Adding a touch of emotions and fun to online banking, a British company has launched a “more secure” alternative to the traditional four-digit pin code – emojis!

Intelligent Environments, a London-based company which provides banking software, has claimed that its Emoji Passcode service is more secure because there are more potential combinations of the 44 emojis than there are of the numbers 0-10.

“Why can’t financial service be fun and innovative?” said David Webber, managing director of Intelligent Environments, adding that the system was designed to appeal to 15 to 25-year-olds.

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,” Webber said.

Webber added that some digital banks have already expressed interest in the Emoji Passcode service.

Cyber-security expert Professor Alan Woodward said that patterns and images were already used by some firms as a useful alternative to remembering complex sequences of numbers and letters, the BBC reported.

“I think this is an interesting and potentially valuable step forward,” Woodward said.

According to Woodward, the permutations and combinations of emojis would require a hacker to run through a much greater number of cycles than they do for so-called ‘dictionary attacks’.

“But I’m sure there are hackers who will work on breaking into these systems so I think it still makes sense to have some sort of two-factor authentication,” Woodward added.