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So you’ve decided to use WhatsApp Business API and take your customer communications to another level? 🚀🤩 Well, that’s fantastic!
If you have doubts and don’t know how WhatsApp Business API can help you, please have a look at our article, An Introductory Guide to WhatsApp Business Platform/API.
What Are Business Solution Providers (BSPs)?
You cannot gain direct access to WhatsApp Business API from WhatsApp itself. This can only be done through Business Solution Providers (BSPs), which are partners of Meta (WhatsApp’s parent company), and host WhatsApp Business API accounts on their servers. Meta’s partner directory contains a full list of official BSPs you can choose from.
If you already have a WhatsApp Business API account (WABA) with a BSP and want to migrate your number to another BSP or to WhatsApp Cloud API, please contact us.
WhatsApp Business API features, pricing, and support vary from one provider to another. For a more in-depth view of the differences between BSPs, please read Comparison of WhatsApp Business Solution Providers (BSPs).
Who Can Get Access to the WhatsApp Business Platform/API?
Not all businesses are allowed to use WhatsApp Business Platform/API. Here is a list of products and services that cannot be sold on WhatsApp:
- Drugs, whether prescription, recreational or otherwise
- Tobacco items and related paraphernalia
- Unsafe ingestible supplements such as human growth hormones
- Weapons, ammunition, or explosives
- Adult products or services
- Body parts and fluids such as blood
- Medical and healthcare products such as contact lenses
- Items or products with overtly sexualized positioning
- Real money gambling services
- Dating services
- Products or items that facilitate or encourage unauthorized access to digital media
- Digital and subscription services, including links to or processing of any subscription sales, renewals, or upgrades such as digital coupons
- Business models, goods, items, or services that we determine may be or are fraudulent, misleading, offensive, or deceptive, or maybe or are exploitative, inappropriate, or exert undue pressure on targeted groups such as weight loss products that imply or attempt to generate negative self-perception
- Real, virtual, or fake currency
- Third-Party Infringement such as replicas of branded goods
For more details, please visit WhatsApp’s Commerce Policy page.
What You Need to Get WhatsApp Business Platform/API from Business Solution Providers (BSPs)
The exact steps you need to get access to WhatsApp Business API differ from one provider to another. However, certain requirements that are enforced by WhatsApp are common among all BSPs:
Step 1: Create a Facebook Business Account.
If your business doesn’t have a Facebook Business account, you need to create one at https://business.facebook.com/
Step 2: Verify your Facebook Business account.
Some providers, like 360dialog, don’t require you to verify your Facebook Business account when you create a WhatsApp Business account (WABA) with them. Without verification, you are limited to sending 50 message templates to 50 unique customers per day and have up to 2 business numbers connected to your account.
If you want to scale your messages or your BSP requires you to verify your account while creating your WABA, you must verify your Facebook Business account. Facebook needs to do this to ensure that you are a legal business. You must upload documents such as business bank statements, certificates of formation, utility bills, or similar documents as proof of your business’s legitimacy. For a full list of documents, please visit Upload official documents to verify your business (Facebook.com).
Step 3: Create a WhatsApp Business account (WABA) with a BSP.
First, you’ll need to create or apply for an account on the BSP’s website. You need two things to create an account:
1. A phone number that meets Meta’s requirements:
- Owned by you
- Either a SIM-based number or a virtual number purchased online
- Has a country and area code, such as landline and cell numbers
- Able to receive voice calls or SMS
- Not a short code
- Not previously used with the WhatsApp Business Platform
Some BSPs have their own criteria in addition to Meta’s criteria for phone numbers, while others sell their own numbers and require that you purchase one from them.
2. A display name that meets WhatsApp’s guidelines - The display name is what your customers see when texting you on WhatsApp. In Best Practices for Display Names on WhatsApp Business Platform/API there is more information on how to choose a display name that gets approved by WhatsApp.\
At Rasayel, we work with three Business Solution Providers (BSPs). If you’d like to create an account with them, please read these articles:
- How to Get Access to the WhatsApp Business API with 360dialog
- How to Get Access to the WhatsApp Business API with Twilio
- How to Get Access to the WhatsApp Business API with MessageBird
Step 4: Activate your WhatsApp Business account.
After creating a WhatsApp Business API account, you will receive a code via SMS or a voice call. You will use this code to activate your account.
How to Start Using the WhatsApp Business Platform/API
Since WhatsApp Business Platform/API does not have an inbox, you need to connect it to another tool, like a CRM or a team inbox, such as Rasayel to send and receive messages.
Rasayel is a team inbox that helps you sell to and support your customers on WhatsApp. You can run marketing campaigns, assign team members to conversations, create if/then rules to automate repetitive tasks, build a chatbot to handle some of your customer inquiries, and do much more. You can create an account here to use it for 14 days for free; no credit card is required.
If you want access to the WhatsApp Business Platform/API, you need to create a WhatsApp Business account (WABA) with a Business Solution Provider (BSP) of your choice.
You need a verified Facebook Business account to create an account with most providers.
All providers require you to have a clean phone number, either by buying it from them or bringing your own number. You also need to choose a display name for your account.
Businesses are allowed access to the API if their products and services are not illegal under WhatsApp’s Commerce policy.
After obtaining access to the WhatsApp Business API, you need to connect it to a team inbox (like Rasayel) or CRM to be able to send and receive messages.
If you’d like to learn more about how WhatsApp can help you grow your business, please reach out to us on WhatsApp at +13024070488.
We also offer a free consultation session where we go through your use case, answer any questions about WhatsApp, and help you build a strategy to make the best out of the platform. Book a call with us below. We’d love to speak with you: