Republic Wireless number not accepted for security verification codes on banking sites and by other services


#21

My bank (actually a credit union, but a big one, which works great for me as my only Bank) recently updated their online services and mobile app. As part of the update they required a sort of two factor ID (one time only) via phone. I encountered the same issue, my RW number was listed somewhere as VoIP, so “cannot use it.”

My home phone number was fine, although that is also completely VoIP (albeit a Bell Telephone number transferred a few decades ago).

I will push on my credit union to correct this, although i am sure any technical understanding is at least a couple steps (and likely service supplier companies) away from the customer service or management people I can access directly. OK for now, but just wrong, and a pain. So any additional basis or facts about why or how RW numbers should not be so discriminated against will be valued.


#22

I don’t know there’s any additional basis beyond what’s previously been mentioned. VoIP numbers are generally “discriminated” against for one of two reasons

  1. Some service providers just don’t realize or refuse to accept some (but not all) VoIP numbers are as text messaging capable as wireless numbers. The FCC has designated VoIP as wireline (landline).

  2. VoIP numbers are perceived as a security risk. Many app based services use VoIP. The not entirely unfounded perception is VoIP numbers are too easy to get.

The reality is not all VoIP is equal but that’s not always easy to discern. Databases in which one looks up a telephone number identify its carrier. For example, here’s what one such service says for one of the Republic numbers in my household:

Untitled

There’s no mention there of Republic Wireless. All anyone would see is the carrier Bandwidth.com, which is indeed the carrier where Republic houses our numbers. Bandwidth also supplies numbers to app based services like Google Voice, Skype, Burner, Dialpad, GrooVe IP, Hushed, Sideline, etc. All of these services have legitimate uses but a few choose to use them for not so legitimate ones. These services and others are also examples of “nomadic” VoIP meaning they can be moved from location to location like wireless mobile numbers. Your home phone is an example of “fixed” VoIP meaning it’s used at a specific location and, therefore, for some more secure. Of course, providers of “fixed” VoIP increasingly provide apps as well, so the distinction between fixed and nomadic VoIP is rapidly becoming meaningless.

You asked what you might do to convince your credit union they ought not to be so concerned about the security of Republic numbers. As a starting point, you might demonstrate to them that Bandwidth takes use of its numbers for fraudulent purposes seriously. See here: https://www.bandwidth.com/report-a-phone-number. Next, perhaps sharing a copy of a Republic invoice will demonstrate that since Republic is a paid service (unlike some of the app based services previously referenced), those who would do so are far less likely to choose it as a number source for fraudulent purposes.

Lastly, as several of us have mentioned here, use of SMS as part of two-factor authentication is inherently insecure for reasons having nothing to do with whether a number is VoIP (wireline) or wireless. SMS was never intended to be a means of secure communication. You might inquire what other options they currently or would consider supporting.


#23

I gave Vanguard the number after porting to Republic, since prior to porting, the line did not have texting capability.


#24

twitter is insisting I give them a cell phone number so they can SMS me a code to get me back into my account. They won’t accept my Republic phone number. Anybody know what this is about and if there is a way around it?


#25

Twitter (and some other services) refuse to accept Republic numbers because they are VoIP numbers. Lots of threads about that around here. Here’s a recommend work around from a fellow user regarding another service with the same issue: Getting Viber to Register a Republic Number


#26

Thanks for the suggestion, but I don’t know how to do all that with the sim and so forth.


#27

I had the same issue verifying my identity with capital one. It is due to the VoIP nature of RW. But it is a pain.


#28

Hi @mitch.74,

I’ve merged your post into an existing topic on the same matter so we can focus the conversation one place. This helps us keep up with the impact to members and understand the timeliness of the situation.

I’m sorry we don’t have a solution for you, except to ask that you keep asking these companies to accept Republic Wireless numbers. (We’re doing the same.)


#29

I may be having a similar problem while trying to verify my mobile number at Amazon. I remember trying repeatedly long ago, and giving up because it wasn’t urgent. Today I’m trying again and no matter how many times it says “Success! We sent the code,” I never receive a code on my phone.

My phone number was originally a landline, but it’s been my RW number for at least 4 years, and was a Virgin Mobile number prior to that. I usually don’t have a problem with this kind of verification. I tried calling Amazon’s customer service when I couldn’t find help anywhere else, and I got transferred to three reps who didn’t know anything, so I’m back to searching the Internet.

Do you think I’d have more success if I sign up for a Google Voice number and use that?


#30

I just requested to add my Republic number to my Amazon account and received Amazon’s text message without issue. So, the question then becomes why the issue for you? May we know, brand, model and generation of your Republic phone and which text messaging app you’re using?

It wouldn’t hurt to try as an alternative but based on my experience, Amazon doesn’t appear to be refusing Republic numbers per se.


#31

Thanks, Roland - It’s a Moto X (1st Gen.) and I’m using the built-in messaging app.


#32

In theory, you shouldn’t need to but would you consider giving Republic Anywhere or Android Messages a shot. I’m using Republic Anywhere on a Pixel 2 XL.


#33

Thanks, I’d be happy to. I’ve sometimes wanted a better messaging app but the ones I’ve tried were all annoying in different ways. I’ll give this a try and see what happens!


#34

Well, I’m very surprised, but after installing the Republic Anywhere app I tried one more time to send the code, and it appeared immediately! I noticed that I had two previous messages of this type from Amazon (from the same number)–one from less than a month ago (I’d told them to send me a link to install an Amazon app). Who knows…I’d tried this verification code process at least a dozen times before! I’m just thankful it finally worked, so thank you very much!


#35

Many years ago, when I first got my phone, I had a problem with people using it to verify my accounts on Google and some other sites.
Then the problem stopped. It seemed to work on everything.
Yesterday I tried to add phone security to my Twitter account I could not. Twitter said my phone was no good.
Next I read a support post that said this problem might be solved by getting a Google phone number and they suggested that it would be solved in version 3.0.

Here is the meat of the problem. I have a 1st Gen Moto X. I have never upgraded since that phone because I don’t need to. It is that good. Eight GB of storage and no expansion slot is plenty for me…

Do the newer phones have any problems with Twitter verifications. Is that why I can’t verify the account? Will buying a new phone get me past all these problems.

My Twitter and other accounts are all old, so they required no phone numbers back then. Am I going to experience this when i try to add a phone number to those accounts. Or if I want to create new accounts.

Anyway, will a new phone fix it?

Thank you for considering this question.
(to any other 1st Gen Moto X users out there, I am sorry for the betrayal, I may have to upgrade)

also, if the upgraded phone will work, any suggestions on a phone for me, I don’t need a lot. I rarely take pictures, I would only use additional storage for keeping books on, I DO use google maps a lot, so a bigger screen would be nice and faster internet would be helpful too. I only get 3G on my phone. I don’t want to spend 500 bucks on a Moto Z but i don’t want to buy a piece of ■■■■ either. I just need a good, solid, middle of the road phone.


#36

Hi @live.carcass,

I’ve moved your post into a larger topic on the same subject so we can focus the conversation in a single place.


#37

No, it has nothing to do with your model phone. It is the nature of Republic’s service (VoIP numbers).

Nope, see above.


#38

I’ve just gone full circle on this topic with Zelle (interbank service to pay anyone bt their phone #). They changed their policy on 11/1/2018 to classify VoIP phone lines as “non-compliant” and thus deleted my and my wife’s RepublicWireless cell phone #s from their database, so we can no longer receive money that way. I’ve had similar problems with other suppliers (including Best Buy until just recently) who wouldn’t consider my RW phone # to be a valid cell phone #

It seems to me the responsibility lies with RepublicWireless to get their phone #s reclassified as cell phone/wireless raher than VoIP. If the problem is that lookup of RW phone #s lists them as Bandwidth.com and VoIP, we need to get that changed to RepublicWireless and cell!

With the rapidly expanding move by all kinds of vendors to require 2 factor authentication, limitations on the ability to use a RW phone for that purpose is becoming a SERIOUS issue that will have a significant negative impact on RepublicWireless’ business model.


#39

That’s a bit like asking an elephant to reclassify itself as a fox. Republic’s service DOES use bandwidth.com numbers, those bandwidth.com numbers ARE VoIP and by FCC rule VoIP is Wireline. The solution is for the FCC to dispense with this antiquated classification system, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.


#40

Can we use the underlying T-Mobile or Sprint phone # instead of the published RW VoIP phone #? Those should be classified as cell #s.