How to Access the WhatsApp Business API
Meta doesn’t give access to the WhatsApp Business API to businesses directly. Instead it gives access to Business Solution Providers (BSPs). They are official partners of Meta and host WhatsApp Business API on their servers and grant businesses access.
The exact steps a business needs to take to access the WhatsApp Business API could differ slightly from BSP to BSP. Here are what you need to have in advance and the general steps you must take regardless of which BSP you choose.
Step 1. Choose a Business Solution Provider (BSP)
The complete list of BSPs is available on Meta’s partner directory. Before selecting a BSP, make sure you read How to Choose a Business Solution Provider (BSP).
Step 2. Create an account with the BSP
With some BSPs you need to make an online application and fill a form with your business information. Then, you must create an account on the BSP’s portal.
Step 3. Register a WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) and Connect It to BSP
Before you start this step you need:
- a phone number that meets Meta’s requirements
- a display name
- a Facebook Business Account
Then you need to follow the instructions from your BSP to register a WABA and connect it to your BSP. The steps below shows the steps of creating a WABA and connecting it to 360dialog, an official Business Solution Provider. These steps are common between all BSPs:
Your BSP asks for permission to get credit card information and access your WhatsApp Business account. Click Continue.
Either create a new Meta account or proceed with your current Facebook Business Manager account. Enter your legal business name, business phone number, business website, and business email address that you’d want to use for your WhatsApp Business account. Press Continue.
Provide your company address information and press Continue.
After a few seconds, you see “Accounts have been set up”. Select Continue to Step 2.
Select your WhatsApp Business display name. The name must follow some guidelines and best practices. For more information, please refer to WhatsApp Display Name. Press Continue.
Select your industry under Category. Create an optional Business description of your business. Press Continue to Step 3.
Select your business phone number connected to your account. You will receive a code via SMS or call on this number. Press Send Code.
Once you receive the code, put it in the following page. Click Verify.
Step 4. Activate Your WhatsApp Business Account (WABA)
You must follow the instructions of your BSP for account activation.
Without a verified Facebook Business Account, you can send 50 business-initiated conversations in a rolling 24-hours, connect up to 2 phone numbers and receive unlimited number of user-initiated conversations.
If you want to send more business-initiated messages you must verify your Facebook Business account. Some BSPs expect you to verify your account before starting to use the API for communication. To do that, follow the steps in Facebook Business Account. After that, WhatsApp lets you increase your messaging limit gradually. For more information, on messaging limits, read Messaging Limits and Quality Rating.
Since WhatsApp Business API does not have a chat interface, you must purchase a WhatsApp inbox separately. Different inboxes offer different features and functionalities. Rasayel, as an example, is an inbox that lets you communicate with customers as a team, send bulk messages, create automations and more.