Secure context: This feature is available only in secure contexts (HTTPS), in some or all supporting browsers.

The WebOTP API provides a streamlined user experience for web apps to verify that a phone number belongs to a user when using it as a sign-in factor. WebOTP is an extension of the Credential Management API.

The verification is done via a two-step process:

  1. The app client requests a one-time password (OTP), which is obtained from a specially-formatted SMS message sent by the app server.
  2. JavaScript is used to enter the OTP into a validation form on the app client and it is submitted back to the server to verify that it matches what was originally sent in the SMS.

Concepts and usage

Phone numbers are often used as a way to identify the user of an app. An SMS is frequently deployed to verify that the number belongs to the user. The SMS typically contains an OTP that the user is required to copy and paste into a form in the app to verify that they own the number. This is a somewhat clunky user experience.

OTP use cases include:

  • Improving sign-in security by using a phone number as an extra factor (i.e. for two-factor authentication (2FA) or multifactor authentication (MFA)).
  • Verifying sensitive actions such as payments.

The WebOTP API allows web apps to expedite this validation process by copying the OTP from the SMS and passing it to the app automatically after the user has provided consent (most native platforms have an equivalent API).

Note that an OTP is bound to the sending domain. This is a useful security constraint for verifying that the OTP is coming from the right source, which can mitigate the risk of phishing attacks during day-to-day reauthentication.

Security concerns with SMS OTPs

SMS OTPs are useful for verifying phone numbers, and using SMS for a second factor is certainly better than having no second factor. In some regions, other identifiers such as email addresses and authenticators are not widely-used, so SMS OTPs are very common.

However, SMSes aren't that secure. Attackers can spoof an SMS and hijack a person's phone number. Carriers can recycle phone numbers to new users after an account is closed.

You are, therefore, recommended to use a stronger form of authentication if possible, such as a Web Authentication API-based solution involving a password and security key or a passkey.

How does the WebOTP API work?

The process works like so:

  1. At the point where phone number verification is required, an app client will ask a user to enter their phone number into a form, which is then submitted to the app server.
  2. The app client then invokes navigator.credentials.get() with an otp option specifying a transport type of "sms". This triggers a request for an OTP from the underlying system, the source of which will be a specially-formatted SMS message (containing the OTP and the app's domain) received from the app server. The get() call is Promise-based and waits for the SMS message to be received.
  3. The app server sends the SMS message to the specified phone number. This must be done just after Step 2 has occurred.
  4. When the SMS is received on the device, provided it contains the app's domain, the browser will ask the user if they consent to the OTP being retrieved/used. Chrome, for example, displays a dialog asking them for their permission to retrieve the OTP from the SMS; other browsers may handle it differently. If they do consent, the get() call will fulfill with an OTPCredential object containing the OTP.
  5. You can then use the OTP in any way you wish. Typical usage would be to set it as the value of the validation form on the app client and then submit the form, making the process as seamless as possible.
  6. The app server will then verify that the OTP sent back to it matches what it originally sent in the SMS and, if so, complete the process (for example, sign the user in).

SMS message format

A typical SMS message looks like so:

Your verification code is 123456.

@www.example.com #123456
  • The first line and second blank line are optional and are for human readability.
  • The last line is mandatory. It must be the last line if there are others present, and must consist of:
    • The domain part of the URL of the website that invoked the API, preceded by a @.
    • Followed by a space.
    • Followed by the OTP, preceded by a pound sign (#).

Note: The provided domain value must not include a URL schema, port, or other URL features not shown above.

If the get() method is invoked by a third-party site embedded in an <iframe>, the SMS structure should be:

Your verification code is 123456.

@top-level.example.com #123456 @embedded.com

In this case, the last line must consist of:

  • The domain part of the top-level domain, preceded by a @.
  • Followed by a space.
  • Followed by the OTP, preceded by a pound sign (#).
  • Followed by a space.
  • Followed by the domain part of the embedded domain, preceded by a @.

Controlling access to the API

The availability of WebOTP can be controlled using a Permissions Policy specifying a otp-credentials directive. This directive has a default allowlist value of "self", meaning that by default, these methods can be used in top-level document contexts.

You could specify a directive allowing the use of WebOTP in a specific cross-origin domain (i.e., inside an <iframe>) like this:

Permissions-Policy: otp-credentials=(self "https://embedded.com")

Or you could specify it directly on the <iframe> like this:

<iframe src="https://embedded.com/..." allow="otp-credentials"> ... </iframe>

Note: Where a policy forbids use of WebOTP get(), promises returned by it will reject with a SecurityError DOMException.



Returned when a WebOTP get() call fulfills; includes a code property that contains the retrieved OTP.

Extensions to other interfaces

CredentialsContainer.get(), the otp option

Calling get() with an otp option instructs the user agent to attempt to retrieve an OTP from the underlying system's SMS app.


In this example, when an SMS message arrives and the user grants permission, an OTPCredential object is returned with an OTP. This password is then prefilled into the verification form field, and the form is submitted.

Try this demo using a phone.

The form field includes an autocomplete attribute with the value of one-time-code. This is not needed for the WebOTP API to work, but it is worth including. As a result, Safari will prompt the user to autofill this field with the OTP when a correctly-formatted SMS is received, even though the WebOTP API isn't fully supported in Safari.

<input type="text" autocomplete="one-time-code" inputmode="numeric" />

The JavaScript is as follows:

// Detect feature support via OTPCredential availability
if ("OTPCredential" in window) {
  window.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded", (e) => {
    const input = document.querySelector('input[autocomplete="one-time-code"]');
    if (!input) return;
    // Set up an AbortController to use with the OTP request
    const ac = new AbortController();
    const form = input.closest("form");
    if (form) {
      // Abort the OTP request if the user attempts to submit the form manually
      form.addEventListener("submit", (e) => {
    // Request the OTP via get()
        otp: { transport: ["sms"] },
        signal: ac.signal,
      .then((otp) => {
        // When the OTP is received by the app client, enter it into the form
        // input and submit the form automatically
        input.value = otp.code;
        if (form) form.submit();
      .catch((err) => {

Another good use for the AbortController is to cancel the get() request after a certain amount of time:

setTimeout(() => {
  // abort after 30 seconds
}, 30 * 1000);

If the user becomes distracted or navigates somewhere else, it is good to cancel the request so that they don't get presented with a permission prompt that is no longer relevant to them.



See also