Why use SMS for one-time passwords?

SMS is one of the most secure and reliable mobile messaging channels available, making it the ideal way to deliver one-time passwords. Many of Textlocal’s existing customers benefit from the instant delivery and accessibility of text messaging to support the verification process.

For those unfamiliar with one-time passwords (OTP), an OTP is simply a short, randomised sequence of numbers and/or letters generated by your system or application. The single-use password helps to ensure security at the point of logging in or accessing an app.

An OTP creates an additional layer of protection for any system that requires each user to log in. Some may be more familiar with the term two-factor authentication; when a user logs into their profile with the correct credentials and the system then triggers the second security measure, in this case, a one-time code.

To create a cohesive customer experience, our SMS solution can also be fully integrated using our comprehensive API to automate the sending of verification messages. You can find out more about our integration options here.

What does an OTP user journey look like?

  1. Customers or staff supply a mobile number when they join your service or team
  2. You generate a unique code and merge it into an SMS text using our easy SMS API.
  3. The user types the One Time Password into a form on your server and you verify the code matches
  4. Following a successful login or after a period of time the code becomes invalid

As an additional level of reassurance, Textlocal customers can choose to send verification messages from a sender name or number. Using your business name as the sender name assures customers that the text is a legitimate part of the login or activation process.

Using an SMS sender name also enhances brand recognition, helping to open opportunities for future communications. Sharing relevant, highly personalized communications with customers using channels they are familiar with, such as text messaging, can have a dramatic impact on engagement levels.

To give you just one example of this, Textlocal customer ‘Our Big Day on Film’ convert 9 out of 10 quotation requests into confirmed bookings using SMS. You can read more about their case study here.

What are the benefits of using SMS to deliver OTPs?

One-time passwords are only valid for a short period of time and cannot be used more than once. This makes them highly effective against spyware and other potentially harmful fake login attempts. SMS does not rely on an internet connection or the user’s ability to access an app ensuring your customers are always able to receive the access code.

Once you have built OTP into your activation or sign-in process flow, a code will be sent every time a login attempt is made. This will help to improve the security of individual accounts and can notify users of unusual activity.

If you’d like to find out more about how to get started with one-time passwords, speak to the team today.

open rate

Over 98% of the text messages sent from our SMS tool are opened and read. That’s unmatched communication power for your business. Try it for yourself.