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Mobile TAN (mTAN / SMS-TAN)

As the name already sug­gests, the mTAN process uses the public mobile tele­phone net­work in addi­tion to the Internet as an addi­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion channel, some­thing which will hamper attempts at cap­turing TANs.

Please note the fol­lowing when using Mobile TAN:

  • Care­fully check all data to be signed off before con­firming any trans­ac­tion.
  • Store your access details sep­a­rately from your mobile phone.
  • Do not make any written notes of your pass­words and PINs, unless you can keep such notes under lock and key.
  • Only ever enter your ID number and your pass­word or your PIN and your mTAN code into the log-in tem­plate of your e-banking facility.
  • Notify your finan­cial insti­tu­tion should you receive any mTAN codes without having requested them.

Oper­ating prin­ciple

Once you enter your ID number and pass­word or PIN into your e-banking portal, the finan­cial insti­tu­tion will transmit a one-off access code (mTAN) to your smart­phone. Only once this addi­tional access code has been entered, the log-in process is com­plete, and you are granted access to your account.

Some­times, poten­tially risky trans­ac­tions such as con­spic­uous remit­tances have to be con­firmed via this mTAN pro­ce­dure, too. Many sys­tems are able to remember their cus­tomers’ recur­ring payees, so that you don’t have to con­firm every single remit­tance in the future.

This process pro­tects against attacks which manip­u­late trans­ac­tions (e. g. man-in-the-browser attacks), for as long as bank cus­tomers check the trans­ac­tion data shown on their dis­play for their accu­racy before con­firming.

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