IB Passcode Card and autotrading

This week I received a "Passcode Card" from IB. The accompanying letter says that participation in the program is mandatory. When you activate it, login with TWS is only possible if you type the code that is printed on the card and that corresponds to the numbers that are shown in the login box.

This makes autotrading much more difficult. Basically it is now impossible to let TradeBullet login without my personal assistance.

Any suggestions?

try asking IB directly. They accept, I believe Pats system and other autotrading feeds. They must have some kind of solution for autotraders.

I thought there was an opt-out option under which you waive any rights in case your account gets hacked.

Jules - Please post any information you find out after contacting IB.

I’m not Jules, but perhaps the info below is helpful as well. I got it in June by e-mail, after asking them about how the secure device would affect auto traders:

Dear Trader,

Interactive Brokers is in the process of mandating that the device is used by all accounts

to access the TWS. Currently, it is required for all Financial Advisor accounts and the rollout

to our remaining clients is in process.

However, at this time, for lack of a better solution, we are allowing those clients who run APIs

to opt out of the program, if their account has been mandated to participate.

To opt out, if applicable, please contact 203-618-4006.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.


I now realize that perhaps this "passcode card" is not the same as the "secure device", in which case the info I just posted might not apply.

These are the same device. It also now has to be used at IB for statement access, wire requests, TWS login, etc. It must be used multiple times in some cases (wire request, for example) which is frustrating.

No response from IB yet.

When I woke up, I had about 20 login screens asking for a code… I presume that this happened: probably TWS also asks the passcode after a disconnection. There will be one disconnection at night due to IB maintenance. After the first disconnection, TB cannot re-connect and it keeps trying. Forex autotrading is out of the question in this way.

The good thing is that I could click the 20 login screens away without IB telling me "You have entered the wrong code 3 times. We locked your account and will send you a new card, which takes at least 2 weeks"… This is what my bank would do.

Finally… my TWS has begun working in challenge/response mode. I guess they must have rolled it out slowly across their customer base. Here is the relevant help file that comes up (for Gold members)…


Now, I’m very curious if the IBgateway software also requires this or not!

IB did not respond to my inquiry ticket, but via the chat service (Technical Assistance) they told me that API users are allowed to opt out. They will send me a form by email. The passcode will still be needed for money transfers and changes of account information - which is fine.