A British company has launched an emoji alternative to the traditional four-digit Pin code commonly used for accessing online banking.
Intelligent Environments says its Emoji Passcode service is more secure because there are more potential combinations of the 44 emojis than there are of the numbers 0-9. It claims some digital banks have already expressed interest in the idea. Memory experts agree that people find it easier to remember images.
David Webber, managing director of Intelligent Environments, said the system was designed to appeal to 15-25-year-olds. "Why can't financial service be fun and innovative?" he said, "It's just another method of logging in." Mr Webber added that his company had not patented the idea. "I don't think it's patentable. But I do think we are the first people to have thought of it," he told the BBC.
Cybersecurity expert Prof Alan Woodward said that the use of patterns and images was already used by some firms as a useful alternative to remembering complex sequences of numbers and letters. "I think this is an interesting and potentially valuable step forward," he said. "If we persist in using passwords, which seem to be here for a while yet, we need to recognise how humans think and make these as easy to remember as possible. "