Just received a client-wide email from Fidelity (read our review) regarding an, “Important Security Update”. Full text and screenshot below.

Requiring you to confirm your identify via simple text message SMS code is very common in the banking industry. Paypal, Bank of America, etc all incorporate this technology.

That said, for whatever reason online brokers have been slow to adopt mobile verification.

The most common way mobile verification is used is when you login from a computer (IP Address) that is not associated with your account. To confirm it’s you, a text SMS is sent to your phone, you type in the confirmation code, then proceed forth. Future logins from that device will not require verification. Its painless and extremely effective.

As to when Fidelity will incorporate this into the login process (or other account updates) remains to be seen. That said, it’s great to see them taking the initial step of having customers check to make sure they have their cell number saved to their profile.

Hopefully Fidelity is the first of many online brokers to incorporate this additional layer of painless account security.

Action Needed: Protecting your account

Keeping your account secure is our top priority. That’s why we’re adding an extra layer of security. Please add your mobile phone number to your profile now, if you haven’t already. Starting soon, we may use it to verify your login, help with your password, or to confirm online activity when completing a transaction.

Adding your mobile number is easy. Log in to Fidelity.com, click Profile and edit your Personal Information. Don’t have a mobile phone? Don’t worry. Just make sure your other contact numbers are up to date.

Fidelity security update