
home banking applications as early as the beginning of the 1980’s;
IT infrastructure allowing customers to perform financial transactions from any branch in Brazil and abroad, and not only with the local branch with whom the customer relationship exists;
electronic banking applications over the Internet since the mid 1990’s.More recently, Itau and its affiliates began offering the following customer accessibility technologies:
- services in the Brazilian market via mobile phones through Itau Mobile, such as Itau trade TV, which displays video with the main daily news about investments, Itau’s consolidated portfolio of investment funds through charts, and access to reports of Itau Brokerage in PDF format;
- the classifieds portal lcarros, a practical tool whose purpose is to facilitate the buying and selling of cars via the Internet, boosting sales of dealerships and offering convenience to users;
- a banking application for tablets and smartphones;
- iConta, a service aimed at customers who want to use only the bank’s electronic channels-Internet banking, telephone (electronic service), mobile, iPhone and ATMS to manage and conduct their financial transactions; and
- an application for reading bar codes on the iPhone to make payments.
Itau has received many acknowledgements for its technological achievements including:
- Financial Executives Magazine, E-finance Award in five categories: Best and Most Innovative Service Center, Worldʹs Fastest Cash; Ipad app, WMS Upgrade Technological and IT Professional of the year, with Alexandre de Barros, vice president, Technology;
- 100 most connected companies of Brazil, the Info Magazine;
- 2010 Award in the categories Internet Social Security and Business Mobile, Financial Executives Magazine;
- Cisco Networkers Innovation Awards 2010, Cisco of Brazil, Best Project of the Year in the collaboration category.
Thus, Itau is a recognized leader in banking technology and it is considered a high-tech, modern and innovative bank.
Against this background, the mission and purpose of the proposed .itau gTLD also includes utilizing new technology to improve customer accessibility.
Throughout its history, Itau and its affiliates has put a particular focus on retail banking customers, by providing low-cost financial services and giving them access to sustainable credit facilities utilizing state-of-the-art information technology infrastructures and applications. Especially this target group is extremely prone to technical security breaches, when accessing financial services and performing financial transactions on line. Over the past few years, Itau’s customers have been the victims of a number of phishing attacks.
According to Itau’s market research, customers who use the Internet banking in Brazil consider the following to be the most important attributes: ease of access, security and simplicity. Itauʹs customers have a high level of satisfaction with Itau´s Internet banking. Indeed, for many years Itau has been elected Top of Mind on the Internet Bank (portal UOL).
Against this background, the mission and purpose of the proposed .itau gTLD further includes: providing customers with a recognizable and trusted identifier on the Internet; providing customers with a trusted, secure and safe Internet environment, for example, to mitigate the risks of phishing attacks, directly under one of the world’s most trusted brands in the financial industry; providing more vulnerable customers further assurance that their financial transactions are safe, secure, and genuine; maintaining and improving Itau customer satisfaction with Internet banking; and enabling penetration and use of the Internet for accessing financial services in Brazil and beyond.
Thus, the mission and purpose of the proposed .itau gTLD underpins Itau’s corporate vision to be “a leading bank in sustainable performance and client satisfaction.”