Up until now, you must have thought emojis are only meant to express emotions on Social Media or to chat with your friends, but you’re wrong. In the U.K, a British technology firm called Intelligent Environments created the world’s first emoji-only passcode, which means a passcode for bank transactions made out of emoji’s and not those boring old numbers!
Here’s the full story:
Who started this?
On June 15th 2015, the world’s first emoji-only passcode was launched by Intelligent Environment (London) for logging into banking applications. They claimed that Emoji Passcodes are more secure because of the potential combinations of the selected emojis, than of the numbers 0-9.
In the words of David Webber their MD, “Why can’t financial service be fun and innovative?”
So, what exactly is it?
Intelligent Environments’ ‘Emoji Passcode’ enables consumers to log into their banks using four emoji characters, instead of traditional number PINs or passcodes. The emojis are not the standard ones which you see on your phone. Instead, they have come up with their own emojis. This is intentional because so many emojis are similar with only small differences, which can make the selections more tricky.
What was so wrong with the good old numerical PIN and Passcodes?
The software created by Intelligent Environment gives a choice of 44 limited emojis only. This doesn’t sound like a lot but after doing the math, you can get “3,498,308 million” permutations, whereas in case of traditional numerical passcodes, made from 0-9 numbers we get only 7,290 unique permutations which are easily hackable.
Why is this Emoji PIN/Passcode better?
1. It is more secure:
- Colourful emojis can make online banking more secure because they will stop hackers from identifying common pin numbers such as birthdays, anniversaries etc.
- Unlike the text messages, the most frequently used emoji won’t be saved, because they will type it on a specially designed keypad, meaning that the hackers won’t be able to guess passcodes from user’s history either.
2. It is easy to remember:
The idea given by this company is really thoughtful because research shows that people find it so much easier to remember stories and pictures than numbers and words.
3. It will avoid repetition of the same passcode for all accounts:
Intelligent Environments launched the feature in response to research that said Britishers find it hard to remember numerical passcodes. A survey showed that over 1,300 respondents in the UK, have forgotten their PINs before. While one in four respondents said they used the same PIN for all their cards.
4. It is ‘Trending’:
Most millennials prefer communicating in emoji’s and this encouraged Intelligent Environment to come up with such a system that would appeal to millennials and make banking fun and easy for them.
Realizing the potential of emojis in banking, few digital banks in the UK have already expressed an interest in Emoji Passcode service offered by this company.
But there might be a few glitches in this Expressive Plan:
- Older generations might face difficulties with this new form of authentication, as they might find emojis difficult to remember and use.
- In spite of the emoji passcode being more secure than numbers, stronger forms of verification such as “Two Factor Authentication” method, (which is an extra layer of security), will still be required to protect sensitive information such as banking logins.
- There isn’t still any valid proof or formal study about how secure these emoji passcodes can be and it can only be confirmed once banks start implementing this technology.
Emojis may not be used as passcodes YET, but they are used by banks for other reasons:
A lot of banks are coming up with chatbots which are just like the Siri on your iPhone. You can ask this chatbot anything relating to your banking account and it will answer it. It is like having a one-on-one interaction and you can speak to them in Emojis and Gifs!
One such chatbot has been created by Capital One. It is called as Eno: An app that communicates to customers through text messages about their bank account and can understand emojis. For example, if a user sends a cash bag emoji, it will send additional information about the user’s account.
That was all about the Emoji’s entry into the ‘Finance World’. If you still have any questions comment and let us know, in Emojis!