The use of one-time password (OTP) has ushered new life into the existing authentication protocols used by the software industry. It introduced a second layer of security to the traditional username-password authentication, thus coining the term, two-factor authentication. One of the drawbacks of this protocol is the unreliability of the hardware token at the time of authentication. This paper proposes a simple backup key model that can be associated with the real world applications'user database, which would allow a user to circumvent the second authentication stage, in the event of unavailability of the hardware token. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.