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Expats keeping a phone number in their citizenship country (aka MagicJack not working).


JimmyJ

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I keep my UK number going in Thailand and My Thai number going when out of Thailand. So which number is used for verification sms both are available. 

Skype is working best, and have for the quality a very good value concerning the price. It´s also possible to buy a USA number with Caller ID ans both way SMS enabled.

I was using google voice ,for awhile I was getting away with just GV but some institutions got wise to this VOIP stuff and claim its not secure enough. One of them , I can't remember who, actually put

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27 minutes ago, srowndedbyh2o said:

Unfortunately they don’t offer wifi calling with an iPhone at this time.

 

That sucks.

 

Also would suck if any of these providers disabled WiFi calling, or limited its use just to the U.S.

 

 

 

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As well these are all month-to-month plans. Don't be surprised if they jack up the prices a lot in a couple years after they've built up a subscriber base with low introductory pricing.

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14 hours ago, taxout said:

I've been looking at getting the UM Paygo sim, but it's really frustrating that UM is not open at all about the cost of the sim. It seems to be $10 plus $3 for the first month's service, but UM never says that anywhere. That's a business practice that turns me off.

 

Take a look at their website below.   Open as a big barn door regarding usage within the U.S.  And if you have your phone setup for Wifi Calling and have a Wifi connection then usage "worldwide" is treated as U.S. domestic usage.   

https://www.ultramobile.com/paygo/

 

image.png.d4848fcd28d6e6f3d4a9c43483bf43b1.png

 

 

However, I will admit when it comes to "international" usage the barn door is not wide open....takes some research and looking thru cracks in the barn to figure out the costs.....like if using a mobile connection in a foreign country such as Thailand and making/receiving calls/texts.     

 

However, take a look at my 12 Nov 2020 post  (partially quoted below) regarding UM costs when using it in Thailand and it should answer your "in-Thailand" usage costs.   

 

I will also note that assuming you don't incur any extra charges per month like making a call via mobile connection from Thailand to the U.S. which triggers an extra charge from your Paygo Wallet, each month the automatic billing is only $3 which is deducted from your Wallet to renew the plan for another month....a flat $3....no taxes/fees on that $3 billing.   However, when you need to top-up your wallet there will be taxes/fees added to that top-up amount based on whatever U.S. address you have loaded for your UM acct as each state has different sales tax rates/fees and you also have federal fees.   Like in my case with a Texas address a $10 Paygo Wallet top-up really costs $10.71 which means 7.1% in taxes/fees....see snapshot of top-up detailed costs at bottom.

 

So, since I must top periodically top-up my wallet which I do on an ad-hoc basis (but you can setup auto monthly top-up if desired) and I'm paying 7.1% in taxes/fees then the $3/month UM Paygo plan is really costing me 7.1% more or $3.21/month.

 

Partial quote from my 12 Nov 2020 post.

Quote

 

Voice Calls via "Mobile" Connection

-  US to Thailand: deducted from Voice 100 free monthly minutes (no Wallet charge)

-  Thailand to US: $2.39/minute deducted from Wallet (no deduction from free monthly minutes)

 

Voice Calls via "Wifi Calling" Connection

-  US to Thailand: deducted from Voice 100 free monthly minutes (no Wallet charge)

-  Thailand to US: deducted from Voice 100 free monthly minutes (no Wallet charge)

          

SMS (a.k.a., Text) via "Mobile" Connection

-  US to Thailand: 10 cents charge to Wallet (no deduction in free texts)

-  Thailand to US: 50 cents/text charged to Wallet (no deduction in free texts)

 

SMS  (a.k.a., Text) via "Wifi Calling" Connection

-  US to Thailand: deducted from SMS 100 free monthly texts (no Wallet charge)

-  Thailand to US: deducted from SMS 100 free monthly texts (no Wallet charge)

 

 

 

 

Total cost for a $10 Pago Wallet top-up with a Texas address....ends up costing $10.71 because of federal and state taxes/fees.

 

image.png.434a45e2b2ff5befd710b1a7a024fbdd.png

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Posted (edited)

Pib - I've noticed that on the rare occasions that I will trial an installation of a bank app the majority (all?) reject my VOIP # which they and their website have accepted.

(Built more recently/ newer tech or just programmed to reject VOIP).

 

Is it apps that are rejecting your VOIP numbers?

Edited by JimmyJ
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11 minutes ago, JimmyJ said:

Pib - I've noticed that on the rare occasions that I will trial an installation of a bank app the majority (all?) reject my VOIP # which they and their website have accepted.

(Built more recently/ newer tech or just programmed to reject VOIP).

 

Is it apps that are rejecting your VOIP numbers?

I couldn't say....too many possibilities. 

 

If using a VPN connection the phone app may be sensing your foreign location even though you may be using a VPN connection and giving a misleading error of the phone number being no good when in fact its really another issue.   VPN connection can be problematic for some mbanking apps....and you definitely need a solid VPN connection when using the OpenVPN UDP protocol due to good possibly of missing data packets as the UDP protocal has very little/no error checking to ensure all data packets get thru; much better to use OpenVPN TCP protocol which does have data packet error checking.

 

And VPN apps for phones are not as foolproof for masking your true location/IP as VPN apps for computers.   

 

One of my U.S. bank phone apps will not function to deposit/scan a check when using a VPN connection to the U.S.....the app comes back and says something don't seem right about your location.  However, the app functions in all of aspects, like bill payment, funds transfer, just everything except for check cashing--whether using a VPN connection or not.   Just that one check cashing function that will not work "if using a VPN connection;" but it will work if "not" using a VPN connection and I've tried using two different VPN service providers and different VPN protocols.

 

When it comes to non-acceptance of VOIP-based numbers I would think that would all be handled by the bank's main security servers and those main servers wouldn't  care whether your are connecting via mbaning (mobile phone app) or ibanking (computer browser connection).

 

And as mentioned in some of my earlier posts, some of my financial accts/banks have no issues in accepting my VOIP-based numbers like GV, TextNow, MagicJack, etc., in my personal profile and those VOIP numbers will work to receive general banking info texts like alerts to notify you of an account balance change, arrival of bill, monthly statement posting, just general info.  HOWEVER, BUT, those VOIP-based numbers will not be offered  to send a 2FA logon code.  It's like the VOIP based number is OK for passing alone general text info or a voice call, but not for 2FA security code sending.   Some banks simply will not allow 2FA short codes to VOIP-based numbers....many do allow it, but as mentioned some don't.  

 

And for one of my banks when I added my TextNow VOIP number to my profile that TextNow number was initially offered as a number their 2FA logon codes would be sent to and I did several logons that day using that number to receive their 2FA logon codes.   However, around 24 hours later/next day that TextNow VOIP number was not being offered as number to send 2FA codes to...it was still in my profile and was working to receive general banking texts (and still is), but it no longer was being offered as a phone number to send a 2FA logon code to....just like my GV number not being offered....but my TMobile $3 SIM number is offered.    Long story short, I guess it took about a day for the bank to evaluate the TextNow number and once determining it was a VOIP-based number they coded in on their end for non-use to send 2FA codes to but can be used for general info text, voice calls, etc.....just the bank's policy not to send/offer 2FA codes for VOIP based or landline numbers....gotta be a real mobile number.

 

As talked earlier more banks/financial entities seem to be slowly not allowing VOIP-based numbers to receive 2FA codes---all depends on the bank's policy regarding how it handles 2FA, what 2FA methods they consider secure enough, etc....and each bank will have a different policy.   Heck a few of my U.S. banks still don't require 2FA logon.....some now only allow 2FA code via text.....some will allow via text, email, voice, and/or software token.    And I'm not saying "all" banks are kicking VOIP based number to the curb for 2FA.....I'm just saying "some" are.

 

Simply all over the map when it comes to 2FA methods allowed and if a VOIP-based number  is allowed/will work for some accounts....and with thousands of US banks/credit union/financial entities that map can be really BIG in terms of what people report regarding their experiences.   That's why you see some people report their VOIP number still works with all their accts (whether they just have a couple accts or dozens) and others report the GV VOIP number no longer works (ditto for the number of accts).   Kinda a luck of the draw as to which organizations you have an accounts with and the security practices/policies they have.....practices/policies that can change over time.

 

 

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My guess is that companies subcontract out different telephony services to different providers, and that explains different results with apps, websites, CS etc.

 

By the way, the T-Mobile guy really tried to talk me out of the UM Paygo SIM. They must work on commission. Frankly, UM is plain dumb (or ignorant) selling through a place that doesn't support their product.

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1 hour ago, taxout said:

By the way, the T-Mobile guy really tried to talk me out of the UM Paygo SIM. They must work on commission. Frankly, UM is plain dumb (or ignorant) selling through a place that doesn't support their product.

 

For whatever reason the UM $3/month SIM is now only sold at "select T-Mobile (TM) retail stores" when talking about finding one at brick-and-mortar type stores.   

 

And for whatever reason UM vendors do "not" sell the $3/month UM SIM...I tried by calling a half dozen or so TM and UM vendors/outlets in Virginia and Tennessee area (close to my sister who activated the UM SIMs for me) in trying to find the SIM before I finally found an Amazon seller with them.  One UM outlet thought they did have/sold the $3 SIM but were just out of stock....after the UM rep checked with her wholesale supplier the UM rep was told by the wholesale that the SIM could only be sold/distributed to select TM stores.   

 

I think what might have happened is when TM wanted to stop selling their TM $3/month SIM maybe because they decided it was too low-end for them and they would only focus on higher priced plans/SIMs, but then UM & TM came to agreement to let UM "market" the $3 SIM but it could only be sold at select TM retail stores although branded as a UM product using the TM network....this way both businesses would make money and the $3/month SIM could live on/still be available (but not as widely as the legacy TM $3 SIM) as many customers wanted such a SIM for occasional/specific/emergency use.

 

Below snapshot from the "UM" website regarding where to buy a UM $3 SIM

https://www.ultramobile.com/paygo/

image.png.02bc226007154072446289de106e8ae7.png

 

 

Additionally, UM started Mint Mobile back in 2016....and maybe that's why at the Ebay mintmobileadmin webpage they sell both the Mint Mobile SIM and the UM $3 SIM.  Although Mint Mobile majority owner changed a year or so ago from UM to Ryan Reynolds the actor, maybe UM is still a minority stock holder which makes it understandable why Ebay mintmobileadmin also sells the UM $3 SIM.   

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra_Mobile

Quote

In August 2016, Ultra Mobile launched Mint Mobile, formerly Mint SIM, an online-only MVNO specializing in prepaid mobile plans on the T-Mobile cellular network, which provides discounted pricing based on monthly, quarterly, or yearly terms paid in advance.[17][18][19] In October 2019, Mint Mobile started operating as a separate company to serve customers as Mint Mobile LLC. On November 25, 2019, it was announced that actor Ryan Reynolds had purchased an ownership stake in Mint Mobile.[20]

 

 

Yeap, although TM, UM, and Mint compete with each other they also cooperate with each other (and all operate on the TM network) when there is money to be made from the cooperation.  Money makes strange bedfellows sometimes.

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I've had Mint Mobile for a little over a year (five months in the US and 7-8 months in Thailand) and it's been great.

 

$180 a year with four gigs of data/month 

 

WiFi calling in Thailand works great with my old iphone 6S+

 

 

 

 

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And to go from bad to worse, I now cannot activate the new UM card. I am also certain the guy who didn't want to sell me the card "forgot" to scan the card code at the register. It's like trying to activate a stolen card, and I suspect the card is now blocked. Hell.

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7 hours ago, Yellowtail said:

I've had Mint Mobile for a little over a year (five months in the US and 7-8 months in Thailand) and it's been great.

 

$180 a year with four gigs of data/month 

 

WiFi calling in Thailand works great with my old iphone 6S+

 

 

 

 

Clone those comments!

Mint mobile $15 a month plan,has been my choice since July of 2019 !

 I did experience one fall though! I moved to a different part of the city,here in Thailand and couldn't get a signal for two months in Jan 2020, I went round and round with tech support ,they were no help and then   two weeks later a signal appeared! 555. Since then its 100 percent !

One poster mention how horrible it would be if our phones or service was terminated or disqualified ,one way or the other, I cringe to think about it ! 

I try to keep a watch for new trends and to avoid the dreaded sunset of a  phone device with respect to new tech !

I'm currently looking to get a cheap  back up phone,just to be able to get the txt codes sent to my USA phone number! My current phone that shares that number is having a hard time waking up on occasion !

 Please  leave google voice out of this! It doesn't always work to receive codes from institutions  !

 

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Just to wrap this up, it took about 10 minutes on the phone with UM, but they did get the phone finally activated, so I didn't have to go back and argue with the jerk at TM about why he didn't scan the card right.

 

Note that UM has business hours only CS.

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3 hours ago, riclag said:

Please  leave google voice out of this! It doesn't always work to receive codes from institutions  !

 

GV works for virtually every one of my U.S. financial institution SMSs, and I deal with a lot of different financial institutions.

 

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7 hours ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

@Yellowtail  @riclag

 

Re Mint Mobile, in your respective cases, did you first activate their SIM in the U.S. or Thailand?

 

 

I activated mine in the US, not sure if you can activate it here or not.

 

I hot-spot it to my local phone and can use wifi calling most everywhere in Thailand. I also hot-spot my Thai phone to the US phone for data while I'm in the US...

 

Data roaming is expensive, but in the event you have no wifi,  making or receiving calls in Thailand is ten cents a minute which is pretty fair.

 

I was thinking of getting a two-sim phone but I don't think I cold use one sim to provide hot-spot to the other. Does anyone know if it will work?

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"GV works for virtually every one of my U.S. financial institution SMSs."

 

I can say without equivocation that GV stopped working for me with Paypal a few months ago when I really needed to pay for something.

 

Keep using GV for SMSs and you are walking on thin ice, just waiting for it to crack without warning one day.

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Some people report success porting an existing/old mobile phone number into GV.

 

At some point I willl try this.

 

13 minutes ago, taxout said:

I can say without equivocation that GV stopped working for me with Paypal a few months ago when I really needed to pay for something.

 

Reading through the Paypal forum it seems like a ton of people have prblems receiving 2FA SMS from Paypal, and it's not limited to GV users.

 

How to set up 2-Step Verification for your PayPal account.
Go to 'Settings' you.
Click Safety Information
Click 'Set up' next to '2-step verification'.
Choose whether to receive a message or use an authenticator app and click 'Next'.
Follow the instructions in Linking your phone or the Authentication app.
Set up a backup method in case you can't access your main mobile phone or application.
Click 'Finish' to enable 2-step verification.

 

 

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18 hours ago, taxout said:

And to go from bad to worse, I now cannot activate the new UM card. I am also certain the guy who didn't want to sell me the card "forgot" to scan the card code at the register. It's like trying to activate a stolen card, and I suspect the card is now blocked. Hell.

 

EDIT: Never mind below but I will leave it....I completely missed your earlier post saying you called UM and got the problem fixed.  Good deal.

 

************

 

So, what's was the outcome to your follow-up like going back to the shop or calling UM?

 

What you mention about the salesman possibly not registering the sale with UM which in turn allows the activation to work could definitely be the problem as SIMs sold thru "certain retail channels" are indeed protected that way.   Protected that way in case a store's SIMs are robbed/shoplifted/etc., but without the sales registration process occurring the SIM is basically no good to the thief...the SIM will not activate...therefore, of no value to the thief which means a thief doesn't waste time stealing SIMs if deciding to rob a mobile phone store.

 

I'm stumbled across posts talking this and if I remember right the person got the issue fixed by going back to the store and/or calling UM.

Edited by Pib
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I logged in to Paypal, they have my US mobile (T-Mo).

 

It looks like you can add a Thai number for 2FA.

 

I tried to add one of my GV accounts, no go. 

 

I added my Talkatone number, accepted, SMS received, logged in.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Yellowtail said:

 

I activated mine in the US, not sure if you can activate it here or not.

 

I hot-spot it to my local phone and can use wifi calling most everywhere in Thailand. I also hot-spot my Thai phone to the US phone for data while I'm in the US...

 

Data roaming is expensive, but in the event you have no wifi,  making or receiving calls in Thailand is ten cents a minute which is pretty fair.

 

I was thinking of getting a two-sim phone but I don't think I cold use one sim to provide hot-spot to the other. Does anyone know if it will work?

I activated mine in the US as well!  I'm curious ,if you don't mind ,what phone brand and model are you using for your USA # ?

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I have my GV number loaded in PayPal (so did the wife on her acct with her GV number)....can't remember the last time PayPal challenged me to receive a 2FA text to logon.   But after googling to see if there has been a recent rise in the number of folks saying their GV number no longer works with PayPal I found plenty.   So, we've added our TM $3 SIM number to our PayPal accts.....PayPal does send a verification text as part of the mobile number adding process to  your profile....text received no problem for me and wife....verification completed no problem....mobile number added.  

 

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4 hours ago, riclag said:

I activated mine in the US as well!  I'm curious ,if you don't mind ,what phone brand and model are you using for your USA # ?

 

Old iPhone 6s+

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32 minutes ago, Pib said:

I have my GV number loaded in PayPal (so did the wife on her acct with her GV number)....can't remember the last time PayPal challenged me to receive a 2FA text to logon.   But after googling to see if there has been a recent rise in the number of folks saying their GV number no longer works with PayPal I found plenty.   So, we've added our TM $3 SIM number to our PayPal accts.....PayPal does send a verification text as part of the mobile number adding process to  your profile....text received no problem for me and wife....verification completed no problem....mobile number added.  

 

UPDATE:  when logging back into my PayPal profile I saw the TM number now said "Unconfirmed" (it didn't say that when first adding it)....I clicked the button to send me another 2FA short code, it arrived, entered it, and now the number is confirmed again.....I log off and on again and it still says confirmed.  But when the wife then checked her PayPal acct our TM number is now showing Unconfirmed for her....so she confirms it again.  However, when I logged back onto my acct the number now shows Unconfirmed again in my acct....I reconfirm and which in turn unconfirms the number on the wife's acct.  Long story short PayPal is not allowing duplicate mobile numbers...after one person confirms a mobile number if it used by another person (like your spouse) on their PayPal acct it then unconfirms the number on your acct.  So, we ended up deleting the TM from her acct and using one of our UltraMobile number instead for her acct.  Now on my acct it uses the TM number...on her acct the UM number...and both numbers stay confirmed in our PayPal profiles.   We have one US bank acct that is like this also....can't use the same mobile number in each spouse's profile/log on credentials.   

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9 minutes ago, Pib said:

Long story short PayPal is not allowing duplicate mobile numbers...after one person confirms a mobile number if it used by another person (like your spouse) on their PayPal acct it then unconfirms the number on your acct. 

 

That would also be the most logical if you look at it from security and privacy perspective, because no 2 people can have the same number, and Paypal doesn't know your private situation

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10 hours ago, mtls2005 said:

I tried to add one of my GV accounts, no go. 

Exactly how was it a no-go?   

 

That is, as soon as entering the GV number and asking PayPal to send a confirmation code PayPal gave you a no-go type of response? 

 

Or maybe, PayPal would apparently send a confirmation code but the code never arrived on your GV end, therefore, you couldn't complete the verification?.

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26 minutes ago, Susco said:

 

That would also be the most logical if you look at it from security and privacy perspective, because no 2 people can have the same number, and Paypal doesn't know your private situation

Yeap.  But we have various joint accounts (financial), but so far PayPal and one of my U.S. banks are the only two that didn't allow a duplicate mobile number on our separate logon profiles.  

 

This is just another example of constantly changing account security policies that institutions implement in terms of 2FA logon methods allowed, what type of phone numbers they will send 2FA short codes to, etc.  

 

I pity folks who totally rely on GV as their mobile for 2FA codes....that is, do not have a real U.S. mobile number....because sooner or later whatever account(s) they have may decide not to allow VOIP-based numbers like GV to serve as a mobile number for 2FA short code purposes.   But if/when that occurs hopefully another 2FA method(s) will be available as many institutions do offer multiple 2FA methods; but some don't--it's mobile number only....take it or leave it.

 

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20 hours ago, Pib said:

I have my GV number loaded in PayPal (so did the wife on her acct with her GV number)....can't remember the last time PayPal challenged me to receive a 2FA text to logon.   But after googling to see if there has been a recent rise in the number of folks saying their GV number no longer works with PayPal I found plenty.

 

FYI, Paypal works with Google Authenticator/Authy/Microsoft Authenticator....  (I wish all financial institutions used device based 2FA instead of SMS.  It would make life much simpler.)

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Reading the instructions, it seems that for Paypal an authenticator acts as a secondary verification method: you still need to have a working mobile number on your account.

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3 hours ago, taxout said:

Reading the instructions, it seems that for Paypal an authenticator acts as a secondary verification method: you still need to have a working mobile number on your account.

Just logged into my Paypal account and setup 2FA choosing Authenticator App to use for my 2FA. I use the Authy authenticator app.

Now when I login, after entering my username and password, it asks for the authenticator app number and I’m in. No phone number needed during the process.

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But do you already have a mobile number on your Paypal account? Read precisely what I said: "You still need to have a working mobile number on your account."

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