Alternative Bank Authentication Methods

We’ve recently seen a trend where certain banks, apps, etc won’t send 2-Factor Authentication codes to Republic phone numbers. This is unfortunately caused by a policy issued by NIST (a government standards body) that was lobbied heavily by the telecommunications industry which allows authentication texts to be sent to traditional cell phones, but not more advanced services like Republic. While the number of banks that have an issue with Republic is currently small, I expect that we’ll see more refuse to text Republic numbers as we move forward. The good news, is that the better banks are recognizing that authentication by SMS is not secure and so they’re offering additional methods beyond that. Below is a list of the banks where we were able to determine alternatives to SMS that are available to their customers.

PLEASE NOTE: Appearance on this list does NOT mean that the bank refuses to text Republic numbers. At this time, the only banks on the list I’m aware of that fall in to this category are US Bank and Wells Fargo.

Some definitions:

  • Call means a call with a one time code is made to the user.
  • E-Mail means an email is sent to the user with a one-time code.
  • Token is a physical hardware device that presents codes for the user to use.
  • App is the Bank’s App which will provide the code for use in signing in.
  • No Alternative available means the bank requires 2 factor authentication and provides no alternative to codes by SMS.
  • No Alternative available if activated means that 2 factor authentication is NOT required by the bank but if enabled, they do not offer an alternative to SMS.

Thanks Louisdi,
This list helps me in making a decision on which service(s) to use in the future!
Look like USAA is in the lead on this right at the moment!

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USAA is my favorite for so many reasons :grinning:

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I requested to unblock access to all 5-digit short form numbers on my account and that seems to have worked. I am now receiving codes from BofA.

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Welcome to the community Jennifer. BofA has never been an issue with Republic so it should have worked all along. Republic doesn’t block short codes for any customer, so I’m not sure exactly what happened that it started working, but whatever it was, it wasn’t unblocking access as that’s just not something Republic does.

Earlier today that was exact problem - I was NOT receiving SMS codes from BofA. Only until after Republic Wireless put in a ticket to unrestrict 5-digit numbers did they start transmitting again. I was on the phone with BofA and they did some testing with me and the messages were transmitting through on their end. So anyone with BofA - if you’re having this issue - that’s what I’d recommend you do.

I have had a BoA credit card account with them for several months, never had any issues with them texting me via their shortcode. However, when on the phone with them, their system did say that it was not a mobile number, but the rep was able to send the text anyway.

As Republic does not restrict short-code texting, it is quite impossible that unrestricting them is what happened. That’s not to discount that there could have been something gong on that support fixed, it just wouldn’t be unblocking short codes. Did they respond and tell you what they did? It is also possible that your call to BofA caused them to whitelist your number, as described by @speedingcheetah and it had nothing at all to do with the ticket that you opened.

Hi @jenniferm.tk51p9,

I’ve reviewed your ticket and am not seeing anything in the reply that suggest any action was taken that would have already solved an issue with your BoFA alerts. Our technician’s don’t have an “unlock” option for short codes, as there’s nothing locked.

I have actually been updating my BoFA accounts as well over the last few days and until this morning could not receive any confirmation codes on my RW phone numbers, even though alerts were being delivered. Suddenly this morning they began working.

I think the timing of your request to our support team and something being changed or updated on BoFA’s end may have been a coincidence.

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