I was super excited to have a working French bank card so I could pay for a flight online in Euros.  Using my American credit card incurs a bunch of random exchange fees that I’d rather avoid.  So I get to the confirmation of payment page, and I am informed that my bank card must be linked to a phone number so that they can send me an extra verification code each time I want to use my card online.

Fine. I go through the steps to activate my newly-working phone number which includes sending a text to a 5-digit number (also known as a short code).  But wait–since my phone number is new, there are certain restrictions on it for the first 30 days, which conveniently includes texting short codes.  The only way to get rid of this restriction is — wait for it — to pay in advance with your credit card for any charges that might be incurred.

And to do that I need phone verification.  France wins again.