Chip and Emoji - the next big thing

Posted by Richard Catlin in Banking on 16 June 2015 - Richard is Marketing Director at checkmyfile.

It may seem like a completely ridiculous idea right now, but using Emojis to access online banking services could be just around the corner.

Emojis, for anyone that doesn’t know, are the selection of small yellow faces and basic graphics that you will get in a text message from time to time. If a picture speaks a thousand words, an emoji can at least convey a few I suppose.

Traditionally the remit of teenagers (and mums, in my case), emojis could be set to find an altogether more serious home. Intelligent Environments, a British company, has developed a service that allows users to log using a sequence of 4 emoji characters rather than the traditional 4 digit PIN.

There are two main schools of thought behind the development. First off, studies have proved that people find it easier to remember images rather than numbers, potentially reducing the number of times someone would need to reset their login information. Secondly, because there are 44 emoji symbols in the current system, compared to the 10 numbers used in selecting a traditional PIN, there are many more combinations, making it harder (in theory) for a fraudster to hack it.

In fact, there would be over 3m permutations, compared to just 7,000 for a normal PIN.

The company behind the idea said that the system was aimed squarely at an audience in the 15-25 demographic, adding a bit of fun to an everyday necessity.

Despite reported ‘interest’ from banks, there are no confirmed takers for the new technology as yet. Whether people are happy to access their online banking by pressing a yellow waving head, a pint of beer, a cheeseburger and a bicep remains to be seen.

With other technologies such as retina and fingerprint scanning being developed for similar applications, the competition is fierce, but you never know, for the right audience, the emoji login could prove an attractive proposition.

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