Inability to receive U.S. based SMS verification codes from financial institutions.

There are 10 replies in this Thread which has previously been viewed 832 times. The latest Post () was by Rice.

  • Hello all.

    I was recently advised by AT&T telecom that my new, unlocked, international Android phone, purchased here in BA, is incompatible with AT&T's U.S. network. This presents a significant problem namely; that I now cannot receive SMS verification codes (from my bank and credit card companies) sent to my AT&T Florida based number. I cannot even port that number to GoogleVoice. And the physical incompatibility precludes any enhanced AT&T data roaming or WiFi calling solution.

    I have researched the issue for countless hours and am now at my wits end. Is anyone aware of a work-around to this situation? Perhaps some type of VOIP / landline hybrid service offering? If yes, your advice and suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    Sincere thanks in advance.

  • I have a Google Voice number and I use it with no issue to receive texts and calls from US bank institutions.

    However, it is not compatible with Venmo and other services that use your phone number for identity verification (as those service do not accept VOIP numbers and the like).

    Google Voice is free, you install the Google Voice app and receive calls and texts through the app. You can also set it up to receive texts by email (and you can reply by email).

    Another downside of Google Voice is that the calls take a while to come through, and often I can't pick up the phone quick enough. I can, however, call back the caller immediately.

    Despite that, it works for the purpose you mentioned. I am using it with Citi and Schwab.

  • Thanks Serafina. The issue with opening a GoogleVoice (GV) account is that I cannot port my U.S. number to GV because, being here, I am unable to receive a confirmation SMS from GV to my U.S. number asking if I am indeed the rightful owner of the U.S. number. So, that avenue appears to be an irreconcilable circular dilemma.

    I'll look into opening an HSBC account.

    I appreciate your attention. Have a great day.

  • Would you consider opening a new Google Voice number without porting your current AT&T number?

    I was able to get a Google Voice number from here. It is not very straightforward, but it worked.

    I used the method described here - any VPN service will do the trick and it is required just for the set up process.

  • Good morning Serafina. Thanks for trying to help.

    I was unable to complete the process you suggested due to GoogleVoice (GV) not recognizing the VOIP number. I have been told that somehow, GV is aware of which numbers are attached to established U.S. telecoms like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile and which numbers are VOIP based. GV accepts numbers from established U.S. telecoms, but not VOIP numbers.

    On Monday I purchased, for $125, a VOIP plan from a company called One SimCard because they assured me that it would accept SMS bank verification codes. It does not and today I will cancel the subscription. If I find a solution to establish a GV account from abroad, I will inform you.

    Thanks again Serafina for your time and effort. Have a great day.

  • Sorry you’re having such a hard time setting this up, Born Free , and I hope you’ll be able to work something out very soon.

    serafina is great at this sort of thing, and is so unselfish about sharing. I wish her “fix” had worked for you, and I’ll bet she’s still mulling it over -

  • Hi Rice. Thanks for your message.

    Twice I thought that I was one mouse click away from solving it only to be thwarted on the last click by both Google Voice and Wells Fargo saying that they do not recognize the VOIP numbers.

    My takeaway lesson from this is to port two U.S. carrier numbers to two GoogleVoice accounts prior to leaving the USA in order to achieve some level of redundancy. I've been living in South America for a long time and failed to keep up with the changing high tech security environment. And I haven’t been to the USA for some time.

    Have a great weekend.

  • I got my Google Voice number at least 5 years ago, so perhaps things have changed. If the issue is that Wells Fargo won't take VOIP numbers, then Google Voice is no the answer. It is the same issue I have with Venmo and PayPal.

    My bank institutions are working for now. I am wondering if I can get a "traditional" sim from AT&T or T-mobile from abroad. So far, the cost of maintaining a number in the US, has not been worth it. But as technology changes, I may have to face the cost...

  • Serafina, what you might consider is just converting your AT&T monthly account to prepaid status and maintain a running balance of say $50 to receive, via data roaming and WiFi calling, SMS verifications. That is only if your phone is compatible with the AT&T network and if you have the AT&T SIM. You can call their tech support via Skype and query all of this.

    Have a great weekend