WhatsApp Business API: Everything You Need to Know 2023

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Scaling your business can be very exciting and challenging at the same time. 

You need to make sure everything is running smoothly, your customers are happy, and your solution reaches wider audiences over time. 

In order to achieve that, you need to communicate effectively with your growing customer base and answer the questions they might have about the products or services you offer. 

One of the most effective solutions for that is the WhatsApp Business API tool, which can help you set up effective communication channels with your customers. Want to know how it works?

You’re in the right place! 

Follow along as we dive deep into this topic and talk in-depth about everything you need to know about WhatsApp Business API and its benefits.

What is Whatsapp Business API?

WhatsApp Business API: Daily messages sent

WhatsApp Business API is a communication tool for businesses that helps them to power their communication with customers all over the world.

WhatsApp launched this tool to help medium and large companies that want to communicate with multiple customers at scale. It gives businesses an opportunity to automate communications with various tools, such as WhatsApp chatbots and automated replies. 

To break it down in a simple way, WhatsApp for Business API is an upgraded version of the WhatsApp Business App. The need to create such an app came from the fact that the business app had very limited functionality for companies that need to deal with a large number of clients daily. 

A business API, however, offers those companies a high level of security and reliability, as well as a massive variety of features, such as multiple logins, mass broadcasting, personalized messages, and more. 

Let’s break this tool down a bit more and see what advantages it can bring to your business. 

WhatsApp Business vs WhatsApp Business API

WhatsApp Business API vs WhatsApp Business

WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API are tools that are often confused. However, they refer to two completely different things. They are both business services that WhatsApp offers, but the use cases are not similar at all. 

Both of these tools help online brands have a smooth communication experience with their customers, but the core functionality varies from one to another. 

WhatsApp Business is a standalone application where companies can communicate with their customers from the app, just like individuals do. 

On the other hand, WhatsApp for Business API helps larger companies effectively manage and send larger volumes of requests. This API gives companies a chance to integrate with other systems and communicate from there. 

We can point out these three fundamental differences between those tools:

  • WhatsApp Business app is made for small to medium-sized businesses, while WhatsApp Business API is for medium to large-sized businesses. 
  • There is no coding knowledge required to set up the business app. However, for the business API, you might need a helping hand from the developer.
  • The business app solution can only be used on one device by one person at a time. The API solution can be used by multiple users within the company.

Other than that, with WhatsApp API Business, companies can set up automated answers and response captures, send larger volumes, and request to get an official business account on WhatsApp. 

Why is the WhatsApp Business API important?

If you are running a medium to large size company, and need to actively communicate with your customers on a daily basis, then it is important to have a reliable communication tool in place. It can help you support the scaling process of your company and accelerate growth. 

Using the WhatsApp Business API tool can support multiple departments within the company, making it easy for them to use it for multiple purposes:

  • Customer Support

WhatsApp API business is a great tool for setting up live one-on-one customer support channels. It allows support agents to provide service in a live chat regime and answer questions from different devices. 

  • Marketing and Sales

This tool can also help your business grow its marketing and sales efforts. You can easily broadcast promotional messages to different users and boost your conversions through that. 

  • Internal Communication

It is important to set up a proper communication channel in an enterprise. WhatsApp Business API can help with that by allowing you to broadcast important announcements and updates across the whole company or department. 

Is WhatsApp Business API available for everyone?

WhatsApp is the world’s most popular communication tool with end-to-end encryption. Lots of businesses and individuals want to take advantage of their API tools worldwide. 

That’s why there is a strict commerce policy to protect users and filter out unwanted product sales on the platform. Every company needs to go through to start using the WhatsApp Business API solution to power your business.

It is important to check the list carefully and make sure that whatever products or services you’re selling are compliant with their rules.

Which companies use WhatsApp Business API?

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world

Not every business worldwide needs to use solutions like WhatsApp Business API. You need to figure out where your business is standing and what needs it has before making a decision to integrate it into your processes. 

Usually, companies with 1-5 team members are able to manage customer relationships with the WhatsApp Business app. But as the business scales, you need to have more and more advanced solutions to handle the traffic. 

To put it in a simple way, it is recommended to use WhatsApp Business for API if:

  • You have more than 300 customers you need to communicate with
  • You have more than 2 people to manage conversations with customers
  • You need to improve your customer support process and acquire new customers
  • You require automation for communication processes
  • You need to improve your team’s overall efficiency

WhatsApp Business API benefits: The next step in communication

There are many benefits that WhatsApp for Business API can bring to your company. Most of their features can help your business grow and scale in a sustainable way.

Let’s go through the most important benefits one by one and see how they can affect your business in a positive way:

  • Helps you to increase your business reach

WhatsApp has more than 2.2 Billion monthly active users. At the same time, statistics show that it has over 97% open rate and up to 60% click-through rate for messages that are sent with WhatsApp.

There are 2.2 Billion monthly active users on WhatsApp

This represents a huge business opportunity for any online business owner that is looking to increase their response rates and get users more engaged. 

With this tool, you can easily send broadcasts to thousands of users and deliver the message you want them to see about your business. 

  • Possibility to add more CTAs and Clickable Buttons

CTAs (calls to action) are one of the most important elements for communicating with your prospects. It increases the chances for you to get conversions and sell more of your products or services.

WhatsApp API allows you to make messages more actionable by adding Clickable Buttons around them, potentially increasing your conversion rate 3x.

Other than that, it allows you to include videos, images, or even emojis to make your messaging more attractive and drive more engagement. 

  • Build a solid brand identity

It is a well-known fact that most people buy products from brands they trust. 

Building a solid brand authority in the market is more important than ever. WhatsApp API provides an element that can help you with this by adding a WhatsApp Green Tick to your profile. 

This checkmark is a confirmation from WhatsApp that your brand is reliable, giving more reasons to your prospects to trust you. 

Whenever people see this checkmark, they know for sure that they are talking to a trusted brand, increasing overall chances of conversion. 

  • High-security standards

In this day and age, people think about their security and privacy when using different platforms online.

WhatsApp uses a system called End-to-End Encrypted messaging that enables a high level of security to everyone that is using the platform for communicating with businesses and individuals. 

So, every message that you send out to your customers are end-to-end encrypted, which makes WhatsApp a safe place for businesses to share sensitive information without having any concerns. 

  • Create personalized messaging for your customers

Statistics show that most customers expect brands to understand their unique needs. They want their shopping experience to be personal.

WhatsApp Business REST API is the go-to platform for setting up a personalized customer experience. Here you can use various options to create more personalized messages that resonate with your audiences and build trust. 

That will help you build an emotional connection with your prospects, which can have very high returns in the long run. 

  • Extensive functionality for 2-way communication

Generally, customers want to have direct communication with the brand before they make their decisions. 

WhatsApp Business API makes it possible for companies and prospects to instantly communicate with each other and build a successful business relationship. 

Instant communication can help your business be more consistent with customers and assist them whenever they have questions about a particular product or service. 

Customers’ Identity verification for WhatsApp API Businesses 

Online Payment Fraud Analysis

In order to take full advantage of WhatsApp Business API features and benefits, you need to make sure that you know your customers and that every process is aligned with the rules and regulations of your local operating area. 

Otherwise, your online business activities can cause major damage to your brand. For example, in the eCommerce field, global losses because of fraudulent activities are estimated to be $20 Billion in 2021 alone. 

This means that, as a business owner, it is important to think about setting up a proper online identity verification system in place to be ready for such cases. It can help you avoid unwanted situations with fraudulent customers and comply with global regulations. 

To successfully achieve that, you need to choose a reliable partner to validate your prospects and make sure that they are who they claim to be. 

Solutions like Cactus Verify can help you easily set up an instant identity verification solution into WhatsApp Business API and talk to your customers with confidence. 

WhatsApp Business API CRM integration

Besides allowing your business to grow and scale with the help of the tools it provides, you can connect WhatsApp Business API to your CRM solution to send out automated notifications to your customers on WhatsApp.

Generally, these kinds of messages are sent out through channels like email or SMS. If you try it on WhatsApp, too, it can potentially help you get more open rates and conversions.

For example, if you’re running an eCommerce business, this combination of CRM and WhatsApp Business API can help you get your customers automatically notified of important updates. 

This integration can help you with processes like Lead Nurturing, Order Tracking, Follow-ups, collecting feedback, and more. 

WhatsApp Business API pricing

Is WhatsApp Business API free?

Unlike the WhatsApp Business app, WhatsApp Business API is not free of charge. It is an advanced solution that can help companies in many ways, and it has many layers of pricing according to the company’s needs. 

WhatsApp Business app is free because, as we mentioned, it is made for small and medium-sized businesses that don’t need big functionality to communicate with their customers. 

How much does WhatsApp Business API cost?

Before we dive into the exact WhatsApp Business API pricing structure, we should understand that there are different components that put the final price together. Those are the things like hosting, maintenance, and keeping the API Protocol.

Let’s break down pricing into different categories:

Setting up

It is important to keep in mind that WhatsApp doesn’t give access to WhatsApp Business API from the beginning. What you need to do is to go to a service provider called BSP (Business Solution Provider) and get a WhatsApp API account from there. 

BSPs are hosting the WhatsApp API on their servers. Therefore, they will charge you for hosting while also adding their own fees. It can either be a fixed fee or a per-message fee. The cost for this fully depends on the BSP you are choosing.

After that, there is a cost for creating a messaging inbox. You should connect the WhatsApp API endpoint to that inbox to get the system functioning. 

So, there are three endpoints – WhatsApp, messaging inbox, and a BSP.

Conversation rates

WhatsApp takes care of giving customers an instant and conversational experience when using their platform. That’s why the WhatsApp Business API pricing rates for the conversation are fully based on 24-hour sessions.

The exact prices fully depend on where your customers are coming from and what’s their country code. The pricing model is divided into two main categories:

  • User-initiated

This is when a user sends the first message. The initiation of this type of conversation starts when a business responds to this user within 24 hours. 

  • Business-initiated

This is when a business sends the first message to a customer or continues the conversation 24 hours after the user wrote. 

There are different rates for user-initiated conversations and business-initiated conversations. You can see the exact price list here.

Another great thing about using WhatsApp Business API is that they give out 1,000 free tier conversations every month. It can be used for both business-initiated and user-initiated messages. 

If there are two or more numbers linked to one account, then these 1,000 free conversations will be shared within the registered numbers. 

How to choose a proper partner?

If you want to choose a partner for setting up your WhatsApp Business API, you can go with two options:

  • Marketing platforms that allow you to access various functionalities of WhatsApp API inside their interface.
  • Connectors that can help you integrate WhatsApp API to other marketing platforms as a third-party solution.

Marketing platforms that are recognized as official WhatsApp Business Partners can help you with WhatsApp marketing campaigns through their interface. In this case, you only need to pay for conversations, not for the setup.

Choosing connectors, on the other hand, is a good option for companies that need to build a fully custom marketing framework. Developer help is necessary in this case. These kinds of service providers typically charge a monthly fee for using their services. 

What to look at when choosing a partner?

There are lots of options that you can see for choosing a reliable partner for your WhatsApp for Business API setup. You can see the list in the Meta Partner directory.

You need to keep a couple of things in mind when choosing the right partner:

  • Pricing model

You don’t want to work with companies that are charging extra fees for things like setup or licensing. Try to look for options that offer a “try as you go” approach. 

  • All-in-one solution

Your partner's solution should be helping you every step of the way. It should be easy for you to import contacts, create templates, schedule campaigns, etc.

  • Embedded signup

This functionality can allow you to connect the WhatsApp Business Account while accessing the WhatsApp API from your Business Solution Provider’s interface. 

On the other hand, it is also very important to understand what goals you are trying to achieve when using WhatsApp API Business and which teams exactly will benefit from this tool.

In most cases, there are three departments that benefit from the WhatsApp Business rest API. Those are sales, marketing, and customer support teams. Objectives are different for all of them, which should be kept in mind when choosing a proper partner. 

How to create a WhatsApp Business API account?

The first step for setting up the WhatsApp Business API account for your company is to go through the Facebook Business verification. However, this process is not compulsory for every company anymore. Only the ones wanting to have more business-initiated conversations should go through this process. 

At the same time, it is important to make sure that the WhatsApp Policy compliance check is triggered automatically. This step will take time, and it will happen in the background after the registration and sign-up process. 

One of the most crucial elements in the whole process is to choose the right Business Service Provider (BSP) for your WhatsApp Business rest API setup, and start integration. But before that, you need to go through the general setup process.

General setup

According to the official documentation, you can divide the process of setting up your WhatsApp Business API into three main parts:

  • Assets preparation

This is where you need to set up all the assets needed to complete the integration. After submission, your account will go under review, and if it’s successful, you will get a base64-encoded certificate that will help you throughout the whole process. 

  • WhatsApp Business API Client installation

Here you should install your API client. Carefully check the tool and if it’s working successfully, update your settings in the application.

  • Start using a client

This is where you should register your phone number with an API. Send a text message and check the security of the app. 

Cloud vs On-premises API

Now that the general setup is done, let’s discuss a bit more about the hosting options. For now, you should choose one of these two: Could API, which is hosted by Meta, and on-premises API, which is hosted by the BSP of your choosing.

WhatsApp released the Cloud API in early 2022. This tool allows businesses to apply to have the API account directly through the Meta platform. However, if you go with this option, you won’t have a messaging inbox to create a front-end for the Cloud API, as Meta doesn’t provide that for now. 

On-premises option, on the other hand, is the integration method that happens through BSPs (as we showed earlier). Most companies go with this option because setting up a WhatsApp Business API through BSPs makes the whole process much simpler. 

Setting up a sign-up: Classic vs Embedded

If you find a reliable partner and go with the BSPs option, they will help you easily set up your WhatsApp API Business account. However, it might still be a complex process depending on the sign-up method they provide you with. 

Generally, there are two options for that: classic and embedded sign-up options. 

The first one, the classic sign-up option, is a manual process. You should keep in mind that it includes a lot of action from your and BSP’s side. It is important to confirm lots of small details to smoothly get it running. Usually, it all translates into long waiting times for both parties. 

On the other hand, the embedded sign-up option can help you finish the whole process directly from the BSP website you choose. You can input all of your details, and they will continue the process. It acts as a self-service tool that doesn’t require any additional input from any side. 

The next additional steps for setting up the WhatsApp Business API for your company heavily depend on the BSP you’ll be choosing. It differs from partner to partner. So, make sure you check the exact steps from the BSP’s documentation and choose the one that fits your needs the most. 


What are the limitations of WhatsApp Business API?

There might be a few roadblocks when it comes to setting up a WhatsApp Business API account. The most common and notable ones include:

  • Limitation of the 24-hour rule

WhatsApp made this limitation to protect its users from getting messages that contain spam and irrelevant ads. 

It means that when a customer sends you a message through this tool, you should respond within 24 hours after that. Otherwise, you need to deal with additional charges and rules from the platform. 

  • Facebook business verification

If you want to connect your number to the WhatsApp Business API, you will need to have a verified Facebook Business account. This process is done by Meta, and it takes some time to get approval. That’s why it might be considered another limitation. 

  • Downgrade restraint

If the phone number is already registered on the WhatsApp Business API, you cannot use it for the normal WhatsApp application. If you’d like to use the number for other purposes, you will have to downgrade one of the two apps.  

How to know if WhatsApp Business API is essential for your business?

WhatsApp Business API is designed for companies that want to grow and scale. It has every functionality that medium to large-sized businesses might need to communicate with their prospects and scale their business in that way. 

This tool can help your business deal with customers on a global level and manage larger volumes of message requests. You can integrate WhatsApp business API with other systems and communicate from there. 

So, if your business needs to scale, automatically trigger messages via integrations and APIs, and have multiple logins from various people in the company, then this solution is essential for your company.  

Do we have to register for WhatsApp Business API?

If you want to get WhatsApp Business API for your business, you have to go through the process of registration and setting it up. 

The first steps include the preparation of all the assets, installation of the WhatsApp Business API client, and testing out the messages through the client app. You also have to wait for approval from Facebook business verification after connecting your number to the platform. The process is automatic, but it might take some time to get approval. 

After that, you need to deal with the Business Service Provider (BSP) that will help you set up the system and integrate WhatsApp for Business API into your platform. You need to choose the provider according to your business needs. 

How to integrate your current WhatsApp Business account through API?

There are two main ways to integrate the current WhatsApp Business account through API. One is called Cloud API and another one is called on-premises API.

The setup of the Could API entirely comes from Meta. It has a bit limited functionality and really depends on a use case to see if it’s useful or not. On-premises API is done by Business Service Provider, which can help you easily set up the whole system and integrate it with your existing solution. 

Where are WhatsApp Business API documentations and related links?

You can find all the official documentation and related links for setting up the WhatsApp Business API from this link.

If you want to know more about the exact steps on how to get started and what are the procedures for the overall setup, you can visit this link from Meta.

Need help with verifying your prospects when talking to them through WhatsApp Business API?

When you successfully go through the setup process of the WhatsApp Business API for your company, there is one crucial element to keep in mind.

It is important to make sure that you build trust with your existing and potential customers when scaling your business online, especially when you communicate with them on a daily basis.

So, how to deal with that? Here’s where we can help!

We are offering an instant identity verification tool for medium-sized businesses to help them easily verify their prospect’s identities when communicating with them online. 

Our tool can help you ensure security at the highest level while talking to your customers using WhatsApp Business API. 

We do this through the framework called the One-time Application. Whenever your prospects click the button to verify, it will open a native application inside the WhatsApp API. 

The person will go through the verification flow inside the app without having to open any extra pages for that. 

After a successful attempt, our tool will send you a notification that the prospect is valid and give you the extracted data from the passport or ID card. It will also keep the sensitive data of identification documents in one centralized dashboard for you. So you can confidently continue talking to them. 

Cactus Verify takes care of the process of validating your prospect's identities in a matter of seconds. 

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