Debit card activation

Hi fellow nomads,

I am hoping some of you ran into similar problem and found a solution.

I am banking with Capitalone bank and have recently shipped my business debit card abroad. Once I finally got it, it was the time to activate it. Bank’s new security feature is to send a verification sms code to a USA phone.

I don’t have one. I used Skype virtual USA phone, but that doesn’t seem to work with my bank.

Any ideas, suggestions…how to activate the card? Or how to receive this sms code…

Thank you all!
Nomad running out of money

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Why not get a US SIM?

Yes, Capital One doesn’t seem to like virtual phone numbers (like Skype or Google Voice). Did you try calling them and asking for an alternative verification method?

If none is available (I’d be surprised) perhaps you could ask a trusted friend or family member in the US to use their phone number for verification to solve this immediate situation. Then do like @pbm suggests and order a US sim card (ideally one with a low monthly fee and that doesn’t charge for receiving SMS abroad) for future verification SMSes.

Thank you for your suggestions.

You’d be surprised, but it is true. I spoke to dozens of agents and the drill is always the same, we get to the sms verification step and that’s that. They do suggest alternative and that’s visiting my local branch :slight_smile:

Using USA friend’s phone doesn’t work either (tried a few) because the phone number has to be associated to the name on the account. Not sure how they can check that either…

Although I know I am dealing with robots over the phone, I did sort of yelled at one of them, and I quote: “I gave you my name, address, social security, account number, and PIN and you still are not able to verify my identity? Ridiculous.”

And all this is supposedly to protect us, the customers. I will most likely just look for an alternative bank rather than trying to figure this one out. I am sure there are some that cater to our needs.

All the best to you all!

Hi Stevica, Not sure if I’m missing something, but if you have friends in the U.S. (or heck, I’m happy to help if you want), they can easily get you a prepaid SIM card (at a supermarket) that you can keep topping up (to maintain the number) just so you can have a U.S. number on hand. As you probably know, there is no need for an ID or anything to purchase a SIM card, and even registering/activating it only requires a name, address and email.

You don’t even have to buy any data plan or anything for this phone line, incoming SMS is normally free around the world, as long as you maintain a small balance in your phone account.

The SMS verification step is surely needed to activate your debit card, but remember that often banks use SMS as a secondary factor authentication whenever you log in online from a computer it doesn’t recognize. If you have “business” in the U.S. (I know debit card isn’t considered a ‘business’), I recommend you maintain a U.S. phone number - just like I maintain several European phone numbers for each country I have business in. Once you have a number, you should be able log in to Capital One account online and change your phone number there…and when they want to send an SMS…voila!

Did I overlook anything here? Thx!

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