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Receiving 2 factor authentication SMS in Japan

I'm a participant level 1
I'm a participant level 1



I'm currently in Japan carrying my Fido post paid phone, i'm not able to receive any SMS authentication text when i try to do Canadian bank online banking.  Do I need to enable roaming for the SMS receiving to work?  I don't need to use data because the hotel provides wifi already, does it cost anything to just receive Canadian SMS text?


Thank you.


Senior MVP Senior MVP
Senior MVP

Hello Shmcheng,


Welcome to the community!


  Firstly, what plan-type do you have? In addition, what phone do you have? You should note some plans (ie Basic Plans) do not allow for roaming. Additionally, have you verified your device is compatible with the networks in Japan?


  The Fido Roam charges will only incur if your phone uses services -- make or receive a call, send a text message or use data abroad. It should be mentioned that while receiving SMS would not incur the roaming charge, any data contained within MMS (incoming or outgoing) would be considered roaming data and charged accordingly. You should note that MMS are not solely restricted to pictures or video messages. Messages with subject headers or group messages etc are also considered MMS. It should further be noted that iMessages and RCS messages are sent (and received) as data and not as text messages (SMS).


  In order to prevent unintended roaming charges, it is generally recommended to disable data and roaming data. However, you should note that disabling those settings does not prevent roaming for voice and messaging. In addition, some manufacturers might allow some data usage to occur despite those settings (see here). That's why it is also generally recommended to enable Airplane and/or Flight modes in order to prevent unintended roaming usage. You could then manually enable Wifi when required. Alternatively, people have also removed their Fido SIMs card entirely, However, enabling Airplane / Flight mode or removing the SIM card would also prevent your device from making and/or receiving calls or sending and/or receiving SMS using the local cellular networks.


  Provided you have a plan capable of roaming and your device is compatible with the local networks, you should be able to receive authentication SMS. With modern phones, there is no setting to enable voice and messaging roaming.


  If you have a plan and device supported for Wifi-calling, that service may be an option to receive the SMS. It should be noted that while using Wifi for regular internet access will not incur Fido Roam charges, there seems to be some misunderstanding regarding Wifi-calling . I'm not sure how people have gotten the impression that Wifi-calling does not use the networks. However, that is not true. While the calls and messages do not transmit via cellular towers, they still use the networks via the internet gateway (see image here). The cellular towers and Wifi are merely alternate means of accessing the networks. Calls and messages would not be able to complete or get sent/received without the networks. As such, using Wifi-calling is technically using Fido services. However, they have allowed certain usage to be free from additional charges. All the messages and calls you receive (from anywhere in the world) will be taken from your plan's voice minutes and messaging limits. As well, all Wifi-calling messages and calls you make to a Canadian phone number while abroad won't incur long-distance or roaming charges (see link above). 


  If you did not wish to use Fido Roam, you would need to opt-out of the service. In doing so, any usage abroad would be on a pay-per-use basis. You can view those rates here. You should note that this forum is community-driven and not intended as a venue for customer services. If you would like to opt-out of Fido Roam, you would need to contact customer service . In addition, they can also be contacted via Live Chat, Facebook, or Twitter. Those methods can be accessed via the contact page posted above.


  If you are still unable to receive SMS, you might consider contacting customer service to see if there are any roaming blocks on your line/account.


Hope this helps 😀



Hi there @shmcheng,  yes you would need to have your device on in order to receive sms authentication. Roaming is automatically enabled for your device. You can give us a call to opt-out or opt back in to Fido ROAM.  Look on the main page about roaming. Or read about it Here  You may want to enable roaming for the day that you are waiting for the one time sms code, if there are any graphics or unique characters in the text you will be incurring data charges to receive and send. You, ultimately,  have to decide if receiving bank codes is worth the roaming charges or if pay as you go is more desirable. 😉 With access to wifi, you could contact Fido support on Twitter or Facebook and request they turn off your automatic roaming if that's what you choose. 

Hello Original_Lucy,


@Original_Lucy wrote:

....if there are any graphics or unique characters in the text you will be incurring data charges to receive and send....

  To clarify, merely using unique characters or emojis does not necessarily mean data charges would incur. However, using special characters or emojis would reduce the number of characters per SMS (see here). If the number of segmented SMS in a long-SMS (concatenated SMS) exceeds its limit, the message will convert to MMS. Provided the limits are not exceeded, messages containing special characters would transmit as SMS.


  Yes, the inclusion of images would convert the message to MMS as well. As mentioned above, MMS are not solely restricted to pictures or video messages. The MMS will transmit as data and will incur roaming charges.


Hope this helps 😀