Cell Phones

Virtual US/Canada number options for bank SMS

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  • Sep 26th, 2019 3:06 am
Aug 20, 2019
4 posts

Virtual US/Canada number options for bank SMS

Hi, I live overseas and have a bank account in the US and one in Canada. I've been trying to find the right solution to get a number mainly for the bank's sms verification but in a number of places I read that most of the services don't work with short codes? which usually banks use for sms verification. I've looked into the following, all claim to provide a virtual free number with calling and sms support, but I'm not sure of 2 things: 1) A number of reviewers on these apps complained that the number assigned was gone after some time and they had to choose a different number which sort of defeats the purpose. 2) Some users mentioned that they could not receive bank sms via short code. The apps I've read up on are: 1. Text Me and TextMe Up (same parent company) 2. Textnow 3. Textfree 4. Freedompop 5. Mysudo by anonyome labs 6. Textplus 7. MagicJack (but it requires the actual device first)

If anyone can respond with their experience or knowledge of these, I'd really appreciate it. I 'could' try installing them to try out, but a couple of quora posts suggested that once you install the app (I think it was for textnow) and if you need to reinstall or something, it retains your phone configuration and doesn't allow you to do so.

If I'm able to receive calls from US/Canada on that number, that would definitely be a plus but my main requirement is being able to receive SMS from banks or other verifiers that use short codes.
4 replies
Sr. Member
User avatar
Oct 17, 2010
697 posts
I have been using textnow for quite sometime and I am able to keep the same number for a couple of years now. However, when I tried to set up a new textnow account on my other phone I lost that number due to inactivity. Maybe I have a grandfathered plan on my original phone I don't know. So that is probably not a good option for you.

I'd recommend Fongo in your case and you own the number. You can receive calls & regular text by default but for short code sms you need to pay a fee of $2.79/month or $9.99 for 6 months. I've successfuly set up whatsapp and skype caller ID via short code after paying the fee to Fongo. However Fongo states that there's no guarantee that you will receive short codes even after paying. But I do suggest to try it out and see if it works in your case.

Hope this helps.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
28747 posts
Unfortunately pretty much everything but a physical cell phone is going to be trouble when it comes to 2FA.
Some go as far as looking up the actual carrier of the number to see if it's VoIP. Shakepay is guilty of this one.

I've been tempted to test Twilio again since they seem to be the origin of some of these, but if the company in question looks up the carrier you'd still be screwed.

The one thing that kind of came to mind is using something like Piranha Mobile. It's cheap, it's pay per use (with a $0.50/month for a US/Canada number), and it's a "real" number.
It should work even overseas since that's the point of the service is to provide a worldwide(ish) SIM.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
Aug 20, 2019
4 posts
Thanks for the info, I'm sorry to resurrect this if its buried already. I found this thread which was last updated in July '19. fongo-vs-viber-vs-textnow-vs-hangouts-vs-1712707/15/
I've thought about this some more and realized that it would be quite useful to have a 2nd number (whether US or Canadian) to receive calls as well. Since I'm overseas, any app that redirects calls via data/wifi would make sense.
Can I please get some recommendations ? Its overwhelming when I search and I can't decide which one to choose or start with.
Oct 27, 2019
1 posts
if you start in the US - get a Google Fi plan first. It works for financial institutions around the world


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