Microsoft Entra ID will soon start delivering multifactor authentication (MFA) text messages through WhatsApp. The company announced on the Microsoft 365 Admin Center yesterday that this update will begin rolling out to customers in select markets next month.
As of today, the Microsoft Entra ID Multifactor Authentication feature uses text messages to send one-time passcodes (OTPs). Users can access the messages in the default messaging app on their Android and iOS devices. They need to enter the OTP into the sign-in page to complete the verification process. Starting in September, Microsoft Entra ID customers will begin receiving Multifactor Authentication text messages via WhatsApp.
“Only users that are enabled to receive MFA text messages and already have WhatsApp on their phone will get this experience. The initial set of users will receive the update by mid-October, however further rollout is expected to take an extended period of time,” the company explained on the Microsoft 365 admin center. “The sender agent in WhatsApp where users will see the OTPs will be branded as Microsoft with a verified checkmark.”
At launch, the new WhatsApp MFA message verification support will only be available for enterprise customers in India, Indonesia, and New Zealand. Microsoft says that IT admins will be able to block this capability by disabling text messages as an authentication method in their tenants. Meanwhile, the company plans to expand support to other countries in October or November.
Last month, Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Entra ID Governance. The new service enables identity controls across on-premises and cloud apps and resources. It provides a dashboard view that shows details about the number of employees, business applications, as well as guests and groups.