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Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

Old Oct 30th 2020, 4:28 am
  #31  
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Default Re: Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
I can confirm that you can use the HSBC app without a UK number. It does require a phone call to customer service, but it works. Barclaycard and nationwide only support UK numbers as far as I know
So - if you are here in the US already, can you set up the HSBC app on a US phone? I set up their app when I was in their office setting up the account in the UK.
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Old Oct 30th 2020, 5:08 am
  #32  
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Default Re: Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
So - if you are here in the US already, can you set up the HSBC app on a US phone? I set up their app when I was in their office setting up the account in the UK.
Yes, I had to setup the app from scratch on my US phone. I think I did still need a UK google account in order to download the app. It took about 10 minutes working with customer service to set it up. It has been working without any issues for about 7 months now
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Old Oct 30th 2020, 6:48 am
  #33  
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Default Re: Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
Yes, I had to setup the app from scratch on my US phone. I think I did still need a UK google account in order to download the app. It took about 10 minutes working with customer service to set it up. It has been working without any issues for about 7 months now
I just searched Google Play on my US phone and found 'HSBC UK Mobile Banking' (there were versions for many, many countries). Basically, it walked me through the process of activating the app on the new device, and that included scanning a QR code generated on the old device. I'm now able to log in using the new phone! So that's cool.

The only question I have is ... what phone number will they send text messages to in order to perform 2FA when needed? It's not clear they have my US phone number (unless the app reports that to them, which I suppose is feasible). Thanks for the inspiration to do this!

Update - Ugh - I used the new phone / new app to generate the security code so I could log on using the browser. This worked, I could see my balances, etc. I then went to the 'personal info' page to see if I could change the phone number used to contact me (so they could send text messages to me). I tried to change the UK phone number to a US phone number, but it would not accept the number in the format +1xxxyyyzzzz (that is, +1 and my US number). I decided to try entering it without the +1, and it as accepted, but seemed bogus but regardless, I tried to save this and it wanted to re-authenticate me, so I used the phone app as requested, and it would not accept the code generated by the phone, twice ... . So I cancelled the whole set of updates.

So I'm still not clear which phone number they will send a text message to (they only do this for certain types of transaction, but I've certainly needed to do it on occasion, and of course they sent me a text message to my phone during the above 'switchover to new phone' process above).

Last edited by Steerpike; Oct 30th 2020 at 7:43 am.
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Old Oct 30th 2020, 4:15 pm
  #34  
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Default Re: Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

You may need to call them to get the number updated rather than using the website but it's definitely possible for HSBC UK to text a US number - I opened a HSBC UK account using the international account opening service, they've only ever had a US number on file for me and have been able to send codes etc.
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Old Oct 30th 2020, 7:16 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

Originally Posted by Olly_ View Post
You may need to call them to get the number updated rather than using the website but it's definitely possible for HSBC UK to text a US number - I opened a HSBC UK account using the international account opening service, they've only ever had a US number on file for me and have been able to send codes etc.
Thanks. I called them today - 20 minute hold time (I have a very cheap international calling plan ...). A lady who I could barely understand (combination of a moderate accent and a lousy voip circuit, probably routing from US to UK to the Philippines, or similar!) helped me (she was super sweet). Interestingly, you have to enter the US number as
001 xxx yyy zzzz and not +1 xxx yyy zzzz ! It never occurred to me that they would be so 'old fashioned'. So now the number is updated to a US number.

Further complicating my efforts last night to enter the number was the fact that HSBC's security practices are - IMHO - way over the top and very poorly constructed. If you want to use the mobile app to generate security codes (as opposed to using it as a banking app in a standalone fashion), you are instructed NOT to log on first, which I find totally counter-intuitive - why not allow a logged on user the ability to still use the 'security code generation' feature? You actually have to log off before you can generate codes ... But moving past that, when you select 'Generate Security Code' there are three 'tabs' - 'Log on', 'Transaction', and 'Re-authenticate'. 'Log on' is for "access to online banking". 'Transaction' is to "Confirm an online transaction", and 're-authenticate' is to "verify your identity". The first and third options seem identical in behavior - they both require you to enter your 'Digital Secure Key password' and they both generate a 6-digit PIN for you to enter on the website. Why the distinction? I was erroneously using the 'log on' tab and not the 're-authenticate' tab so the 6-digit PIN I was getting was not accepted.

Anyway, I finally figured it all out and now I seem to be fully set up with my US phone and US phone number! So if my UK number dies for any reason, I will still be able to function on the HSBC website. The only purpose for the HSBC account is so that I can make my National Insurance payments ...
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Old Oct 30th 2020, 7:25 pm
  #36  
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Default Re: Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
I just searched Google Play on my US phone and found 'HSBC UK Mobile Banking' (there were versions for many, many countries). Basically, it walked me through the process of activating the app on the new device, and that included scanning a QR code generated on the old device. I'm now able to log in using the new phone! So that's cool.

The only question I have is ... what phone number will they send text messages to in order to perform 2FA when needed? It's not clear they have my US phone number (unless the app reports that to them, which I suppose is feasible). Thanks for the inspiration to do this!

Update - Ugh - I used the new phone / new app to generate the security code so I could log on using the browser. This worked, I could see my balances, etc. I then went to the 'personal info' page to see if I could change the phone number used to contact me (so they could send text messages to me). I tried to change the UK phone number to a US phone number, but it would not accept the number in the format +1xxxyyyzzzz (that is, +1 and my US number). I decided to try entering it without the +1, and it as accepted, but seemed bogus but regardless, I tried to save this and it wanted to re-authenticate me, so I used the phone app as requested, and it would not accept the code generated by the phone, twice ... . So I cancelled the whole set of updates.

So I'm still not clear which phone number they will send a text message to (they only do this for certain types of transaction, but I've certainly needed to do it on occasion, and of course they sent me a text message to my phone during the above 'switchover to new phone' process above).
I only use the app to authenticate now. I do not get text messages for 2FA anymore. Looking at my details on the HSBC website it appears to have my US number. However I have never received a text as far as I can remember. I am able to make payments and logon with just using the app. I used to have a dongle before to generate the security codes, but that has also died

Checking my communication preferences it looks like I have my UK landline number as the mobile number
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Old Oct 30th 2020, 8:03 pm
  #37  
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Default Re: Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
I only use the app to authenticate now. I do not get text messages for 2FA anymore. Looking at my details on the HSBC website it appears to have my US number. However I have never received a text as far as I can remember. I am able to make payments and logon with just using the app. I used to have a dongle before to generate the security codes, but that has also died

Checking my communication preferences it looks like I have my UK landline number as the mobile number
Looking back through my message history on my UK phone, I got a 'code' via text yesterday during the 'transfer of app' activation from old phone to new phone, and prior to that, November of last year which is when I set up the account ... so maybe there really isn't much use made of the phone number by HSBC.

Looking at the text message history in more detail, I also got a confirmation message on my UK Mobile from 'Government Gateway' ("your Government Gateway access code is ..."). This is from when I logged into the HMRC website. But I can also see that I was able to enter my US number on that site, and when I just logged into it now as a test, it actually asks me which number to use - UK or US mobile; so I chose US, and got the code there. So ... it would appear, I really don't need to worry about keeping my UK number alive other than as a convenience for my next return trip - whenever that will be!
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Old Nov 1st 2020, 10:40 pm
  #38  
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Default Re: Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

If only Nationwide would accept a US number. They are happy to send statements etc to US, but their stupid app is UK only. Luckily I have the card reader so as long as they support that I am fine. My kids have CTFs (remember them?) and once they mature I will probably close it, a pity as this is the only account I have open since birth (or shortly afterwards).

I have both HSBC US & UK apps on my phone, and glad they released them as the old PIN-fob died. I think I had installed the UK when I was there a year ago. I didn't know you could install it from here.

If there was a low cost way to keep a UK number that would be good. At the moment I pick up a SIM from LHR when arriving, and let it expire every time.
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Old Nov 2nd 2020, 3:08 am
  #39  
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Default Re: Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

My UK payg sim remains active provided it's used every 60-odd days.
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Old Nov 2nd 2020, 4:28 am
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Default Re: Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

Originally Posted by tdrinker View Post
My UK payg sim remains active provided it's used every 60-odd days.
Hint - it might be more helpful if you told us who provided the SIM.
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Old Nov 2nd 2020, 5:06 am
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Default Re: Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

Labara - but I didn't name it because I don't recommend it. It's probably very cheap to call overseas from the UK, but is expensive to make calls within the UK and to use from outside the UK. I'm sure there are better options available.

I've also had Lycamobile in the past, which was similar.

I have experienced non-coverage in certain countries, but don't remember which sim, and it's old information so may not be applicable now. But it's worth confirming that whatever sim you choose has coverage in the USA.
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Old Nov 2nd 2020, 5:21 am
  #42  
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Default Re: Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

Originally Posted by tdrinker View Post
Labara - but I didn't name it because I don't recommend it. It's probably very cheap to call overseas from the UK, but is expensive to make calls within the UK and to use from outside the UK. I'm sure there are better options available.

I've also had Lycamobile in the past, which was similar.

I have experienced non-coverage in certain countries, but don't remember which sim, and it's old information so may not be applicable now. But it's worth confirming that whatever sim you choose has coverage in the USA.
Interesting. I have an O2 Pay-as-you-go SIM, and as I mentioned, it seems to still be alive after 6+ months (I think the rules are 3 months like yours). However, I have no desire to actually use it while here in the US; I save it for when I travel to the UK. So I don't care about rates for calls.
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Old Nov 2nd 2020, 6:14 am
  #43  
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Default Re: Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

The O2 website says you need to use the number every 6 months to keep it, so you might want to use it soonest ...

"If you don't carry out a chargeable activity at least once in any six month period your mobile number will be disconnected and you'll lose any credit on your account. If you want to be reconnected you'll be given a new mobile number."

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Old Nov 2nd 2020, 9:08 am
  #44  
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Default Re: Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

Originally Posted by OldJuddian View Post
If only Nationwide would accept a US number. They are happy to send statements etc to US, but their stupid app is UK only. Luckily I have the card reader so as long as they support that I am fine. My kids have CTFs (remember them?) and once they mature I will probably close it, a pity as this is the only account I have open since birth (or shortly afterwards).

I have both HSBC US & UK apps on my phone, and glad they released them as the old PIN-fob died. I think I had installed the UK when I was there a year ago. I didn't know you could install it from here.

If there was a low cost way to keep a UK number that would be good. At the moment I pick up a SIM from LHR when arriving, and let it expire every time.
O2 at £9 a month fairly inexpensive for UK number, The other possibility is Skype.
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Old Nov 2nd 2020, 12:49 pm
  #45  
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Default Re: Maintaining a UK mobile number while in the US long term

I,m on Three pay as you go. SIM is active all the time and is 2nd SIM in my phone. First one is US service using an electronic SIM. I have a balance on account with Three of roughy 4 GBP, which the website says will not expire. I’ve not been in the uk in more than a year. I have had this account and sim from Three for about 3 years. I get texts on the Three SIM a couple of times a month from London Underground and previous drs in London, never worked out how to unsubscribe from either! I usually send a text every few months.
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