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Emojis could soon replace pin numbers in UK banks


This week, UK online banking service Intelligent Environments announced it is in talks with banks to introduce the “world’s first emoji-only passcode.”

That means your pin could change from 1-2-3-4 (let’s hope that’s not really anyone’s) to clappy hands - slice of pizza - little piggy - see no evil monkey.

The passwords could be made up from a selection of 44 emojis. A trip to the cash point will automatically be more fun, even if the screen does say ‘insufficient funds.’

The company believes emoji-only passwords are an obvious choice because images are easier to remember than numbers (apparently a third of us have forgotten our PINs before).

The company quote memory expert, Tony Buzan, who says: “The Emoji Passcode plays to humans’ extraordinary ability to remember pictures, which is anchored in our evolutionary history. We remember more information when it’s in pictorial form, that’s why the Emoji Passcode is better than traditional PINs.”

Windows 8 already uses pictures instead of words for computer log-ins.

According to Intelligent Environments, emoji passwords can also create more mathematically secure passwords than numbers or words.


Intelligent Environments have stated that with a traditional pin number, there are: “7,290 unique permutations of four non-repeating numbers vs Emoji Passcode = 3,498,308 million unique permutations of non-repeating emojis.”

The passcodes would also prevent hackers from guessing passwords based on address or date of birth.

The new emoji passwords are also said to be what the younger generations want. Intelligent Environments' Managing director David Webber said: "We've had input from lots of millennials when we developed the technology.’’

"Our research shows 64 percent of millennials regularly communicate only using emojis," he said, ‘’So we decided to reinvent the passcode for a new generation..."

According to the company, they are in discussions with banks who hope to initiate the passwords within the next 12 months.

After all, Emoji is the fastest growing language in the UK, so it makes sense. 

Images: Intelligent Environments



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