WhatsApp Business API Pricing Explained: 3 Factors that Influence Costs

Sarah Islam
Last updated February 20, 2024
WhatsApp Business API Pricing Explained: 3 Factors that Influence Costs

Rasayel Is a Meta Business Partner

You can access the WhatsApp Business Platform with Rasayel directly.

Now you can activate your WhatsApp number within 3 minutes using Rasayel – no Business Solution Providers needed!

Using WhatsApp Business API for customer communication can be a great way to connect with your customers and improve your business operations. However, it’s important to understand the WhatsApp Business API pricing as the costs can sometimes be confusing.

Keep in mind that neither WhatsApp Business API nor WhatsApp Cloud API has its own inbox, so you will need to connect it to a WhatsApp Team Inbox like Rasayel to send and receive messages.

There are 3 options for accessing the WhatsApp Business Platform:

All three options offer you similar features. If you’re unsure which one is right for your business, send us a WhatsApp message and we’ll guide you through it.

WhatsApp Pricing 2024 Explained: What To Expect

Navigating the world of WhatsApp Business can feel like deciphering a secret code, especially when it comes to pricing. That’s why, in this updated guide, we’ll break down WhatsApp Business pricing for 2024.

With the introduction of WhatsApp Conversation categories, understanding the intricate pricing structure is key to optimizing your communication strategy and budgeting effectively. Here’s what you need to take into consideration when you plan your budget for using the WhatsApp Business API:

WhatsApp Conversations Cost

Since June 2023, the WhatsApp Conversation model has been refined to better categorize and price different business-customer interactions. This pricing model distinguishes between business-initiated and user-initiated conversations, each falling under specific categories with varying costs.

  • Conversations fall under WhatsApp Conversation categories such as Utility, Authentication, Marketing, or Service. Each has its own price.
  • Free tier: Businesses get 1,000 free service conversations per month, resetting monthly.

Business Solution Provider Cost

On top of WhatsApp charges, you’ll pay your chosen Business Solution Provider (BSP). Costs vary depending on your chosen BSP but generally involve additional fees on top of the per-conversation charges. Some BSPs offer per-agent pricing, while others might charge based on the number of concurrent conversations or specific Team Inbox features.

As an example, 360dialog offers monthly plans ranging between $49 and $99 per hosted number. Twilio’s pricing model for the WhatsApp Business API follows a usage-based approach, which means you pay for what you use.

Also, you can gain direct access to the WhatsApp Business Platform by creating a WhatsApp Cloud API account. The WhatsApp Cloud API pricing can be a more affordable option as you don’t require a BSP but will need to set up the account on your own. Here is Rasayel’s guide on how to create a Cloud API account.

As Meta’s tech provider, Rasayel allows you to set up your account and launch your business on the WhatsApp Business Platform in mere minutes, without any additional costs and middlemen like a Business Solution Provider. Encounter an issue? Rasayel can help sort things out.

WhatsApp Shared Inbox Cost

There’s no single, uniform price for a Team Inbox, because each platform sets its own price, depending on team sizes, features, and additional functionalities. The prices can range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars monthly.

WhatsApp Conversation Pricing Model Explained

WhatsApp charges businesses per conversation. A conversation is all the messages exchanged between a business and a customer, starting when a business’s first message is delivered until 24 hours later. All the messages exchanged in these 24 hours are associated with one conversation and incur one charge.

There are two main categories of conversations:

Business-Initiated conversations

Your business messages a customer outside the 24-hour window. From when your message is delivered until 24 hours later, all messages sent and received are part of one business-initiated conversation. To start a business-initiated conversation, a business can only send a message template. Once the customer replies, you can send messages with any content and format, including templates.

Business-Initiated conversation.

WhatsApp charges businesses based on the type of conversation initiated:

  • Marketing conversations range from $0.0083 to $0.1323 depending on the region
  • Utility conversations range from $0.0035 to $0.0707
  • Authentication conversations are charged per message, starting at $0.0063
  • Service conversations are generally cheaper than marketing and range from $0.0025 to $0.0738 per conversation.

Service Conversations (User-Initiated)

Service conversations are opened when a customer messages you outside the 24-hour window, and you reply to them. From your first reply up until 24 hours later, all messages sent and received are part of one service conversation. You can exchange messages with any content and format (free-form messages) and message templates.

Service Conversation (User-Initiated)

User-initiated conversations are the most cost-effective and range depending on the region. As an example, a service conversation is priced at $0.0025in Turkey while in the Netherlands a conversation is charged $0.0738.

WhatsApp messaging pricing explained.

Factors That Affect WhatsApp API Pricing

Understanding the various factors that influence the pricing structure of the WhatsApp Business API is crucial if you’re looking to effectively use WhatsApp for sales, support, and customer engagement. Here’s an overview of the key factors:

  • Conversation Entry Point

The entry point of a conversation plays a significant role in determining its cost. Conversations can be initiated either by the business or the customer, with each having different implications for pricing. Initiated conversations are further categorized based on their content and purpose, each with its unique pricing.

  • Customer Service Window

The customer care window refers to the time frame businesses can respond to customer messages without incurring additional costs. This window is 24 hours from the customer’s last message. Messages sent within this window are free-form messages in an ongoing conversation.

  • Country or Region

The pricing of WhatsApp Business API services can vary significantly based on the country or region of the recipient. This geographical-based pricing ensures that the costs are aligned with the local market dynamics and telecom rates, making it essential for businesses operating in multiple countries to understand these regional variations.

Best Practices to Save Costs in WhatsApp Business

The WhatsApp Business API offers immense potential for enhancing customer communication, but its cost structure can sometimes pose challenges for budget-conscious companies. Let’s discuss how to reduce WhatsApp Business API costs through these actionable best practices:

1. Leverage Click-to-WhatsApp Ads & Facebook CTAs

When a customer initiates contact via a Click-to-WhatsApp Ad or Facebook Page Call-to-Action button on your mobile device, your initial response within 24 hours falls under a 72-hour free entry point window. This means you can engage in open-ended communication without incurring conversation charges!

2. Estimate Messaging Volume Before Choosing a BSP

If your messaging volume is small, a BSP that charges you per message could be the right option. However, consider whether your business and messaging volume are going to grow in the future. A BSP that charges per message may not continue to be cost-effective in the long run.

3. Do Not Reply to Spam Messages

WhatsApp doesn’t charge you if a customer starts a conversation with you. It charges you only if you respond to their message. Therefore, you need to choose which customer messages are worth replying to so that you don’t unnecessarily incur a charge. At the same time, you must ensure customer satisfaction by attending to valid inquiries.

With Rasayel’s inbox rules, you can weed out messages to some extent based on the criteria that you define. This way, you focus your time on worthwhile customer inquiries.

4. Automate Auto-Reply Messages Wisely

If you have automated welcome and away messages that get sent right after customers’ first messages, they incur a user-initiated conversation cost (unless you have not crossed 1000 conversations). If your BSP charges you per message and you don’t have a high number of customer inquiries per month, using these messages could be a good idea. On the other hand, with a similar BSP and a high volume of customer inquiries, auto-replies could become too expensive.

5. Serve Customers Within 24-hour Window

All messages exchanged between your business and a customer in a 24-hour customer service window are associated with one conversation (one charge). If you have a customer support team, it’s more cost-effective to resolve customer inquiries within 24 hours. One way to do this is by using a WhatsApp chatbot to help customers self-serve. A human agent can attend to them if the bot cannot resolve their issue.

Summary of WhatsApp Pricing Updates in June 2023

In June 2023, WhatsApp introduced significant updates to its pricing model, marking a strategic shift in how businesses are charged for using the WhatsApp Business API.

FeaturePricing Before June 2023Pricing Changes in June 2023
Pricing ModelNotification-based (charged per notification sent)Conversation-based (charged per 24-hour conversation window)
Conversation CategoriesConversations are not categorizedIntroduced: Marketing, Utility, Authentication (different prices for each)
Free Tier ConversationsThe first 1,000 conversations per month, user-initiated or business-initiated, are free.The first 1,000 free Service (User-initiated) conversations per month are free.

Current WhatsApp Conversation Pricing Model

As of June 2023, WhatsApp introduced 4 types of conversations: Service conversations, utility conversations, authentication conversations, and marketing conversations.

What was previously known as “user-initiated conversations” have been rebranded as “service conversations”, however, pricing remains the same, based on your customer’s country code.

Service Conversation.

Business-initiated conversations are divided into 3 types, depending on the type of their starting message template category:

  1. Utility conversations - Are started using Transactional Templates. Templates that are about facilitating a specific, agreed-upon request or transaction or update to a customer about an ongoing transaction, including post-purchase notifications and recurring billing statements, fall into this type.

Utility conversation.

  • Authentication conversations - Are started using One-Time Password (OTP) Templates. Such templates enable businesses to authenticate users with one-time passcodes, potentially at multiple steps in the login process (e.g., account verification, account recovery, integrity challenges).

Authentication conversation

  • Marketing conversations - If you send a Marketing Template that includes WhatsApp Flows, promotions or offers, informational updates, or invitations for customers to respond/take action, you have started a marketing conversation. Any conversation that does not qualify as utility or authentication is a marketing conversation.

Marketing conversation.

Each of these conversation types has its own pricing based on the country code of your customer’s phone number. For example, If your customer’s country code is the UAE, here is how you’ll be charged:

  • 0.019 EUR for a service conversation
  • 0.0198 USD for a utility
  • 0.0178 USD for authentication conversation
  • 0.0340 USD for a marketing conversation

You can find a full list of conversation prices based on country, region, and conversation type on Meta’s Conversation-Based Pricing page, under ‘Rate Cards’.

If you send a message template of one type (for example, marketing) in an open conversation of another type (for example, service conversation), you are charged for both categories of conversations; the marketing conversation and the service conversation. If you send a template of one type in an open conversation of the same type, you will not be charged extra.

In the example below, the business sends a transactional message template. It starts a utility conversation which ends 24 hours later. Within the open conversation, they send a marketing template too. If the customer’s country code is Brazil, the business is charged:

  • 0.035 USD for a utility conversation
  • 0.0625 USD for a marketing conversation

Each of the two conversations ends 24 hours after their starting template was sent.

Example of WhatsApp conversation.

Here the business sends a transactional message template. This starts a utility conversation. Then, the business sends another transactional message template. This does not count as a new conversation, as they are of the same type. The business is charged for one utility conversation only (0.035 USD for Brazil).

WhatsApp Team Inbox Pricing

To be able to send and receive messages using WhatsApp Business API, you need a messaging platform or an inbox. Prices of various shared inboxes for WhatsApp can vary, depending on the features they provide.

Rasayel, as an example, is a team inbox that helps you sell to and support your customers over WhatsApp. You can also run marketing campaigns, build a WhatsApp chatbot, send automated notifications, auto-assign teammates to customers based on rules that you define, and integrate it with, HubSpot, Pipedrive, Zapier, and more.

Rasayel’s simple pricing offers solutions suitable for any team.

Rasayel platform and mobile app.

WhatsApp Business API Pricing By Use Case

FeatureFor Sales TeamsFor Support Teams
Pricing CategoryBusiness-initiated conversationsService conversations
Cost per Conversation$0.0083 - $0.1323 (depending on the region)$0.0025 - $0.0738 (depending on the region)
Typical Message TypesOutbound promotional messages, product demos, follow-upsInbound inquiries, customer support, troubleshooting
Examples of Use CasesSending personalized offers, scheduling appointments, closing dealsProviding product assistance, resolving issues, managing tickets
Free Entry Point ConversationsYes (1,000 per month)Yes (1,000 per month)
Cost-Saving TipsLeverage Click-to-WhatsApp Ads and Facebook CTAs, utilize automation for repetitive tasks and focus on high-value interactions.Prioritize efficient resolution within the 24-hour window, consider chatbots for basic inquiries, and encourage self-service options.

Business Solution Providers Pricing Comparison

Business Solution Providers have different pricing models, and features vary from one provider to another. Moreover, some providers give you access to the API only as a package with their software; therefore, you cannot use your platform of choice with them. One must consider all of these differences before selecting a provider.

In general, WhatsApp solution providers follow one of these three pricing models:

  • Per message fee – You are charged for each message sent and each message received
  • Per message bundle fee – You are charged for every group of messages
  • Flat rate fee – Regardless of the number of messages you send or receive, you pay a fixed rate per month

Here are the pricing plans of three official business solution providers that Rasayel works with:


Their pricing plans depend on whether you are an end user of the API or a partner looking to provide the API for end users. They have three pricing plans:

API plus - ‍A suitable starting point for most businesses.

Professional ‍- Same as the API-only package, with premium customer support.

Enterprise ‍- Best for large companies with ultra-high bandwidth.

‍The prices of each plan don’t include WhatsApp fees for your conversations. Those fees are passed on to you at the end of every month as part of your 360dialog bill.


Twilio charges per conversation and message and charges a different fee for utility, authentication, marketing, and service conversations. The fee also ranges from region to region. This fee does not include what you need to pay Meta for your conversations.

If your messaging volume is low (less than 3000 messages a month) or unpredictable, Twilio could be a cost-effective option.

You can estimate the cost for your business on Twillio’s pricing page.

Bird (formerly MessageBird)

Bird charges per conversation and replies within 24 hours. This fee does not include the fee you need to pay WhatsApp for your conversations.

The pricing of Bird vary depending on your region. We would recommend you contact Bird directly for a quote.


As we journey through 2024, understanding the WhatsApp Business API pricing is crucial for businesses aiming to harness the power of this popular messaging service for customer communication. With the detailed insights provided in this guide, from the latest updates in WhatsApp’s conversation-based pricing to the nuances of working with Business Solution Providers, you’re now equipped to make informed decisions that align with your business needs and budget.

Whether you’re a small business just starting with WhatsApp or a large enterprise scaling your operations, the ability to navigate through different pricing models, conversation categories, and regional variations is invaluable. Remember, the key is to balance cost-efficiency with effective customer engagement – utilizing tools like Rasayel’s team inbox, optimizing conversation strategies, and selecting the right BSP can significantly enhance this balance.

Frequently Asked Questions

To calculate your WhatsApp API cost, consider the following factors: the pricing model of your chosen Business Solution Provider (BSP), the number of conversations (both business-initiated and user-initiated), and any additional features or services you utilize. Use the rate cards provided by WhatsApp and your BSP to estimate costs based on your expected volume and type of conversations.

No, there will not be extra charges for multiple messages sent within the same 24-hour conversation window. WhatsApp charges per conversation, not per message. All messages exchanged with a customer within the 24-hour window from the first message sent by your business count as part of a single conversation.

Yes, you can send a WhatsApp message after the 24-hour window has closed, but it must be initiated with a pre-approved message template. This will start a new business-initiated conversation and will be subject to the relevant conversation charges.

Yes, using the WhatsApp Business API for customer communication involves costs. These can include charges per conversation based on the type (business-initiated or user-initiated) and additional fees from your Business Solution Provider (BSP). However, the WhatsApp Business app itself is free for small businesses.

The cost of using WhatsApp, particularly the Business API, depends on several factors, including the type and volume of conversations, the country or region, and any additional services from your BSP. Business-initiated conversations have different rates than user-initiated ones, and prices can range from $0.0056 to $0.0913 per conversation, varying by country.

Learn more

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About the author
Sarah Islam

Sarah is a digital marketing expert specializing in strategy & SEO. She combines her love for writing and adventure with her professional skills to help businesses enhance their digital presence and engage customers. Her goal is to improve customer experiences through effective communication.

@Sarah Islam on LinkedIn