19th July 2016

Barclays creates emoji chains to help bashful Brits talk about money

Research by Barclays has revealed that Britons are living up to their reputation for being polite to a fault, as 33 per cent admit they would rather be out of pocket than suffer the awkwardness of asking friends and family for money owed to them.

The study showed that on average over 40 per cent found talking about money awkward, compared with 25 per cent who floundered on a first date, or the 20 per cent of those polled who thought a tricky encounter with an ex was toughest to navigate.

The research also showed that Britons would like to be able to cope with everyday awkward conversations by using emojis, with “I can’t afford it, sorry” (28 per cent) and “I’m broke” (25 per cent) identified as the most useful.

Barclays came come up with the solution in time for World Emoji Day, which was on the 17th July, to say those phrases with emojis. The bank teamed up with linguistics and emoji expert Vyv Evans, Professor of Linguistics at Bangor University in Wales, to create bespoke emoji chains that allow people to confidently and comfortably discuss finances. From “you owe me money” to “that’s too expensive”, these emoji chains can succinctly convey meaning whilst diffusing any awkwardness.

Prof. Evans said: “Emojis are fast becoming one of the most common ways we communicate. In fact, many find it easier to express their emotions through emojis and use emoticons to help them navigate trickier conversations.”

Amy Mills, Digital Eagle at Barclays said: “At Barclays, we know our customers often feel uncomfortable talking about money and we are always looking for ways to help people of all ages build their digital skills and confidence. Creating this set of emoji chains is just one of the many things we have introduced to make life easier – and we especially love the fact it could mean an extra few pounds in our customers pocket.”