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Can't receive automated text message (not a short code)

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

I've seen numerous community posts about this issue but those ones are all to do with short codes and have no real solutions. I've also already talked to public mobile who can't do anything, so I'm just posting to see if anyone here has found a good workaround.


Since switching to Public Mobile (not recently), I no longer receive automated SMS messages from my overseas bank. The bank lists a normal phone number to send these, not a short code. 


It's not all international texts as I can receive overseas texts from my friend in the same country as my bank.


I called the bank and they re-registered my number. No luck. I talked to public mobile and they said it's not on their end as they see no record of text messages from the bank's number at all.


I'm going to try talking to the bank one more time. Stupidly, they only send verification codes through text. There are no other options.


BUT has anyone else who encountered this problem found a workaround? I really don't want to switch carriers or have to change my SIM card any time I need to receive this text message.


Any other ideas?




@miat thanks for the update.  The link is useful for us to understand the reason why people are not getting it



Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Another update!

I had my international bank explain to me better. They said the Canadian government put a policy in place that essentially banned all incoming verification text messages from international numbers a few years ago. I did a Google search and found this:


However, the bank also said in the last couple months they've noticed some of these texts are actually making it through. So they think the policy may have been changed but that not all carriers have updated their services to align with it. 


I can't find anything else that talks about any of this though. The short of it seems to be that nothing can be done by anyone. 😞


(Also, I did try using a TextNow number but that also did not work.)



Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen


Ridiculously, they only do it over text.

There's so many things my overseas bank does online that is more advanced than my bank experience in Canada, but this is not one of them. It blows my mind, seriously.

@miat   I am glad you didn't give up and chase your bank for an answer.  Yes, with text from bank overseas, it is usually the overseas bank issue and not PM.  The message usually never arrives and hence the network here in Canada (not just PM but other as well) has nothing to do with not delivering the text


So, with your overseas bank, do they offer you other mean to receive the 2FA text? like Authenticator app?



Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Well, ffs. Just posting an update. Public Mobile did their best to look into it, but it's not to do with them. It's to do with the Canadian Government. 


I called the bank again and got a different person who actually seemed to know straight away. He tells me there's some policy the Canadian government put in place a few years ago that is preventing international verification texts from being received by Canadian numbers. They're trying to resolve it but for now all he could suggest was to use someone else's phone number that was local to the bank. (How that's more secure, idk.) 


Lesson learned here: when trying to get problems resolved by a company, don't always trust what one person tells you. I feel bad for bothering everyone at Public Mobile now. Sorry!

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

The thought has occurred to me that the underlying infrastructure may be the same as whatever short codes use since it is an automated service, even though it shows a proper number. I don't know anything about that stuff though.


I'll try what @pmbc suggested. Really appreciate the explanation and links, thanks!

Mayor / Maire


I think your only solution is to switch. I have a hard time believing a bank will use an unsecure cellphone to handle these tasks. the number probably looks normal, however I believe they are using a different method to send those codes and not by text from a cellphone... 

Deputy Mayor / Adjoint au Maire

@miat Have you tried a apps like or that give you a 2nd phone number for voice and text?  I think you can try for free to see if it works, hushed may require a paid account but maybe check with their support if the country of your bank is supported before paying for an account.  For more info on check this KB, How To Text Internationally – TextNow Support.


Both services say they may not receive shortcode SMS properly but since your bank sends from a legit phone number these services may work for you as a workaround to the PM SMS.

Mayor / Maire

@miat   For some reason I thought all SMS sent by institutions were by shortcode, but obviously that's not the case here. 


Hopefully, either the overseas bank or PM support will be able to provide some information as to what the issue might be and you can update your thread with the response/resolution if no-one else comes up with a good suggestion soon.

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Thanks for your reply. I'm aware of the limitations with short codes but this bank doesn't use a short code number to send these. It's a normal cell phone number for their country.


Mayor / Maire

@miat   Yes, this issue has definitely been posted about before and I don't remember anyone updating their threads as to a resolution.  edit:  or perhaps they have posted and I've missed the workaround or solution.


It seems PM doesn't support all international shortcodes including some that worked perfectly previously suddenly stop being received.