Two-factor authentication help

You’re in the right place for help with two-factor authentication or 2FA, which is designed to help keep your savings safe and secure.

Let’s explore our top tips for a seamless experience when logging in to your account.

5 tips for the best experience when logging in

1. Update your browser version.

2. Don’t use private browsing (incognito mode), so we can recognise your device as ‘trusted’ in the future.

3. Think about the device you’re using and device settings, including checking the correct time and date are showing.

4. Clear your cache and cookies.

5. Make sure we have your correct phone number, so you can receive a one-time passcode.

Your browser

We recommend using Google Chrome version 60 or later on Windows, Android, macOS and iOS to log in to your account.

Please note, Samsung Internet and Internet Explorer are not supported browsers.

We also suggest not using private browsing (incognito mode). If you use private browsing, we won’t be able to mark your device as ‘trusted’ on our system. This means we’ll need to send you a one-time passcode every time you log in.

Use the latest browser version

Updating your browser to a recent version makes sure your browsing experience is secure and works correctly.

How to update your browser

Clear your cache and cookies

Clearing your browser cache and cookies can often help with logging in. For example, if you’re taken back to the first log in page after entering your details and the one-time passcode – it’s a good idea to clear your cache. Here’s how to do it (document from GOV.UK):

How to clear your cache and cookies

Your device and its settings

The device you use and the settings on your device can affect how easy it is for you to log in with two-factor authentication.

The type of device you’re using to log in

Old devices sometimes don’t support the latest browser versions or software. This may stop you from downloading the best browser experience. If you can, try to use a mobile phone, computer or tablet that allows you to update your browser to the latest version.

Work devices often have additional security settings that are managed by your IT department and could prevent you from accessing your account online.

If two people in your household are using the same device to log in to their individual NS&I accounts , this can cause issues. We suggest clearing your cache and cookies or trying a different browser.

Check your device settings

Two-factor authentication is time sensitive. Please check that the correct time and date are showing on both the device you’re logging in on and the device we’ll send your one-time passcode to – such as your mobile phone.

The easiest way to do this, is to make sure the date and time are set to update automatically on your devices, rather than manually.

If you’re using a mobile phone or tablet to log in to your account, we suggest checking a few other settings as well.

Go to the ‘Settings’ area of your device and select the browser you’re using:

  • Check any ‘Hide IP Address’ option is NOT selected or set to ‘Off’.
  • And that any cookie blocking setting, like the ‘Block All Cookies’ option on Apple devices, is NOT selected.

One-time passcodes explained

When you log in to your online account, we’ll mark the device and browser you’re using as ‘trusted’. To do this, we’ll send you a one-time passcode to the phone number we have for your account to make sure it’s really you:

  • If your phone number is a mobile, you’ll receive a text message*
  • If your phone number is a landline number, you’ll receive an automated phone call.

*If you’re outside the UK, you’ll receive an automated phone call to your mobile number.

Using the one-time passcode

When you receive your passcode, simply enter it on screen and your browser or device will then be marked as ‘trusted’ by us.

Normally, you’ll only need to enter a one-time passcode if you’re using a device or browser which you haven’t used before to log in to your account. But you may also need to repeat this if you’ve cleared your cookies or updated your browser software.

The first time we send you a one-time passcode, we’ll also ask you to set up a 6-digit PIN as an extra piece of security.

Keep your phone number updated

If we don’t have an up-to-date phone number for you, you won’t be able to receive the one-time passcode to log in. You’ll then need to phone us to update your number.

Top tip – It’s useful to have more than one phone number recorded on your account. This means you can still receive a one-time passcode if you change one of your numbers.

Once you’re logged in to your account, you can easily update your phone details yourself:

1. Go to 'Your profile'

2. Click 'Your details'

Learn more about two-factor authentication