Businesses use SMS OTP, considered one of the best OTP methods, to enhance security and protection against malware and phishing attacks. Additionally, there are enticing offers available for the best OTP SMS services that can provide even greater value to businesses.
On the other hand, there is another effective service known as email OTP, which also offers robust protection. Companies may find themselves contemplating between SMS OTP and email OTP, trying to determine which one suits their needs better.
Both email and SMS can be utilized to send an OTP passcode to the user, enabling secure authorization for any attempt. However, each method offers different experiences and costs, leading to confusion for many companies when deciding the best approach. To alleviate this confusion and make an informed decision, consider reading this article, which delves into a comprehensive comparison of SMS OTP vs email OTP, along with insights on the best password authenticator options available.
What Is SMS OTP Authentication?
SMS one-time password or SMS OTP is a secure method of authorization in the form of a text message containing a unique code. The code can be numeric or alphanumeric code and this code offers two-factor authentication (2fa).
Users will receive this passcode after asking one as an added security layer to attempt for services such as login, payment authorization, and document signature. This method has become popular among businesses because it boosts user experience and enhances security levels.
SMS OTP authentication is commonly used by banking or financial companies. Banks need more secure ways such as strong customer authentication to make payments or purchases. Nowadays, not only banks or financial companies use SMS OTP but almost every business.
The primary function of SMS OTP is as follows:
- Two-factor authentication: It is used to ask users to provide two methods to verify their identity.
- Mobile phone number verification: Used when the mobile number becomes the primary identity.
- Payment confirmation: Increasing security in payment attempts and supporting legal requirements.
- Account recovery: SMS OTP is used to recover access to sites when a user forgets their primary password or login authentication.
What Is Email Authentication?
Email authentication is a method to authenticate an attempt using a one-time password (OTP) sent to the registered email address. Should you try to attempt any service, then an OTP will be sent by the server to the user’s registered email.
Email OTP authentication works the same way as SMS OTP which enables users to receive OTP codes through email. It also has the same primary function and can be used as an alternative channel for receiving OTP.
For businesses, email authentication offers something that SMS OTP cannot. However, email authentication has its advantages and disadvantages. So, it can be an alternative to SMS OTP.
In the advantages, it is easy to use because it is most likely that every user already has email registered on one or more devices. It is also cost-effective because it is using the existing email of the users. Then, no risk of OTP timeout if you’re not using time-based OTP.
Besides, there is a risk of security issues because login passwords can be easily reset from email account making. It also requires internet connection and users cannot receive the passcode if there is no connection to the internet.
Email accounts are the most targeted by hackers and cyber-attacks. By infiltrating email accounts, hackers can hack almost everything including asking and receiving OTP to do any attempt.
Comparison of SMS OTP and Email OTP Authentication
SMS OTP vs email OTP always becomes a debate because they offer the same service with slight differences. However, the company must consider the cost, what is best for user experience, and how the OTP system matches with the company system.
Below are things you must consider before deciding which one is the best, SMS OTP vs email OTP:
SMS OTP offers 2-factor authentication making it secure for both company and the user. OTP is only sent to the user’s number after the user requests for the OTP. In this way, the user will know if any unwanted attempt was made.
For example, someone tries to make a purchase using your credit card. When it comes to finalizing the payment, the system will send OTP to the user’s phone number. Ultimately, you will know if the transaction is valid or not.
However, there is a flaw in this service. SMS OTP is potentially attacked by cyber criminals by accessing and rerouting SMS messages. By rerouting SMS messages, hackers will know the OTP code and be able to make any attempt.
On the other hand, email OTP also offers security enhancement. Using the server, the passcode will be sent to the registered email and only the user can receive it. But, same as SMS OTP, there is a security flaw in this service. Email can easily be hacked and become the most target of cybercrime.
2. Ease of Use
SMS OTP vs email OTP continues with the discussion of which one is easier. It turns out that both of them offer ease to users. OTP will be sent directly to the user’s phone number or registered email which is most likely installed in their device.
Not to mention SMS vs email verification. Both of them also offer the same easiness. However, email verification takes longer to process than SMS
To be able to send SMS OTP, the company needs to hire an OTP service provider. Each provider applies various costs depending on its delivery rates, security enhancement, and system. This cost can cause a big amount of monthly bills for every delivered and undelivered text message.
On the other hand, email OTP offers cheaper prices which is good for businesses. Email OTP only requires the company to pay around USD 7 -10 while SMS OTP charges the company from USD 20-100. If you search for a more cost-efficient method, then email OTP is all you need.
In SMS OTP, the code will be generated using PHP by the service provider after the user asks for the passcode. The passcode needs to be inserted into the HTML form for OTP verification. After this step, the generated passcode will be sent to the user’s phone number.
On the other hand, email OTP is generated by the system after the user requests it. After the passcode is generated, it will be sent to the user’s registered email. If the sending was successful, then it will bring you to the next form step. However, if it's unsuccessful then it will show you the error message.
Choosing the Right Authentication Method for Your Business
Considering all the advantages and disadvantages, you need to look back on which one is effective and efficient for your business. SMS or email OTPs are helpful, but there are flaws too. Thus, you need to consider every aspect, from cost to delivery rates as well as a security enhancement.
SMS OTP vs email OTP offers fast delivery, two-factor authentication (2fa), and easiness to the user. However, they have a flaw in security as it is vulnerable to hackers. So, you need to consider a more secure, easy, fast, and cheap method such as WhatsApp OTP, which is more secure because it offers end-to-end encryption.
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