[Update: Now Active] Exclusive: T-Mobile Adding Number Transfer Pin For Port-Outs
A “Number Transfer PIN”, or NTP, is a PIN code generated by a customer when they want to port their number to another carrier. This code is typically generated using the carrier’s mobile app or website. Verizon has used NTP since March of 2020, and AT&T followed in September of last year with their implementation. Now it appears T-Mobile is finally adding the Number Transfer Pin system themselves.
According to a document shared with The T-Mo Report, embedded below, T-Mobile informed their “industry partners” of the plan to implement NTP on March 14th. There is currently no date set for enabling the feature, but it will likely be very soon.
Once the NTP system is activated, T-Mobile postpaid customers (excluding their lifeline customers) will be required to generate this 6-digit PIN code using the T-Mobile app or the My T-Mobile website if they want to port out to a competitor.
The NTP method of authenticating a port-out request ensures that the port-out is a genuine request by the customer. It ensures that no bad actor can do a port-out request as a means to initiate a SIM swap. SIM swaps have been a real problem over the past few years, with T-Mobile in particular having a high number of instances. Thieves move your phone number to their own SIM and intercept your two-factor authentication codes to steal money and cryptocurrency within minutes. This new NTP system will prevent the port-outs, but it’s unclear (and unlikely) the system will be used for simple SIM changes within the same T-Mobile network.
The FCC announced rules back in September that required affirmative confirmation from customers before a port-out can take place. It’s likely these rules pushed T-Mobile to implement the system quickly in order to comply. T-Mobile also made their internal “NOPORT” add-on public in the form of “Account Takeover Protection” in response to the data breach back in August. The NTP system will be a welcomed extra layer of security for customers moving forward.
Update: Number Transfer Pins Are Now Active
The NTP system is now active as of April 26th. When porting out from T-Mobile, you will be required to retrieve this pin either via the T-Mobile app or the My T-Mobile website. It appears only the primary account holder can request a transfer PIN.
To request a transfer pin, use the following steps. Note that in the examples below, the user is not the primary account holder, however the process is the same for the account holder as well.
From the T-Mobile App:
From the My T-Mobile website:
It’s great to see T-Mobile finally implement this feature. As of now, it appears that accounts with “Full Access” and that are authorized users on the account cannot yet request NTPs unless they are the actual account holder. Hopefully this is changed at some point.