If you are using a Guaranteed SMS number, you should recieve all messages, please allow up to 3 minutes for your message to arrive. This includes PayPal™, bank and financial services messages, and signups to email providers such as Gmail™ and Yahoo™. If your number in your control panel does not say 'Guaranteed SMS' after it, then it is a virtual number.

If you are currently using a virtual number and wish to purchase a guaranteed SMS number to make sure you receive these types of messages, log into your account, click 'Incoming Numbers' in the top menu, and then you can purchase a guaranteed SMS number from that page. If you no longer need your virtual number, please inform Customer Support who will be able to remove it from your account so that you are not billed again.

If you are using one of our virtual numbers, then there may be occasions when you are expecting an SMS and it does not arrive. This article looks at ways you can troubleshoot the issue. For some situations, the only way to guarantee SMS is to use one of our guaranteed SMS numbers, you can purchase this in your account.

The first thing to check is that your number is working correctly - if you have made successful inbound and outbound calls, the next thing to try is sending a text message to your number. Support can help you with this if you don't have a handset that can send SMS to the UK.

When a message is sent to your number, we can't trace the message - only the sender can check the message routing. One common issue we see is that if the sender doesn't have an international forwarding agreement with the UK, the message will get stuck before it reaches you. If you are using an online SMS sending service, check with them that they can deliver to the 'Three' network in the UK. We use standard UK mobile number ranges so you should find that interoperability is higher with our service than some competitors.

Are you expecting an SMS from a financial services company such as an OTP or a verification code? Most (but not all) financial services companies will only send these authentication messages to 'physical' numbers (ones attached to a SIM card). Unfortunately banks and card companies may choose not to send SMS to virtual numbers. If you have the option to try again with a voice call, please use this option, you may find this works for you.

We try and maintain a list of major services that we know work, however, this is subject to change and doesn't cover every service that works. Please let us know if you think we should add or remove anything from this list.

Services that we know work with virtual numbers (don't forget, use one of our guaranteed SMS numbers to make sure you don't miss out on a vital authentication message):

  • WhatsApp™ and WhatsApp™ Business
  • Revolut™, Monzo™, Payoneer™, Bunq™ PaySafeCard™, & Transferwise Banking
  • AirBNB™ hosting and verification
  • Tinder™, Plenty Of Fish &, Grindr™ & Scruff™ registration
  • Apple™ ID
  • Google™ verification
  • Checkatrade™
  • + many, many more services