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Bank verification with Spanish SIM

Liddybee

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances September 2017
Porto to Santiago September 2018
Via Francigena Upcoming in 2020
Question…
I’ve read with interest several threads on using a Spanish SIM or eSIM while on the Camino and I’m curious how people handle two factor authentication when logging into a bank site for example. Doesn’t that authentication code go to the phone’s registered number and if so how do you access it while having another SIM card activated?
Signed,
Confused non-techie from Canada.
 
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I had a dual sim - in other words, both on my phone, so no issues
Interesting ! Which provider did you add that would allow this? I wonder if my home country provider would also need to allow this.
 
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Doesn’t that authentication code go to the phone’s registered number and if so how do you access it while having another SIM card activated?

I always have a Spanish SIM card on my camino. I no longer use the debit card that I did this for, but in my case I could adjust my settings so that I would receive an email instead of a text message to do the verification. I set it up before leaving for Spain so that I could be sure it worked ahead of time.
 
Interesting ! Which provider did you add that would allow this? I wonder if my home country provider would also need to allow this.
Ironically my provider is a local supermarket, Lidl. And I just walked into a local shop in Spain and bought one, they installed/ set it up for me. No idea who sorry. I'm based in Germany, possibly made a difference I simply do not know.
 
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Hello fellow Canadian bank customer. It's an ever evolving conundrum. My solution in 2023 while using a Euro Sim was to change my verification phone to a trusted friend in Canada. Then before attempting to manage my account I would alert my friend to standby, then open the app, generate the verification request, and get a iMessage from my friend.

Using email for verification is generally discouraged. I see that my own bank will not allow emails to personal addresses only verified business accounts. You can sometimes register a home number that would receive a robo call with the code. So you could register a forewarned trusted person to receive the robo call.
 
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I was advised by my bank to put my Canadian sim back into my phone, use wifi for the banking app, the text message would come to me with the code, complete my banking and then put the Spanish sim back into the phone.

Receiving the text was cost free, but don’t answer any calls or send messages using the Canadian sim unless you want to pay the roaming fee.

Try and find a reasonably safe wifi.
 
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I was advised by my bank to put my Canadian sim back into my phone, use wifi for the banking app, the text message would come to me with the code, complete my banking and then put the Spanish sim back into the phone.
Many phones are dual SIM, (both of mine are) ie they allow you to insert two sims, and then you just switch between them on the phone itself. That's what I did.

Some phones like the iPhone 14 can only take one physical SIM however they allow you to also load an E-sim.

The instructions my son sent me:

To switch between SIM cards through the settings menu:
Open the Settings app, then tap Connections.
Tap SIM Card Manager.
Tap Calls, Text Messages or Mobile data.
Tap the SIM card you would like to switch to.
I think I then had to enter the pin for the sim to access it but I'm not certain. That may have been after I'd nearly locked myself out of it..... Don't ask!

I do remember that it didn't take very long once I had done at a couple of times. I would note that if you find it hard to remember, it's worth noting it down along with important numbers ETC in a notebook!
 
As @peregrina2000 says, you can usually change to an email for verification. Also, for logging into your bank account, it is better to use the bank's mobile app. I don't think you need to go through 2-factor authentication then. (Correct me if I'm wrong!)
Unfortunately, my bank does require this even from the app.
 
Some phones like the iPhone 14 can only take one physical SIM however they allow you to also load an E-sim.
Adding a little bit here; the iPhone 14s sold in the US (maybe even North America) do not accept physical SIM cards. They use eSIM only (they can support up to eight but only two at once). It's likely that more phones in the future will be like this.

P. S. My primary bank has an app that usually does not require two factor authentication but does in some circumstances (via text message but they are internationally free with my plan).
 
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I think the issue is not keeping your home SIM active in a 2 SIM environment but rather not using your home SIM whatsoever because of outrageous roaming charges. Hence installing the foreign SIM.
I disagree, though not with your monetary concern. The issue the OP is concerned about (or at least curious about) is being able to get two factor authentication overseas so financial transactions that are needed can be done. There are ways that this can be done fairly easily and at no or little cost (maybe not for Canadians though) but complicating the issue is whether a foreign SIM is wanted for other needs and, even more, whether the phone only has one SIM available for all this.

One method available to a US plan of mine is have incoming texts saved in the cloud to be able to be read either from a website or app using wifi or cellular data. In addition, a copy of the text can be emailed to me. And none of that is not really needed as international text messages are free to me anyway. Our quest is to find the OP some Canadian or foreign plan that can do some of the above.
 
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Interesting ! Which provider did you add that would allow this? I wonder if my home country provider would also need to allow this.
It doesn't matter which provider that you use.

What matters is how you set up your phone. The phone needs to be able to handle dual or multiple SIMs and you then specify both:
A) which SIM is the default for data, cellular phone and SMS
B) ensure both SIM cards are active.

Then you will get SMS messages from both phone numbers.
 
Being from Canada and having this same problem, I called my bank. I do use the app for my banking and they told me that the message sent is phone specific and not number specific….at least in my case. I also found that if I was using my SIM card and not wifi, I was able to get right into the app with no extra codes needed.
 
Hello fellow Canadian bank customer. It's an ever evolving conundrum. My solution in 2023 while using a Euro Sim was to change my verification phone to a trusted friend in Canada. Then before attempting to manage my account I would alert my friend to standby, then open the app, generate the verification request, and get a iMessage from my friend.

Using email for verification is generally discouraged. I see that my own bank will not allow emails to personal addresses only verified business accounts. You can sometimes register a home number that would receive a robo call with the code. So you could register a forewarned trusted person to receive the robo call.

I had the same issues last year and this sounds like a pretty good work around. I also found that email verification was not allowed by TD and VISA.
 
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Interesting ! Which provider did you add that would allow this? I wonder if my home country provider would also need to allow this.
It is not necessarily the provider (unless the phone is locked to the providers network) it is usually a limitation on the phone. THE PHONE NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO SUPPORT DUAL PHYSICAL OR TWO ESIMS.
My Motorola supports dual sims and was provided unlocked, so I just need to select the network I wish to use.
Incoming calls use the sim number for your domestic service will still use that Sim.
 
THE PHONE NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO SUPPORT DUAL PHYSICAL OR TWO ESIMS.
Or the combination of one physical SIM and an eSIM. Possibly the one eSIM that comes with the phone can actually allow more than one number to be kept on it. Currently phones will not allow more than two numbers to be used at once though (not caring if the number is stored on a SIM or eSIM). Just one number if you configure things so the number is used for both calls and data, two if one number is for calls and another for data.
 
As @peregrina2000 says, you can usually change to an email for verification. Also, for logging into your bank account, it is better to use the bank's mobile app. I don't think you need to go through 2-factor authentication then. (Correct me if I'm wrong!)
My bank has occasional two factor authentication. It is really aggrevating for us Canadians since our regular Internaitonal cell rates are the highest in the world so Sim cards are the most reasonable. Does anyone know if the eSim cards are easier in that aspect?
 
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Does anyone know if the eSim cards are easier in that aspect?
Once installed the two types of SIMS are pretty much the same. Installation is different though often involving scanning a QR code. There are a couple of methods besides this. The method (and/or alternate methods) networks use are up to them.
 
Question…
I’ve read with interest several threads on using a Spanish SIM or eSIM while on the Camino and I’m curious how people handle two factor authentication when logging into a bank site for example. Doesn’t that authentication code go to the phone’s registered number and if so how do you access it while having another SIM card activated?
Signed,
Confused non-techie from Canada.
You would either have to change the text notification number to the Spanish number, OR arrange to have it sent to your e-mail instead.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
As @peregrina2000 says, you can usually change to an email for verification. Also, for logging into your bank account, it is better to use the bank's mobile app. I don't think you need to go through 2-factor authentication then. (Correct me if I'm wrong!)
I use mobile app and have never had an authentication alert. US Bank
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
You would either have to change the text notification number to the Spanish number, OR arrange to have it sent to your e-mail instead.

Hope this helps.

Tom
No, if you have dual sims you can simply set up your phone appropriately:
What matters is how you set up your phone. The phone needs to be able to handle dual or multiple SIMs and you then specify both:
A) which SIM is the default for data, cellular phone and SMS
B) ensure both SIM cards are active.

Then you will get SMS messages from both phone numbers.
 
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My bank requires the 2 step Authenticator when I’m outside Canada but only for making online purchases. Last month in Mexico for instance I needed to purchase airline tickets for onward travel). Northern Light’s suggestion to switch sims for the one transaction works. Also, last year for VdlP I spoke to my credit card company in advance and they arranged to send the authentication code to me by email. Of course easiest solution is dual esims. if you have a newer phone. And that is my task this month!
 
I'm from the U. S. but I use that Canadian actor's phone company, Mint Mobile (I think Google phone operates somewhat like this too). Cheap rates with Mint. Once you have wifi anywhere in the world, you can call and text as if you were in the U.S. I used to have the text go to my sister and would wait until she was available on Whatsapp. I also have a dual Sim phone and use Vodafone when in Spain.
 
Being from Canada and having this same problem, I called my bank. I do use the app for my banking and they told me that the message sent is phone specific and not number specific….at least in my case. I also found that if I was using my SIM card and not wifi, I was able to get right into the app with no extra codes needed.
Useful info thanks. It sounds like I should chat with my bank before making too many decisions.
 
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Question…
I’ve read with interest several threads on using a Spanish SIM or eSIM while on the Camino and I’m curious how people handle two factor authentication when logging into a bank site for example. Doesn’t that authentication code go to the phone’s registered number and if so how do you access it while having another SIM card activated?
Signed,
Confused non-techie from Canada.
I had dual SIM, but it was certainly a problem. I could access my Canadian number, but if I did that would trigger a $15/day roaming charge from Rogers. I learned very quickly to try and avoid that, which meant not paying for things online with Visa. You may want to check with your bank before you go how you can change your 2 factor number to your Spanish SIM number while you are there.
 
I had dual SIM, but it was certainly a problem. I could access my Canadian number, but if I did that would trigger a $15/day roaming charge from Rogers. I learned very quickly to try and avoid that, which meant not paying for things online with Visa. You may want to check with your bank before you go how you can change your 2 factor number to your Spanish SIM number while you are there.
I’m also with Rogers so your information is very relevant David. If I get an eSIM package online before I go I’m assuming I would also know my Spanish number to change to should the bank allow. Am I correct in this assumption?
 
I’m also with Rogers so your information is very relevant David. If I get an eSIM package online before I go I’m assuming I would also know my Spanish number to change to should the bank allow. Am I correct in this assumption?
If you get one that comes with a phone number. Some just come with data.

I had used physical Spanish SIMS on previous trips without much issue (there was less 2 factor authentication back then), so I just switched my Rogers number to an eSIM and used the physical slot for the Spanish SIM. I'm hoping I will be able to reactivate it again when I head back to Spain in May, less than a year later.
 
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Question…
I’ve read with interest several threads on using a Spanish SIM or eSIM while on the Camino and I’m curious how people handle two factor authentication when logging into a bank site for example. Doesn’t that authentication code go to the phone’s registered number and if so how do you access it while having another SIM card activated?
Signed,
Confused non-techie from Canada.
I had a similar issue when walking the Portugues this past September. For some reason, some businesses wanted a verification code for what I considered a rather small purchase. I had replaced my U.S. sim card with a Portuguese sim and couldn't receive the texts/verification code. My phone holds only 1 sim. It took a while for me to figure out a solution. Eventually, I contacted my U.S. service provider via an online chat. I was able to have international service activated so that I could receive text messages free of charge. But to receive the text I had to insert my U.S. sim. Then I would have to replace it with the Portuguese sim in time to enter the code. So, after I figured out the process, I was able to deal with verification codes. Just be sure to keep your sims in a secure location. A Canuck friend travelling with me had the same issue, but he lost his Canadian sim because he kept it under his phone case which had a crack in it. Resolving his problems is another story.

Regarding switching to email verification for codes, not all institutions provide that service. I have a Capital One account (no currency conversion fees) and they don't. I've emailed one of their executives twice regarding this, but have not received a reply (surprise, surprise).

Best wishes and Buen Camino!
 
If I get an eSIM package online before I go I’m assuming I would also know my Spanish number to change to should the bank allow. Am I correct in this assumption?
Look into this before going. I have a hunch that they won't change the number for the verification text to an international one, they may be charged for the text. Even if they would be nice about it their software may not allow it. I hope I'm wrong because this would easy for you to implement the authentication.
 
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@Liddybee - who is your carier? Some of us on Forum have T-Mobile with which you do not have to change to Spanish (or any for that matter) SIM. Your phone continues to be your phone same number and all.
One thing to keep in mind though is that ANY calls (local or back to US, Canada, etc.) is $.25\min - somewhat steep for a phone call... but then if we need to call we use WatsApp, viper or other similar
your texts however are free so your 2-step verification code comes to you as always and message does not cost you a penny.
Just something else to throw as a thought

Good luck and Buen Camino
 
I'm from the U. S. but I use that Canadian actor's phone company, Mint Mobile (I think Google phone operates somewhat like this too). Cheap rates with Mint. Once you have wifi anywhere in the world, you can call and text as if you were in the U.S. I used to have the text go to my sister and would wait until she was available on Whatsapp. I also have a dual Sim phone and use Vodafone when in Spain.

I just checked the Mint Mobile site, and their international rates aren't really any better than AT&T and Verizon.


But perhaps you are only using your phone with Wifi?

 
But perhaps you are only using your phone with Wifi?
https://www.mintmobile.com/features/wifi-calling-text/

I've got a few things to add here.

1) Excellent find.
2) Possibly this could also work if wifi was not available but another SIM (or eSIM) had cellular data.
3) Not useful though to get authentication codes sent to the phone without having bought the international plan. At least I don't think so. I don't see anything about receiving calls and texts internationally, either while connected to wifi or while just in roaming mode.
4) BTW, the "Canadian actor" associated with Mint Mobile owned about 25% of it. I wrote owned in the past tense because Mint was sold to T-Mobile for $1,350,000,000 last year. His gin company was sold for quite a bit too. Maybe Ivar should discuss a partnership with him.
 
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3) Not useful though to get authentication codes sent to the phone without having bought the international plan. At least I don't think so. I don't see anything about receiving calls and texts internationally, either while connected to wifi or while just in roaming mode.
It might work for texting.

Here are some quotes from the Mint Mobile WiFi calling page:

"Wi-Fi Calling lets you talk or text over Wi-Fi, no extra log-ins or phone numbers required – it’s super handy when your signal's playing hard to get."

"NO INTERNATIONAL ROAMING CHARGES

Wi-Fi Calling allows you to call and text abroad without using up international roaming."
 
It might work for texting
Another rabbit hole to run down.

When is a txt a txt and when is it a message?

The original Short Messaging Service, SMS uses its own protocol over UDP. This means that you can't send and receive SMS txt messages over a data connection that only uses TCP/IP. Most popular cell phones from all manufacturers only implement TCP/IP and in this case it is not possible to send an SMS txt when your phone only has a data connection.

In the normal course your phone implements three protocols, cellular voice, SMS (tied to cellular voice) and TCP/IP for data.

Now things get muddy.

Apple has implemented their own proprietary messaging protocol that runs over TCP/IP and they have written their own app, iMessage, that uses this proprietary protocol AND SMS within the same application. This means that when you use iMessage on an Apple iPhone it looks to you like you can send and receive messages with only a data connection. This is correct IF the other party that you are messaging also has an iPhone with iMessage.

If, however, you want to receive an SMS txt from your bank (who are inherently conservative and usually don't support the Apple proprietary messaging protocol) then you must also have a cellular connection. The same applies if you want to message someone who does not have an iPhone, in this case iMessage changes to the SMS protocol in the background and sends an SMS message.

A significant part of the world is not (yet) owned by Apple and so the people in those areas wanted a more modern messaging service that could run over TCP/IP and so these people invented RCS (Rich Communication Services). Google in particular has championed RCS as a standard alternative to SMS that can be implemented on all cellular phones.

For some time Apple resisted supporting RCS but recently, with some gentle nudging from the EU they have agreed to support RCS within iMessage BUT will keep their own proprietary protocol for iMessage to iMessage messages.

Meanwhile, those (mostly) conservative banks and credit card companies are still only supporting SMS (which is inherently insecure BTW). In time, financial institutions will support RCS which sends messages to a particular account (not a phone number, think WhatsApp) and all of these problems associated with needing to get a SMS txt sent to a particular phone number will go away.

In the meantime, it is probably impossible to receive an SMS txt messages from your bank without a cellular voice connection.
 
I had the same problem in 2023 in Lisbon and Spain. I'm Canadian, use TD Bank debit and RBC Visa. Both required 2-factor via text to a Canadian number for online transactions. I changed the number in my account profiles to my Orange SIM but they would not use a non-Canadian number for the verification. (aargh!) Heading to Spain again in month and was wondering how I was going to solve this.

You might want to check out Freedom Mobile. They have much better European (and US) roaming packages. You can temporarily upgrade your plan just before you leave and then downgrade to Canada only when you return, with some minimum time restrictions. The overall cost for me will be about the same as getting a European SIM while continuing to pay for a Koodo service I'm not using, and I will be able to continue to use my Canadian number. So far, my wife and i have used the service in Canada (Vancouver Island) and California and it has been fine, although we are not heavy telecom data users. Hopefully Spain connection will be good too.

Just FYI, not recommended: As an absolute last resort while you're travelling, you can call the help desk of your bank, and after bouncing through a couple support levels, you can get to a security analyst. That analyst can "see" your transaction on their monitoring tools and allow it to go through without the verification. I did this once. However, you will probably have exceeded the talk time on your european plan and started incurring additional use charges by the time you get through the help desk layers!
 
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@Liddybee - who is your carier? Some of us on Forum have T-Mobile with which you do not have to change to Spanish (or any for that matter) SIM. Your phone continues to be your phone same number and all.
One thing to keep in mind though is that ANY calls (local or back to US, Canada, etc.) is $.25\min - somewhat steep for a phone call... but then if we need to call we use WatsApp, viper or other similar
your texts however are free so your 2-step verification code comes to you as always and message does not cost you a penny.
Just something else to throw as a thought

Good luck and Buen Camino
I’m with Rogers and their daily roaming charges are prohibitively expensive for my six week trip hence wanting a Spanish eSIM. I’m comfortable using WhatsApp for calls which helps and in a true emergency would naturally not care about the cost of calls. Not sure I’m ready to switch providers yet but I appreciate the info you provided.
 
I changed the number in my account profiles to my Orange SIM but they would not use a non-Canadian number for the verification. (aargh!) Heading to Spain again in month and was wondering how I was going to solve this.
I bypass these issues by getting a Wise debit card. The Wise card is generally cheaper for currency exchange (that was their original reason for existing) and comes with their own app. The app is not tied to a particular telephone number but rather to the unique ID within your mobile phone.

Wise also have a series of partnerships with ATM providers and in some cases I am able to take out cash without fees up to a relatively low monthly limit.

However when I spend money using the Wise card I always spend it in Euros.

At least one of the credit card payment networks within Spain try to trick holders of international cards into spending money in their home currency and charging huge exchange fees.*

The Wise card is recognised as a European card and so this never happens with a Wise card.

* The particular card payment network defaults to your home currency on the terminal and so if you simply accept the payment then it happens in your home currency. When you try to use Euros this network forces you to answer a second question that is phrased as a double negative and so if you are not very careful then again you are charged in your home currency 😞

This happened to me a couple of times back in the days when I used my home credit card. The first time I didn't spot it and ended up with a huge charge, the second time I was more careful but ended up spending a couple of minutes understanding the double negative question. During that time the restaurant owners got frustrated with the time I was taking and answered the question for me with the default!

This resulted in a heated conversation between us in my broken Spanish and their broken English.
 
When walking on the Norte I needed to pay for a rail ticket and some accommodation online but two step verification became a problem and I ended up using PayPal. For the Via De La Plata & Sanabrés I have set up a WISE card with the App on my iPad. Using the card for online booking and two step verification coming through from the App as a email as my bank will not send emails either.
I was going to set up a duel sim with Vodafone on the last camino but found out that their eSIM was data only so I opted for a physical Spanish SIM and tethered my iPad to the phone when no WiFi was available. The only tip I can give is to have multiple options at hand ie. Two travel cards with different providers, PayPal and cash.
I picked up the tip to get a WISE card from the Forum (paying it back -thanks)
 
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The only tip I can give is to have multiple options at hand ie. Two travel cards with different providers, PayPal and cash.
I picked up the tip to get a WISE card from the Forum (paying it back -thanks)
@Sandra Wolf Very wise advice (if you’ll pardon the pun!) to remind me that having multiple options is a good thing.
 
It might work for texting.

Here are some quotes from the Mint Mobile WiFi calling page:

"Wi-Fi Calling lets you talk or text over Wi-Fi, no extra log-ins or phone numbers required – it’s super handy when your signal's playing hard to get."

"NO INTERNATIONAL ROAMING CHARGES

Wi-Fi Calling allows you to call and text abroad without using up international roaming."
My concern with Mint's service was with their wording. I took away that the subscriber to Mint could do things (I highlighted you in the quotations above). They omitted what would happen if somebody called or texted the subscriber, either if the subscriber was on wifi at the time or not on it. Mint doesn't mention here anything about being connected to the Internet via cellular data instead of wifi either.

I also did have some concerns about the text protocols that @DoughnutANZ covered but left that out. After all, Mint is a billion dollar company that can hire writers and my writing is worth substantially less. Lets be fair. 😉

P. S., You may notice that I have little regard for company's documentation. A communication company that @trecile recommends often, Viber, is an exception. I was very impressed with their documentation.
 
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Question…
I’ve read with interest several threads on using a Spanish SIM or eSIM while on the Camino and I’m curious how people handle two factor authentication when logging into a bank site for example. Doesn’t that authentication code go to the phone’s registered number and if so how do you access it while having another SIM card activated?
Signed,
Confused non-techie from Canada.
I have the bank use my email instead of my phone number when on the Camino
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
I bypass these issues by getting a Wise debit card. The Wise card is generally cheaper for currency exchange (that was their original reason for existing) and comes with their own app. The app is not tied to a particular telephone number but rather to the unique ID within your mobile phone.
But can you use the Wise card for online purchases? I wasn't having a problem with two factor authentication when making in-person purchases, only online purchases with my Visa.
 
But can you use the Wise card for online purchases? I wasn't having a problem with two factor authentication when making in-person purchases, only online purchases with my Visa.
Yes, of course. It is a regular Visa card and because it is issued from Europe it is recognised as European and doesn't have the hassles associated with some Northern American cards such as with train ticket purchase.

It has additional features and benefits for online purchases but that probably isn't relevant in this context.
 
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Hi David, Yes online was the main issue that I had in Spain and Wise gives you the option to have verification via email in the settings. My bank in Australia will not use email. My husband sat on the phone to Australia in San Sebastian at 2 am for 3 hours in the hotel concierge to get our mobile phone number recognised by the bank changed to our Spanish number and almost needed a act of parliament to do so! So we now have WISE as a back-up for our next camino along with other back-ups!
 
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My bank requires the 2 step Authenticator when I’m outside Canada but only for making online purchases. Last month in Mexico for instance I needed to purchase airline tickets for onward travel). Northern Light’s suggestion to switch sims for the one transaction works. Also, last year for VdlP I spoke to my credit card company in advance and they arranged to send the authentication code to me by email. Of course easiest solution is dual esims. if you have a newer phone. And that is my task this month!
I'am from Canada and I was worried about the 2 step Authenticator also when I went to Spain. But I never needed it. But I always physically used my card and never had to use it purchase anything online. Plus also my bank also won't use email as a way to get Authenticator code. Going again this year and when I go into my Bank to purchase a few Euros before I leave i'am going to ask them about this.
 
Scanning through all the “my bank does/doesn’t this/that,” I think part of the advice might be “change banks if you don’t like the way they do things."
 
I had a dual sim - in other words, both on my phone, so no issues
I'm currently in the market for a new (Android) phone and a dual SIM is one of the features I'll be looking for. My daughter had this feature on her new (Apple) phone and she said it came in handy on a trip to Italy.

I'm planning a Portuguese Camino for this May. On my 2022 Camino, I brought two phones and mostly kept the one with my USA SIM card shut off to avoid outrageous VERIZON overseas rates. The other phone had a Spanish SIM I picked up at Vodaphone in Pamplona. This time, I plan to purchase a Spanish SIM (or eSIM) for the new phone ahead of time. I've seen them for sale on AMAZON.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I'm currently in the market for a new (Android) phone and a dual SIM is one of the features I'll be looking for. My daughter had this feature on her new (Apple) phone and she said it came in handy on a trip to Italy.

I'm planning a Portuguese Camino for this May. On my 2022 Camino, I brought two phones and mostly kept the one with my USA SIM card shut off to avoid outrageous VERIZON overseas rates. The other phone had a Spanish SIM I picked up at Vodaphone in Pamplona. This time, I plan to purchase a Spanish SIM (or eSIM) for the new phone ahead of time. I've seen them for sale on AMAZON.
I once had a real dual Sim phone years ago. It seems few phones have this now. Be careful if they say they do. My current Motorola phone (Android) can accept 2 Sims, BUT, one of the slots has dual purposes. It is also the slot for an SD card. So, my phone can have either 2 sims or 1 sim + sd card, but not both. Oh, and it won't accept an eSim.
 
I'am from Canada and I was worried about the 2 step Authenticator also when I went to Spain. But I never needed it. But I always physically used my card and never had to use it purchase anything online. Plus also my bank also won't use email as a way to get Authenticator code. Going again this year and when I go into my Bank to purchase a few Euros before I leave i'am going to ask them about this.
I have a Visa with RBC and debit with TD Bank, and both required 2 step verification for online orders. And I agree that typically I wouldn't make many online purchases while on pilgrimage. The transactions that might cause you problems are online purchase of rail, plane or ferry tickets, or for tickets for those major attractions where you have to pre-book a time slot for your visit. That last one is where I got bit.
 
I have a Visa with RBC and debit with TD Bank, and both required 2 step verification for online orders. And I agree that typically I wouldn't make many online purchases while on pilgrimage. The transactions that might cause you problems are online purchase of rail, plane or ferry tickets, or for tickets for those major attractions where you have to pre-book a time slot for your visit. That last one is where I got bit.
That's why a bought my 2 train tickets, Madrid to Pamplona and Santiago to Madrid and my bus ticket Pamplona to SJPP before I left and had them on my tramline phone app. Doing the same this May-June. But yes I see for some attractions it's easier to buy online especially those that need a time slot. i'am spending 3 nights in Madrid at the end of my trip and want to see the Prado Museum and a few other attractions so might pre-buy tickets before I leave. But I,am still going to check with CIBC about the sim and 2 step verification before I leave.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I'm currently in the market for a new (Android) phone and a dual SIM is one of the features I'll be looking for. My daughter had this feature on her new (Apple) phone and she said it came in handy on a trip to Italy.

I'm planning a Portuguese Camino for this May. On my 2022 Camino, I brought two phones and mostly kept the one with my USA SIM card shut off to avoid outrageous VERIZON overseas rates. The other phone had a Spanish SIM I picked up at Vodaphone in Pamplona. This time, I plan to purchase a Spanish SIM (or eSIM) for the new phone ahead of time. I've seen them for sale on AMAZON.
The new Samsung Galaxy phones all have dual eSIM capabability.

While you are getting a new phone you might want to consider switching to T-Mobile if it works well in your area. Many of their plans offer free roaming data while abroad, and they have discounted plans if you are over 55.
I once had a real dual Sim phone years ago. It seems few phones have this now. Be careful if they say they do
The newer phones can accept 2 or more eSIMS.
 
I'm currently in the market for a new (Android) phone and a dual SIM is one of the features I'll be looking for.
Google's Pixel lineup of phones also have dual physical SIM and eSIM. I'm not arguing against @trecile and Samsung's phones (or any other) because I haven't done comparisons but I've been happy with my Pixels. Here are some reasons you may like them too. The "a" series (e.g., Pixel 7a) have the features of the numbered series but are significantly cheaper. Google is the creator of Android and other manufacturers have to tweak it a bit so Pixels get bug fixes , enhancements, etc. faster. Pixels get monthly upgrades.

eSIMs can have more than one number in them; you have to check the device's specs. An example of this feature's usefulness is that at home you could a personal number and a business number both on an eSIM (and let's assume you could have even more). Now when you go overseas you could put another number and/or data plan on the eSIM or if no networks there support eSIM you could put in a physical SIM card.

As for what network to use in the US I use Google FI. Google FI actually uses the T-Mobile network but additionally US Celluar if its network is accessible and T-Mobile's isn't. I use FI's Flexible plan, its cheapest, because I don't use much cellular data, using WiFi at home. Data for that plan is $10 per GB, capped at $60 and then free. It is actually charged at a penny per MB though so minor data usage can come under $10. When we go for a long trip I buy a data plan for the eSIM at a third of FI's rate. This works for me. Overseas you pay 20 or 25 cents per minute, I forget which because calls can also be made over WiFi for pennies per minute. Texts are free and data is the same rate as at home. Google's Simply [Something] plan is no good for overseas use but their third plan with more data is. FI works for me but maybe not for you. I've looked at other plans and T-Mobile's 55+ would be my second choice.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Some banks (TD for example) also have an authenticator App. That app is not contacted by phone # but by IP address on your device, so it works even if you have only one SIM card with you. It's how I did things last year. Check with your bank.
I have the TD authenticator app and use it when logging onto TD Bank's website. But does it help with that online transaction additional verification step that Visa and (possibly) MasterCard have inserted into their purchase payment process? That is, where you want to make on online purchase and after providing the card info and clicking the purchase button, up comes an additional step from Visa wanting to verify with a text? I don't remember an option to use the TD authenticator at that step, but I may have missed it.
 
I have the TD authenticator app and use it when logging onto TD Bank's website. But does it help with that online transaction additional verification step that Visa and (possibly) MasterCard have inserted into their purchase payment process? That is, where you want to make on online purchase and after providing the card info and clicking the purchase button, up comes an additional step from Visa wanting to verify with a text? I don't remember an option to use the TD authenticator at that step, but I may have missed it.
Hmmm. Good question that I honestly can’t remember the answer to, and a reminder that I need to call VISA before I leave this spring. I tend to be *cash* almost exclusively, but there’s the off thing I want that calls for the use of the CC and so I should check.
 
Some banks (TD for example) also have an authenticator App. That app is not contacted by phone # but by IP address on your device, so it works even if you have only one SIM card with you. It's how I did things last year. Check with your bank.
This post is "essentially" correct but misuses one term.

If the bank app used the phone's IP address then it would not work in Spain because in Spain your phone will be on a different (IP) network and so will have a different IP address.

It is much more likely that the app uses the phone's internal ID number which is unchanged regardless of IP network.

Regardless, your statement that using the bank's own app for authentication is much more robust and is likely to work in almost any country with a modern public IP network is correct.
 
Train for your next pilgrimage on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
I bypass these issues by getting a Wise debit card. The Wise card is generally cheaper for currency exchange (that was their original reason for existing) and comes with their own app. The app is not tied to a particular telephone number but rather to the unique ID within your mobile phone.

Wise also have a series of partnerships with ATM providers and in some cases I am able to take out cash without fees up to a relatively low monthly limit.

However when I spend money using the Wise card I always spend it in Euros.

At least one of the credit card payment networks within Spain try to trick holders of international cards into spending money in their home currency and charging huge exchange fees.*

The Wise card is recognised as a European card and so this never happens with a Wise card.

* The particular card payment network defaults to your home currency on the terminal and so if you simply accept the payment then it happens in your home currency. When you try to use Euros this network forces you to answer a second question that is phrased as a double negative and so if you are not very careful then again you are charged in your home currency 😞

This happened to me a couple of times back in the days when I used my home credit card. The first time I didn't spot it and ended up with a huge charge, the second time I was more careful but ended up spending a couple of minutes understanding the double negative question. During that time the restaurant owners got frustrated with the time I was taking and answered the question for me with the default!

This resulted in a heated conversation between us in my broken Spanish and their broken English.
Hi I am doing my 1st Camino in May. I have read a number of threads regarding ATM withdrawals where only 4 digit pins are accepted on the camino frances not the 6 digit ones. If I apply for a Wise Debit Card is it a 4 or 6 digit pin card? If it is 6 digit will it be accepted when i am there. Pls assist.
 
Hi I am doing my 1st Camino in May. I have read a number of threads regarding ATM withdrawals where only 4 digit pins are accepted on the camino frances not the 6 digit ones. If I apply for a Wise Debit Card is it a 4 or 6 digit pin card? If it is 6 digit will it be accepted when i am there. Pls assist.
I have never tried using more than four digits for a pin and so I can't comment on that but the Wise card and it's associated app makes it very easy and almost instantaneous to change the card pin and so if this is a concern then use a four digit pin on the Wise card.

Of course you can try a longer pin and it would be safer and if it doesn't work then reduce it to a four digit pin.

In addition the Wise card app makes it very easy to block and unblock your Wise card for ATM, in person and over the internet purchases and so at any time you can block any or all of these.

The way that I use my Wise card is to have it blocked when I am not in Europe and then unblock it if I want to make an internet purchase. Then when in Europe it is normally unblocked unless I know that I have good internet coverage then I block it until I need it.

I hope that this helps.
 
I have never tried using more than four digits for a pin and so I can't comment on that but the Wise card and it's associated app makes it very easy and almost instantaneous to change the card pin and so if this is a concern then use a four digit pin on the Wise card.

Of course you can try a longer pin and it would be safer and if it doesn't work then reduce it to a four digit pin.

In addition the Wise card app makes it very easy to block and unblock your Wise card for ATM, in person and over the internet purchases and so at any time you can block any or all of these.

The way that I use my Wise card is to have it blocked when I am not in Europe and then unblock it if I want to make an internet purchase. Then when in Europe it is normally unblocked unless I know that I have good internet coverage then I block it until I need it.

I hope that this helps.
Thank you very much for the reply. So it appears the Wise Debit Card gives you an option to go for 4 or 6 digit pins. I shall proceed to apply for a card and pray all goes well during my maiden camino
 
Train for your next pilgrimage on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
I use AnonymSMS to rent a private number. With this rented number, I can receive authentication codes securely without needing access to my primary SIM card. This way, when I have the Spanish SIM activated for my local communication needs, I can still receive the necessary codes to log into my bank accounts.
AnonymSMS doesn't have Canadian numbers, but you can find similar services online.
 
I use AnonymSMS to rent a private number. With this rented number, I can receive authentication codes securely without needing access to my primary SIM card. This way, when I have the Spanish SIM activated for my local communication needs, I can still receive the necessary codes to log into my bank accounts.
AnonymSMS doesn't have Canadian numbers, but you can find similar services online.
Thanks! I’ve not heard of anything like this, so it sounds like research is in order.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I did that when I was younger, until I ran out of banks.
When we moved into town we were happy that our small local bank had a branch here. Then it got bought out and then that one and then it with savings going into one bank and checking into another. Kept the checking one for Peg but I went to another small local one. No banking change in 35 years since but I lost track of the changes in telephone area codes and congressional districts.
 

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