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Mobile transaction numbers, in short mTAN or SMS TAN, provide a fairly recent variation of the TAN method. Instead of sending the customer with a letter having dozens of digits or specifying by means of a TAN generator at hand, the code is sent as a short message or SMS. This is of course once the user has provided his mobile number at the bank.

How does mTAN work?

Once the credit institution has the necessary stored procedures for the mTAN data and the customer enabled for the system, the mobile phone is one of the most important things for online banking. For each operation, which must be confirmed, the bank sends an SMS from now with the transaction number and the key data, such as the recipient’s account and the amount of a transfer. This TAN can only be used for the particular process, and only within a certain time window. If you let too much time or is the short message to late, the transaction number for security loses its validity.


One advantage of SMS-TAN is quite clear is to no longer have to handle with labels or card and generator. The numbers are only sent if there is a need. Since the phone for many has now become a constant companion, the bank transactions can be made so easily by road. Not to be underestimated is the security aspect. While it is true scam even when mTAN proceedings, to intercept and utilize data. But the fact that not only the online traffic between bank and customer, but also the transmission of SMS would be disturbed via mobile phone or smartphone, making it much more difficult to thieves. Moreover, the customer is immediately informed by SMS about every subject confirmation process. There appeared an unknown bank on, the alarm bells should be ringing.


One of the weaknesses of the mobile TAN are the mobile networks. Although the expansion is rapidly advancing, but there are still dead spots and regions with poor care. Since the transaction numbers do not last long, it could happen that delays a booking because the TAN must be requested more often. In the worst case, the SMS remains with the desired sequence of numbers from all over. However, these problems are rather marginal, because they occur only rarely. Since it is likely that the battery is empty then calculated, if you urgently need to transfer money.

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