SA time again... change login to HMRC to authenticator-based access code and/or text

I hope that's a quick one. So far, I've received my government access code via landline phone. This will be cancelled sometime in the next year so I could probably change the landline no to a mobile no and would then get the code on the mobile.

However, I was never very happy (or rather hubby wasn't) with this method. Now he seems to have found out that another method to get an access code is via an Authentificator (sp?) app on the mobile. You once scan a QR code from HMRC and the app will give you the access codes.

First, is that true? And second, can I select which method to use (ie text to mobile or Authentificator) during every login or do I have to choose one during set up and that's it?

Many thanks for help!


  • kuratowski
    kuratowski Posts: 1,406
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    You choose during every login.  After you enter your user ID and password, the following screen appears 

  • sarahTT
    sarahTT Posts: 59
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    Great answer and many thanks for the screenshot, two birds killed with one stone :smile:

    I am somewhat nervous about changing those login details... there are a few messages around from people who somehow locked themselves out (and once you're out getting back in seems to be a real headache)... so we'll do this year's SA first and then tackle this Authenticator thing.

    Again thanks!
  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 31,550
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    You don't need to change any log in details.  You log in to the app with the same log in as the web with the addition of a 6 digit PIN, which you set up when signing in to the app first time, and you can then add biometric authentication to bypass the PIN.  When the web log in asks for the 2FA you open the app, select "Your Details" then "Manage access codes" to get the code.
  • sarahTT
    sarahTT Posts: 59
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    @molerat Firstly, I (or we ) do not use and don't plan to use the HMRC app (other than the yearly SA we have no HMRC contact and this we do on a PC). We already have another Authenticator app running for various other sites (eg GMail and PP) and hubby says that if HMRC supports standard Authenticator-based access codes that app will work just as well (he's the "techie" round here as you have probably spotted).

    Secondly, what I meant with "changing those login details" is that we have to go the HMRC (or website, remove the landline phone and add this Authenticator thing as a source for access codes. My OH knows how all this works and will do that but apparently adding/removing login methods has caused trouble for some people.

    I know that once we've done this and the HMRC site has digested that change then it's as you describe and as @kuratowski's screenshot shows.
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