Now you can log into your bank using emoji

World’s first emoji-only passcode launched by Intelligent Environments

Now you can log into your bank using emoji

  • World’s first emoji-only passcode launched today by Intelligent Environments
  • Emoji Passcode is mathematically more secure and easier to remember than traditional passcodes
  • Innovation developed in response to research showing over a quarter of Brits have forgotten their PINs in the past
  • Video of Emoji Passcode technology in action


With emoji now the fastest growing language in the UK, a British technology firm has launched the world’s first emoji-only passcode, which is easier to remember and mathematically more secure than traditional passcodes.

Intelligent Environments’ ‘Emoji Passcode’ enables consumers to log into their banks using four emoji characters, instead of traditional PINs or passwords. The characters are selected from a bank of 44. Emoji Passcode has been integrated into Intelligent Environments’ Android digital banking app.

Mathematically more secure

Emoji Passcode is mathematically more secure than traditional methods. There are 480 times more permutations using emojis over traditional four digit passcodes¹. In addition, it will prevent hackers from identifying common and easily obtainable numerical passcodes, like a date of birth or a wedding anniversary.

Easier to remember

This new emoji security technology is also easier to remember as research² shows humans remember pictures better than words.

Memory expert Tony Buzan, and inventor of the Mind Map technique, said: “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.”  

A third of Brits have forgotten PINs before

Intelligent Environments launched the feature in response to new research showing Brits find it hard to remember numerical passcodes. According to a survey³ with over 1,300 respondents in the UK, nearly a third have forgotten their PINs before. While one in four said they use the same PIN for all their cards.

Intelligent Environments is currently in discussion with banks that are considering rolling the technology out to their customers within the next 12 months.

Demand from millennials

“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% 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.”

History of innovation

It is one of several groundbreaking innovations the financial services technology firm has developed. In November 2013, Intelligent Environments launched the world’s first smartwatch banking app. It was also behind the first online credit card solution and first online wallet in the UK.    


Notes to editors:

Images of Emoji Passcode can be downloaded here.

Emoji Passcode demos for media are available in the UK upon request.

Footnotes: ¹ For scientific research on humans better remembering pictures than words see Cheryl L. Grady, Anthony R. Mcintosh, M. Natasha Rajah, Fergus I. M. Craik, “Neural correlates of the episodic encoding of pictures and words”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 95, pp. 2703–2708, March 1998, ²

Traditional PIN = 7,290 unique permutations of four non-repeating numbers vs Emoji Passcode = 3,498,308 million unique permutations of non-repeating emojis, based on a selection size of 44 emoji. ³

The research for Intelligent Environments was carried out by Opinion Matters between 20 May 2015 and 22 May 2015. Sample: 1,337 UK adults aged 18+