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Topic: Cheapest PAYG to get SMS abroad?  (Read 350 times)

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Cheapest PAYG to get SMS abroad?
« on: December 06, 2020, 05:23:05 PM »
We're planning to move back to the US in March. Want to keep our credit rolling here though (have citizenship and likely will move back). Most banks want to do SMS for authentication though.

What's the cheapest PAYG sim we could get to keep getting SMS to a UK number whilst in the US?


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Re: Cheapest PAYG to get SMS abroad?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2020, 09:57:55 PM »
I’m surprised to hear you say that most UK banks use SMS messages for 2FA security as SMS is well known to be a target for SIM swap fraud. We’ve had HSBC for many years while living in the USA and they used a separate token to generate security codes for 2FA when logging in. These days that code can be generated through their mobile app instead of a physical token if you wish.

Which? Report of best banks for online security

https://www.which.co.uk/news/2019/11/revealed-the-best-and-worst-banks-for-online-security/

Now that we are in the UK we need a US number for 2FA so we pay for a Skype based US phone number, ~$50/year, though I believe there are cheaper ways available these days.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Cheapest PAYG to get SMS abroad?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2020, 12:18:21 AM »
Yea a lot of UK banks at least use SMS for the Visa Secure thing for online purchases, including HSBC.

One thing to watch for Skype with a US number - it generally can't receive automated SMS' for things like 2FA. I can't use it for Capital One in the States, for instance. It's a known issue Skype said they likely won't fix any time soon :(


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Re: Cheapest PAYG to get SMS abroad?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2020, 08:55:58 AM »
Yea a lot of UK banks at least use SMS for the Visa Secure thing for online purchases, including HSBC.

One thing to watch for Skype with a US number - it generally can't receive automated SMS' for things like 2FA. I can't use it for Capital One in the States, for instance. It's a known issue Skype said they likely won't fix any time soon :(

Interesting. I make a lot of online purchases with my HSBC credit card and the Visa Secure thing has never once required me to receive an SMS text.

Capital One also appear to let you use a “landline”.

https://www.capitalone.co.uk/support/one-time-passcode.jsf

Quote

When you go to pay for something online with your Capital One card we'll sometimes ask you to enter a one-time passcode (or OTP for short), so we know it's really you.
It's a unique 6-digit number that we send as a text or automated voice message to the mobile or landline number of your choice.

The financial institutions in the USA I use are HSBC and Vanguard and they have the option to use a “landline” so the Skype phone rings and an automated voice speaks the authentication code. Once the HSBC USA app is set up then 2FA is through the app and Vanguard only use the phone code when registering a new browser or device, although I mostly use the Vanguard app for day to day use.

« Last Edit: December 07, 2020, 08:59:20 AM by durhamlad »
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Cheapest PAYG to get SMS abroad?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2020, 04:22:03 PM »
Interesting. I make a lot of online purchases with my HSBC credit card and the Visa Secure thing has never once required me to receive an SMS text.

It might be an emerging requirement.  Last week I was trying to log into my Lloyd's account and grumbling about 2FA while I waited for my code to arrive via SMS, and my husband was all, "You shouldn't have to do that... I don't have to do that."  I explained that I don't have to when using the app on my mobile, but I was using the website, and I've had to do it with every login lately.  As he tried to log in to prove it, he was all, "Weird, I don't have to--... oh."  He had to.  :)  (He likes to act smug about these things because I'm super paranoid about online security, to the point where I don't use a lot of "convenience" apps.  It was nice to hear him realize this wasn't because of my paranoia but because it's how the bank is behaving now.)
9/1/2013 - "fiancée" (marriage) visa issued
4/6/2013 - married (certificate issued same-day)
5/6/2013 - FLR(M)#1 in person -- approved!
8/1/2016 - FLR(M)#2 by post -- approved!
8/5/2018 - ILR in person -- approved!
22/11/2018 - Citizenship (online, with NDRS+JCAP) -- approved!
14/12/2018 - I became a British citizen.  :)


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Re: Cheapest PAYG to get SMS abroad?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2020, 06:19:54 PM »
I actually did some development using the same system as the verified by visa thingie a few years back.  It works by remembering the profile of the device you are using, so I wouldn't be surprised if Durhamlad hasn't authenticated once before on the computer he uses that it will never ask again.  Even if you authenticated on that device in a different way than SMS.


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Re: Cheapest PAYG to get SMS abroad?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2020, 06:55:09 PM »
I actually did some development using the same system as the verified by visa thingie a few years back.  It works by remembering the profile of the device you are using, so I wouldn't be surprised if Durhamlad hasn't authenticated once before on the computer he uses that it will never ask again.  Even if you authenticated on that device in a different way than SMS.

Quite likely. I did not have a UK mobile phone until Feb, 2017 and I got my UK HSBC Visa credit card in May 2016.

Looking at the Visa website it does say you can choose to have the authentication code sent to a landline.

https://www.visa.co.uk/pay-with-visa/changes-in-payment-security.html

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Banks are introducing these new security measures for Visa cardholders who shop online or make contactless payments. This will help them ensure only you can use your Visa and give you even more confidence and protection when paying with Visa.

Online: You may have to enter a passcode, which would be sent to your mobile phone or landline or authenticate your payment in another way, depending on how your Visa Card issuing bank has implemented the new security measures.
In-store: For contactless purchases, you may be asked to enter your PIN more often.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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