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Log In to Your Bank with Emoji? Don't Laugh, It Could Keep You Secure

Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

June 17, 2015

Log In to Your Bank with Emoji? Don't Laugh, It Could Keep You Secure

By David Delony
Contributing Writer

Emoji characters might look fun over mobile devices, but banks are starting to take them seriously, according to Computerworld.

Intelligent Environments has launched an emoji-only passcode system to be used for logging into bank systems in the U.K.

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

As easy as emoji are for customer to remember, they’re harder for criminals to guess. It’s pretty common for people to forget their PINs and ask for them to be reset. The bank will ask them to verify their identity by answering questions such as birthdate, mother’s maiden name or a wedding anniversary.

The problem is that it’s easy to glean this information from a target’s Facebook (News - Alert) profile unless a person has locked down the privacy settings tightly. Just with a visit to some unlucky customer’s Facebook profile, anyone can claim to have forgotten a password, answer the security questions and get into a person’s accounts.

Using emoji could eliminate this problem if banks go along with the company. It said it’s had a lot of interest from younger users.

“We’ve had input from lots of millennials when we developed the technology. What’s clear is that the younger generation is communicating in new ways,” said David Webber, manager director at Intelligent Environments. “Our research shows 64 percent of millennials regularly communicate only using emojis. So we decided to reinvent the passcode for a new generation by developing the world’s first emoji security technology.”

Intelligent Environments is still making plans to integrate its technology in bank apps within the next year.

According to Computerworld, banks might not be as interested.

“When I proposed the possibility to a local bank branch manager, her first response was to laugh,” Darlene Storm wrote.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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