5 ways PINs are becoming a thing of the past (good riddance)

Personal identification numbers. PINs. What are they good for? Security? Ha! This is 2017. We use fingerprints and retina scanners to prove our identity. So why do we still find ourselves wasting precious time typing in those pesky, old-fashioned digits? Here are five ways that we’re using modern technology to leave PINs in the dust.

1) PIN-less conference calls

For companies that collaborate in the cloud and rely on solutions like dial-in conferencing, the awkward process of entering a session ID and PIN is a common headache. The process sounds easy enough until your coworkers are glaring at you, groaning at a number you’ve mistyped.

Business moves fast, and the communications tools businesses use should follow suit. This brings us to number one on our list of how a world without PINs is a better world, one we want to live in. Companies like Dialpad are saving callers time and saving them from fumbling with the conference phone with their PIN-less UberConference service. Using unique dial-in numbers, you can invite participants to make the call, and they’re in without a fuss. Smooth.

2) Contactless payments

Chip-and-PIN technology has only gotten halfway there in the U.S., but entering your PIN for payments is the standard in other parts of the world. Even better, there are contactless cards which are even faster. One tap and you’re good to go. Even if American banks won’t make contactless happen, there are still device-based payment systems like ApplePay and Google Wallet that make a fingerprint all the authorization you need. Now your finances can truly be under your thumb.

3) Phone lock vs. SIM PINs

Ever looked at the settings of your phone and seen SIM PIN locks? Does anyone actually use this feature anymore? You can lock your phone (to be opened with a PIN… but also with a fingerprint, thankfully), so why bother locking your SIM? Well, to be fair, it could stop someone from using your SIM in another phone and racking up charges. But eSIMs are doing their part to make this particular PIN application ancient history.

4) No-PIN ATMs

PINs and ATMs go together like peas and carrots. But you don’t have to look over your shoulder nervously when eating your peas or shield your hand when sampling the carrots. Citibank has been testing an ATM that reads your retina instead of accepting your ever vulnerable PIN. The future’s so bright, you’re gonna need shades. Just not when you use this ATM.

5) Voice recognition for customer service

HSBC customers may be familiar with the phrase “My voice is my password,” which says it all, really. For banking, voice recognition is changing the way agents authorize customers. And in general, voice analytics is becoming a bigger part of customer/agent interactions (Here’s how Voxbone is helping make that happen).

From fingerprints to retinas and voice, biometrics are overtaking PINs as the latest and greatest way to identify yourself. Is the new era of authorization super convenient or kind of creepy? You be the judge.