2-Factor Authentication via SMS

My U.S. bank does 2-factor authentication via SMS, with no other option. When I want to log in, I have to pull out my French SIM, put in my U.S. SIM, get my code, and then pay $10 for the day of roaming to my U.S. cell company, plus keep that plan active. I discovered the hard way that many banks (mine included) won’t send SMS to a VOIP number. Someone at Voip.ms told me “currently our SMS service does not guarantee that verification messages work as those are usually sent by short code numbers which aren’t supported by our carriers”. Has anyone here found an good solution?

Do you have someone you trust in US who could be the receiver of the codes and text them to you…? I presume you don’t do this often and for significant items only so could be planned in advance so not waking them up at 3am.

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Will your US bank send that 2FA SMS to a foreign mobile number?

An international SMS SIM?

If you were to switch off data before receiving the sms would you be charged for roaming as you would only have received an sms?

dual sim phone with roaming data permanently switched off on the US SIM?

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Some two factor authentication systems offer SMS or an automated voice call so rerouting your US number to your French number (21phone number#) would incur a short long distance call not roaming. Note SMS messages aren’t rerouted. Otherwise I’d consider changing bank. Many of the traditional bricks and mortar banks haven’t twigged that people move. HSBC have, and they have a voice recognition authentication system that works anywhere. I just tried Revolut and it accepts “foreign” phone numbers (and has face recognition for lost numbers).

Have you considered changing your U.S. bank to one that will send the SMS to your French mobile number, or that will send the code via e-mail ? The problem you describe does not occur with either Bank of America or BB&T (now Truist).

NotALot: That was my first attempt, but no joy, they only accept US cell numbers.

Have a look at Revolut card May offer a solution

What US cellular network are you with?

you can ‘buy’ a US number on Skype and set it up to divert to another number. You used to be able to use Google Voice (US) too but not sure if that still works. Telecoms is one of the few fields where the US always seemed to lag behind Europe.

And banking.

To be fair to the Septics, they chose a superior 2nd Generation technology in CDMA than Europe did in TDMA (GSM). Alas, it was the telecoms equivalent of the US chosing Betamax and Europe chosing VHS and US networks have been playing catch-up ever since.

You need to sit down with my old mate Jason and hear his stories of just how resistant and hide-bound many of the big European banks were to Apple Pay. Not as horrifically useless as TfL where contactless Oyster cards were regarded as witchcraft by senior management and the concept of connecting their system to a banking had them shaking like crackheads on pogo sticks.

“shaking like crackheads on pogo sticks” - LOL

You took the words out of my mouth Sue.

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US cellphone rates are exorbitant and prove the lie that deregulated markets are good for the consumer. But AFIK no operator charges for receiving SMS messages even overseas (unless they are multimedia ones maybe). So as others have said, use a dual-SIM phone with your US number just used for receiving SMS messages. If you set the ringtone to a different tone or tune then you won’t forget and answer it if some marketing company rings up (you likely will pay to receive a call). Some phones (like mine) have only one physical SIM but have an e-SIM in addition and thankfully my French carrier (RED by SFR) does offer e-SIMs at no additional charge.