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Q). How does PINsafe SMS work ?

A). PINsafe sends the user a security string or security strings to their registered mobile device and the user extracts their one-time code from the security string and enters this in order to authenticate. There are two modes of SMS operation, auto-mode (default) and on-demand

Auto Mode (single String)

In Auto-mode the user is sent their first security string when their account is created. After this, every time that users attempts to authenticate they are sent a new security string. This means that the user already has a security string ready for their next authentication attempt.

Auto Mode (multi-string)

In the multiple-string version of auto-mode, rather than being sent one at a time, the security strings are sent in batches (eg of 4 messages per SMS). These are sent in a single messages with each string being labelled with an index eg

1234567890 - 00

1234567890 - 01

1234567890 - 02

1234567890 - 03

The user uses these messages in turn. The login page can prompt the user which one from the list to use. The user is sent an new batch of strings after the last one has been used.

On-demand mode

In on demand mode a user must request a security string at the time they wish to authenticate; the user then uses the string they are sent to authenticate. The security string is on valid for a finite about of time (configurable from the admin console)

Q) How do I configure PINsafe to sends SMS messages?

A) There are 3 options for the sending of SMS messages


You can plug a GSM Modem into the PINsafe server/appliance COM port or USB via virtual com port. Then configure PINsafe to use the GSMModemTransport.

The GSM Modem will require a valid SIM card.

This is a convenient and low cost solution but the modem does present a single point of failure and message throughput for modems is limited.

Most AT modems are compatible with PINsafe. The latest modem we have tested is



SMS Providers

There are a large number of SMS providers around the world that provide an easy and low-cost method of sending SMS messages. PINsafe makes a connection to the SMS provider through either an HTTPS or an SMTP connection.

Below is a list of some of the providers we can work with, also see Transport Configuration.


Alerts OnLine


GSM Modem










Smtp to SMS




If you have a preferred supplier we may already have a solution for that provider or, if not, we can usually develop very easily. If we do need to develop a solution we will need the API specification and a test account. This work may be chargeable.


It is also possible to send SMS via an operator, eg O2/Vodafone. PINsafe has an SMPP compatible transport class to support this form of integration. One advantage of using a mobile operator is that it may be possible to negotiate the costs of the SMS usage as part of the overall corporate mobile tariff.

Q). What messages are supported by SMS overwrite

A). The Security strings may be used with SMS overwrite, subject to network/SMS provider support the Alerts are not overwritten by default.

Q). Does PINsafe support Flash SMS

A). Yes, if the SMS gateway supports the sending of flash messages

Q). Is it possible to configure the time for which the On Demand security string will be valid for? What is the default?

A). Yes, the setting is located within the PINsafe Administration Console, Server -> Jobs: Session cleanup (default is 2 minutes / 120 seconds).

Q). Is it possible to integrate with an SMS Gateway

A). Generally yes. Swivel supports a variety of methods to integrate with SMS gateways, see SMS Gateway Integration