Zelle warning if you're not in the USA

I’ve used bisq for over a year now, primarily via clearXchange, which has now rebranded to Zelle. I live in Europe and have typically bought BTC in USD and sold for EUR to save money moving a portion of my US salary to my local bank account here. However, Zelle requires receiving an SMS code to confirm sending money, and apparently my bank (or Zelle? the folks I talked to each said it was the other institutions policy) won’t send the SMS code if they can tell your US number is overseas. Even though I was able to set the phone number up from here, and received the confirmation codes then, but when it came time to confirm payment, my bank’s Zelle webpage and Zelle portion of their mobile app complained that my number wasn’t in the USA.

So, I’m checking with my peer to see if he or she would be ok with me sending the fiat in smaller amounts. But know that your milage may vary with sending payments via Zelle.


Thank you for useful information :slight_smile:

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I actually told one of the bank ‘security team’ folks I spoke with that I honestly thought they’d take their customer security better than relying on SMS for 2nd factor authentication, given how since last June security researchers (following the NIST report in the US) have been saying SMS aren’t secure for authenticating. I even mentioned that I’d heard bitcoin was far easier to send to people, and banks ought to really think about that before they remove features from what the offer their clients… I used to have the option to receive the authentication code via email, but with Zelle and my bank, that option is no more.

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BofA has a similar requirement for a US number. Google Voice will not work. However, they do offer a SafePass OTP card which works well for this. See if your bank has something similar.

Before this, I would rely on someone in US to proxy me the auth code. Cumbersome, but if you trust someone, it works.

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SMS are known to be vulnerable for years now, researchers just get involved rarely. One time some security researchers in some European country created a whole event where they sent SMS between congressmen and was filmed on TV. Can’t remember now where it was.

I forgot a password for my Facebook account mounts ago and people ask me why I didn’t have a phone connected to it. I wish they start allowing for PGP password recovery.

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Why do you say that Google Voice will not work? Is that something specific to BofA? I know Capital One will send Zelle SMS verifications to a Google Voice number.

It is specific to BofA.

I just created a Google Voice number to use with Capital One. While it worked for receiving a confirmation SMS to log into their website, the Zelle page would not send the SMS to my Google Voice number. They claimed that they couldn’t verify that I was the owner of the number. So according to my experience, Google Voice doesn’t work for confirming Zelle payments through Capital One.

I can provide a second confirmation now that CapitalOne + Zelle + Google Voice definitely does not work. I just spent an hour on the phone with four different service agents on the CapitalOne side, and indeed, they cannot confirm that my Google Voice phone number is associated with my name. Forcing confirmation via SMS is something new (within the last few months) at CapitalOne. I believe they made this change shortly after the switchover from ClearXchange to Zelle. In any case, stay away from this payment option unless you have access to a US phone number that is registered under your own name. Google Voice just will not work.

I am can’t understand how people who dealing with cryptocurrency, can in a same time use services like Google , Facebook, and all that unsecure services!?
It is well known they collect privat info and use it for profit.
Still, people continiue to use all, That crab services and after, complain about issues.