PINs 'heading for obscurity in five years'
Many British consumers believe the PIN will no longer exist in five years as the adoption of mobile payments increases, new research claims.
A survey by financial services provider Intelligent Environments found that 67% of UK consumers thought the four-digit PIN number would soon be obsolete, with a third suggesting they thought this could happen within five years.
Mobile payments, particularly those carried out using a smartphone or contactless card, have grown exponentially, with the UK Cards Association reporting in September that the amount spent in contactless transactions has risen by nearly 200% in the last year to more than £758m.
Systems like Apple Pay, which launched in the UK this year and enables users to make payments using their fingerprint and touching their iPhone to contactless points have also contributed to the rise of mobile payments.
David Webber, managing director at Intelligent Environments,l said: "The research indicates that banking customers may be losing faith in the PIN. As criminals continue to adopt new methods to commit fraud, people clearly don't have confidence that the PIN is strong enough to protect what's most important.
"Innovative alternatives to the PIN are not only possible, they're preferable, since they not only make accounts more secure, but they enhance the banking experience for the customer. Whether or not Brits are right about the PIN being dead within five years, it's clear that banks need to act now to change the current security landscape.
"They need to begin preparing to phase out the PIN, and be ready to start replacing it with more progressive security methods such as mobile authentication, biometric security and layered authentication - increasing security as the value of the transaction increases."
The research also claims that basic PIN number security is not being observed by many, with 32% saying they have never changed their PIN, while only 37% said they have kept their PIN number secret.